Hold your breath long enough and you’ll pass out. Pass out enough times and people start to wonder if you’re intentionally trying to hurt yourself,” you tell me as you lean back against the wall. The moon casts its light on your cheeks, and in this near-darkness, it’s the only reason why I can see your eyes glisten. “No one likes talking about dark things. It’s embarrassing and vulnerable. And no one likes being vulnerable.” I agree and look up at the moon. It’s full tonight. “I think it’s more that we are embarrassed of our ability to be so sensitive and emotional which we perceive as a sign of weakness; but, in reality, it’s one of the greatest signs of humanity. To feel so deeply in your soul is so beautiful and to look at someone and feel them and their being and understand them is absolutely rare. That’s what being alive really is, I think. Most people exist, living each day as numb to the world as possible. If you tell people that you’re sick or depressed or want to harm yourself, most are quick to call you crazy. It’s easier to dismiss someone as crazy than to be patient and try to understand what’s going on with them. Even more than that, if you’re depressed, you feel flawed - it’s as if your DNA and brain chemistry just decided to say ‘lol screw you’ and go haywire. You want people to think you’re a fully functioning human being after all. No one wants to be friends with a sad person. And who’s going to love a sad person?” The air suddenly feels colder and unspoken words hang in my throat, scratching to get out. Your fingers brush against mine and the warmth of your skin is comforting. “You ever think about not being here?” You phrase the question so carefully, so slowly and so thoughtfully as to not to be offensive or pushy, that I have to repeat your words in my head one more time to make sure I understood you correctly. I don’t answer your question and that in itself is an answer. I finally open my mouth to speak again, “If you numb yourself to the pain enough times then it isn’t pain anymore. It’s just something that’s there. It exists. We’re all pained people. Some of us just happen to do it better than others.