Melancholy. (Her)

She has negative connotations.

She has long-standing associations with poets and widows.

Her sound belongs to the thoughtfully plucked strings of a minor chord with a furrowed brow.

If she knew she was so regularly mistaken for depression she would be disappointed but unmoved.

So many adjectives get added meaning by their antonyms. Sadly this one is left dancing with a series of well intentioned but ill fitting partners. But she doesn’t lament of what might have been. She dances expressively at the edge of a small riverbank under a willow tree in the moonlight, her gaze is always downwards, every movement belongs to the place between order and chaos.

For me, she is not unwelcome. She walks through the rain with me, in a comforting, reassuring silence. Sometimes she sits in front of me in a quiet cafe and talks to me, her eyes looking slightly upward under her partially lifted eyebrows with an imperceptible smile. Her words are ripe with meaning but the volume is low and the sound is muffled. We walk all night through narrow cobblestone streets with softly lit windows and lost conversations. My gaze rarely shifting from the well worn stones. She takes me by the hand and guides me barefoot onto the beach to the edge of the soft surf and points to the sunrise. Each night we navigate the winding streets, a different path every night but always the same destination. I tell myself I will miss her when she’s gone. The sun rises and I walk home alone.