Where the Ribbon Ends
I’m watching a Morrissey concert DVD when Luke comes freewheeling out of the bathroom and into the kitchen wall. The DVD is standard viewing in our house, on rotation with a Blur documentary and, for the laddish transference, one on Supergrass. I have a number of new observations ready for when Luke joins me on the couch: Morrissey scratching himself behind the ear with his tongue out like a dog; Morrissey grabbing the meat of his breasts as he sings, “Tonight you presume too much.”
I rewind and pause after each event arrives on the screen and wait for Luke to emerge. But the shower runs longer. Twenty minutes, thirty min- utes. I think to knock, to call out. Then Luke appears in the doorway, wrapped loosely in a towel and staring at the floor, his dripping ankles trembling, appearing weak as marsh reeds. He leans ever so slightly to the left, his ankles deliberate, he careers shoulder first into the white panelled wall of our duplex.
By the time I’ve jumped up to catch him, he’s babbling. “I was on a ship. The ocean’s down the plughole.” His eyes are wide. I hold him steady. “Come on, come on. I’ve got you.” This is the first I’ve seen of Luke’s great depression. I know of it; we’ve discussed doctors and therapies. But our mental health histories are