Incoming melancholia

I’ve been sinking lower and lower, and I kept attributing it to semester’s start, because I’m an idiot. But no, it’s just that time of year.

[Do not read if you are not up for some serious overshare.]

This Friday, August 19th, is a bad day. It is always a bad day. Every year I forget, or block it out, but it creeps up on me and I find myself engaging in all sorts of queer and manic behaviors, unsure quite why I’m doing what I do. This will be six years since Rob. This year, I am the same age he was when he killed himself. I have attached all kinds of significance to this age in the past, but now that I’ve hit it, I’m mostly just relieved to be in a relatively stable place studying things that interest me. There is something deeply odd about being 29 during exam year, though, with my lists about trauma theory and suicidology. Or perhaps ritualizing this will be the impetus I need to wrangle the memoir into something viable.

I’m running every morning and calorie counting and monitoring my sleep schedule and cutting back on booze in the hopes that at least my neuroses will be healthful ‘til they pass. Also, alcohol’s a depressant and fuck I do not need that this week. I will likely be unable to work much Friday, if previous years are any indication, so I need to have my syllabus done and some stories sent out by then. I dunno. I want a ritual or something—a gravesite to visit or a hike to go on or a golf course to play. In Chicago, I have no ritual, other than the usual random collapsing in tears throughout the day, which is apparently beyond my control.

I’m a half-country away from where it all happened, and I’d be an alien to myself if I could meet the self I was six years ago. I keep waiting to get over it. And it does get a little easier every year goes by. Maybe I will get dressed up and take myself on a reading date, bring my exam books and think think-y thoughts about suicide in a public space where I’m less likely to cry. Or maybe I’ll go for a walk by the lake—Rob loved the outdoors, and those remain some of my favorite memories of him. None of that feels quite right, though. I might catalogue more of the Rob-box. Or perhaps I’ll just write. That might be the cleanest way to move through. God I hate this time of year.


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