The Sum of Five

“You’ll be able to look at a view from a high place, and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling.”  –Matt Haig

Matt Haig gets it.  This is one of his descriptions for what it’s like to be on the other side of depression.  I’d add from my own experience that, you’ll also be able to drive past concrete barriers on the highway and not consider whether the current velocity of your vehicle would be sufficient to kill you on impact.

I’ve been writing for days, in between shifts at the most fucking depressing job of my adult life.  I’ve come to the realization that being unemployed may actually be better than being grossly under-employed.  I’ve put in a lot of work not to be one of the substance abusing, emotionally volatile, or apathetic people I currently work with.  That whole idea that you become the sum of your five closest peers?  It’s real.  It should be taken seriously.  I’m dropping off my notice in the morning.

This weekend I am going backpacking with my best friend.  We’re sleeping at 5,200′ in sub-freezing weather with precipitation in the forecast –exactly what I need to feel alive.  It’s also the energy I need for the three interviews I have lined up next week.

Also on the agenda is finding a writing meetup of some kind.  I need to up my game, and find people who can help me whittle twenty pages of shit into a narrative.  The muse has given me gems, but I have no idea how to set them.

I’m also determined to go on a date next week.  I’m tired of being at home wallowing, feeling like a loser, because I do not possess my very own mass of sheet metal, wire, and upholstery in the driveway.  I just traveled the entire East Coast on foot, surely I can walk to a coffee shop?  Surely I can find a lady who’d be willing to meet me there too.  On the list of life needs at the moment, making a beautiful woman laugh ranks pretty highly.

Speaking of beautiful women, my mother entered hospice last week.  Somewhat miraculously, her appetite has come back full-swing and so has much of her speech capacity.  One minute she’s in acute kidney failure, and I’m being asked to update her advanced directive, the next we’re back home, and she’s downing Tostitos like they’re, well…  Tostitos are good enough on their own.  I’m just glad it was three days in the hospital instead of thirteen.  Hospice care is the highest level of home healthcare there is.  The idea is to reduce even three days in the hospital down to none, and it’s amazing the myriad of things they can address at the house.

I can’t wait to write this weekend’s trip report, and post some pictures of mountains again.  For now here’s a picture of one of my sister’s early paintings of the mountains.


And a picture of mi madre snuggled up in a quilt sewn by my other sister (creative bunch my family).


Till next time…

One thought on “The Sum of Five

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  1. Hi Ryan. First I wish you a fabulous hike this weekend. Thank you for also posting an update about your Mom. So thrilled to her she is doing better. Please give her my love. As for you meeting a beautiful woman, it will happen. You a good person. Love you my nephew.


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