“Robin” 03.29.24

In 2013, during my stay in the first psychiatric hospital I visited, I bestowed upon everyone a fairytale name. Somehow, this made it easier to remember their real ones. Now I only remember their false names, save for a few. I named my best friend “Robin.” That is not his real name, but out of respect I will not share it. I do remember his name, though. He was not an imaginary friend, but a true one.

Robin and I spent many hours together, drawing and coloring. We spoke about complicated issues in our lives; had similar obstacles. Masks were not necessary, and truth flowed freely between us. Above all, we were good company for one another. I found it new and exciting to be understood and touched by the absence of judgement. It can be lonely in the “real” world, surrounded by people who cannot possibly see through our eyes.

For the past few days, a robin has been visiting the same patch of grass outside my kitchen window. I believe he is checking on me. Or, he is catching an early worm. He reminded me of my Robin. A warm feeling spreads in my heart when I think about him, followed by heartache. I miss him.

The closest friends I have ever encountered are unreachable. We didn’t share contact information, so sometimes I feel a little lost. I don’t know if Robin is stable, in a hospital, alive, or living a beautiful life. I can only hope he is happy, wherever he dwells. I may never see him again, but in my forest of friends, the trees sway together.