please make me laugh a sincere laugh, one that hasn’t been forced out of the depths of my very being, pulled through the layers of fear and lies. work has been a semi-relief, at least a distraction from discouraging thoughts. send me on errands that do not require the tapping at a keyboard. take me out for a guilt-free spin. tell me jokes and give me a hug so i will feel safe enough to smile and cry. this isn’t self-pity, this is a battle. this isn’t laziness, this is a struggle. i no longer welcome the sunrise, but instead wish the day would remain a perpetual sunset, with no promise of tomorrow but not yet transitioning into night. look over your shoulder as you walk away and throw me a smile. soften your eyes when you tell me to take care. i want to drink in the joy of others, capture a glimpse of real happiness so i can keep it for my own pleasure and look back at it on days when i sleep with the lights on or almost crash into a divider on the road. it doesn’t seem real, but i’m holding on all the same because it’s my only hope, refuge, fortress, strength. see the helplessness in my shoulders. you asked, and i said i was maybe better. you asked, and i said i was otherwise fine. it’s good enough for now.