Mad-Hatted Courtroom

*In a departure from my usual posts, I’m sharing the beginning of a children’s story I wrote. I’d love to read your comments. Thank you!

 

“Order! Order! Order in the court,” yelled the restless judge with the rainbow colored robe and the purple top hat. “Mr. Rabbit, please explain why we’re here.”

“Yes, sir. Right away, sir,” said the jumpy prosecutor with the white fur and pocket watch. “We are here today, my honor,” he stated, as his hand swept over the courtroom, revealing all the people of Wonderland, “we are here to charge the Cheshire Cat as being an absolute failure.”

“Failure?” asked the mad judge, as if it were a word he’d never heard before. “Prey tell, what is a failure?”

“It is someone who has not made any meaningful contribution to society. Someone who hasn’t amounted to anything, and never will.” The prosecutor’s tone was emphatic. He kept glancing at his watch, though, as if he had another important meeting to attend.

“Your honor, forgive me. I’m in quite a rush. I have another client to represent soon.”

“Of course, of course,” said the genial judge. “We wouldn’t want you to be late, now would we?”

The rabbit hopped off his seat and trotted down the aisle of the courtroom towards the exit. The residents of Wonderland erupted in confused murmurs.

“Order! Order, please,” said the judge, as if he was inviting everyone over for tea. “Well, now, Mr. Cat,” said the judge with a mischievous smile. “How do you plead?”

Suddenly, the cat, who had up until now been invisible, appeared in his bright pink glory with a beauteous smile arching across his face.

“My lawyer will represent me, your honor.”

The doors of the courtroom slammed wide open, as the Cheshire Cat’s lawyer made a grand entrance. It was none other than the white rabbit, making his way down the aisle, as if he was a very important man of heft. One foot pounded the floor, then the other, like a cowboy ready to start a shoot-out. When he made it to the seat beside the cat, he hopped on and said, “We plead Not Guilty, sir.”

“Well, I never…,” chuckled the judge. “What is going on here? You cannot represent the prosecution AND the defence, Mr. Rabbit.”

The courtroom could tell the judge was trying very hard to sound serious, but was really more tickled than tart.

To Be Continued…

The Wrong Rabbit Hole

I’ve always wanted to make other people happy, to shield them from the kind of depression I have experienced for more than a decade. But is it possible that I’ve been going about it all wrong? I mean, if there’s one thing I’m an expert in, it’s what it feels like to be depressed. I never thought that expertise would mean something to anybody else. Maybe it can, though.

For me, depression is the dark rabbit hole that Alice never fell through. It has no ending, only temporary landing ledges for brief respite from that constant feeling of falling. It’s self-hate, filling up your insides like bile, making you feel like you’re always on the verge of bursting. It’s the feeling of being a tree in the forest who fears it will fall, but no one will ever be around to hear it. And so, if that happens, does the fall even count? Does the tree even really exist?

It’s the world closing in on you till you feel you can’t breathe. It’s always looking for a way to escape your own mind. It’s wishing you were a different person, a happier person, living a different life. It’s the feeling that everyone will sooner or later tire of your negativity and leave you. It’s a haziness in your head, and a desire to give in to that haziness, and sleep all the time. Warm, joyous sleep, where, when you dream, your every next step is unpredictable. You feel more alive when you’re dreaming, than when you’re awake.

It’s feeling like you’re not good enough for this world. Even when there was obviously some Power that specially created you. But it must have been a mistake, or perhaps, this hell is punishment for your behavior in a past life.

Depression is falling into a pit and feeling like there’s no way out. Ever.

What does depression feel like for you?