On Friday two weeks ago I was supposed to be on a plane to Australia, beginning my master’s degree and my new life 10,000 miles away. Instead, I was lying in an operating room in my hometown, having a necrotic bone removed from the ball of my right foot.
You get a very different perspective on life when it's 2 a.m. and you're cradling your cramping bowels as they play the part of Old Faithful geyser for the night (i.e. spewing scalding sulfuric water every 44 to 125 minutes).
Picture this: I’m sitting at a table just outside the action in a bar in Darling Harbour, drunk on one too-expensive vodka soda and one-too-many cups of pregame goon. My head’s spinning. I rest it on my hand to prevent it from swiveling off my neck.
Old Crazy was a fixture of Liberty Park, a landmark as recognizable and immutable as the mermaid fountain in the square.
“They’re watching,” he’d say with faraway eyes and a discordant tone of immediacy.
When my non-depressed self comes back into my life as if nothing has happened, it feels disingenuous. She tries to connect with me by asking me playful questions like, “So, how’s the love life?” It’s a universal icebreaker, a way for her to learn something juicy about my life. But the appropriate response doesn’t exist for a person whose romantic undertakings have been abysmal. The dating pool is bleak enough to depress a normal person and dating while depressed is another enterprise altogether.
"Look at his green dress!" Ava says, shoving the coloring book toward her grandma.
"Her green dress," Mary says, inspecting the leaves of a raspberry plant with knobby fingers.
I shoot my mother a look.
We’re thirteen years old and about to smoke pot for the first time. We’re at my house because the woods in my backyard stretch for acres, uninterrupted. The same woods where we learned how to build a campfire in Cub Scouts all those years ago.