the past few weeks have been a haze. booze and sex and pills and hospitals and bad news and more bad news. vision going in and out, stumbling through white halls, waiting for someone to prove to me that i’m not going blind. i must not be–since the clouds cleared once I swallowed everything they gave me, once I took that shot like a champ even though it ached for hours. and he, his taller body that somehow has a face like mine but younger, he is walking in white halls without me.

i’m sorry. my writing all feels cheap these days– either incapable of grappling with the severity of experience, or petty for addressing some young folly in light of graver matters. my younger brother has been in and out of psych wards for months, before and after someone attempted to murder him and my father. my cousin dropped dead, suddenly, in her 30s, leaving two young kids behind to be tended by an alcoholic ex-husband. my parents’ marriage has been falling further and further apart, each into their own private thoughts and barnacled resentments.

I know it’s in poor taste to be so direct, and so self-pitying. I blush especially when I acknowledge that, while these things affect me profoundly, they are not truly my troubles. Despite my well-wishing, these labors are not my life.

And my life is, really, not so difficult. The love of my life is in off-season, I’m broke all the time, and from time to time my eyes and head are overwhelmed by pain, but all in all my life is fine. it’s better than it has been at many, perhaps even most, points in the past. I’m just struggling a bit.

“Do you realize how important this next year is for you?” she asked me.