It's been a hard month. And while the obvious reason for this hardship is my unemployment, that only scratches the surface.

There was a funeral in New York a few weeks ago: her death was unforeseen, shocking, and terrifyingly tragic. My brother and I made the drive from Holland to Albany in a little over 10 hours. While I appreciate being home, I never want it this way. I saw distant family members in my family church for the second time in as many years. The valley was overgrown, like someone had forgotten to mow the lawn for a few months. Vines were covering the power lines, and little marshes had sprung up in the middle of subdivisions. It was one of the quickest trips I've ever made back while driving, and it was a bit of a shock to the system to make that drive twice in 48 hours. Monday morning, I was back on the train home, and I've been spending time the last few weeks trying not to think about it. There is too much static in my head to dissolve this into my consciousness.

The likeliest cause of this static is the depression that slammed me the week after I got fired. It usually hangs back in the scenery, but I guess getting fired triggered an episode, or an event, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. For the first time in so many years I was going to get my head checked out; I had built up my courage, come to terms with things, and was ready. These plans quickly disintegrated under the lapse of my health insurance. The stress of the job receded, and that was nice, but I could have done without getting all shitty like this. I find myself trying to write something, anything, and watching the cursor blink, and cry at the futility of this. I develop these grand plans in my head, only to wear them around my ankles. Ideas splinter and disappear into the air the second they leave my mouth. I thought that I was done with this ages ago. I thought that I had my epiphany on a couch, in an apartment I have long ago moved out of. I thought that I had tackled the enigma that was driving me to scream from the rooftops. It has become painfully clear that I was mistaken.

My mother-in-law is in the hospital, having her replacement knee replaced once again. While things are going fine, it has raised the stress level around the house ever so slightly. We spend evenings driving back and forth from the south suburbs, visiting her in the hospital. Last week, I made the trip down there by myself to see her, and it was a good visit. While I may think that she's crazy, I do love her to little pieces. It felt a little strange being there without my wife with me, like I hadn't earned my privileges. I wonder if my wife would feel the same way driving around Castleton by herself.

I'm not sleeping well. My insomnia has come in two forms: staring at the clock as the minutes tick by, or waking due to the necessary pouncing of a kitten. Either way, I could feel the bags under my eyes growing larger with each passing day, so I took to sleeping in an hour each morning. This has turned into the inevitable two hours every morning, which is keeping me from doing all the things that I want to do in a day.

The worst part is that I feel terribly selfish talking about all this, as I'm the one that doesn't have to go to work. My wife spends all day at a job she hates, but I'm the one that gets to sit on his fat ass and do fuck all. I mentioned this discrepancy to her, but she replies that I'll be putting her through school again next year, and I should take the time now to relax before I have to be the one working. This logic makes sense, but I still feel a twinge of guilt when I don't feel like the luckiest fucker in the whole damn apartment.

I'm glad this one is over. More glad than I know how to put into words. All I need to do is put it all together now.