i took a leave of absence at the beginning of the month. i'd been getting sick, and i thought that solid rest would get me back to the office sooner than a smattering of sick days. after four visits to the doctor, i spent a week in southern california.

reacted horribly to medication, gagged and twitched through most waking hours. left the house twice for coffee with my father, once with mom to buy flowers for my sister's birthday, once to the movies. lost ten pounds. came back.

more doctors' visits, nurses' apologies for side effects, eventually new meds. long talks with joe, another (much better) trip south for joanna's high school graduation. more sleep, a hair cut, some world cup games. we got back last night.

the good news is that i think i know what's up: june has been an intensely physical version of head-things i've ignored for too long. i'm squirming with envy as jake packs up his life and moves to pennsylvania for grad school - i assumed i'd spend my twenties mastering new cities and new day jobs, but i've made excuses for staying here and exhausting the novelty of my stint at work. i want to learn and explore, and that seems unlikely here.

paul, in turn, has the self-discipline i lack. i know that i want an MFA, that i want to publish, and i haven't done any of the writing to get there. i sit on the porch with a notebook for hours on end - nothing. that needs to change.

the few people who know about my month of shit have told me that i'm in a terrible state for decisions, that i should wait and think. i've spent three weeks looking for gold at the bottom of my navel and hoping to feel good about going outside. bored as hell. suspicious of faux epiphanies. throwing up a lot.

the compromise seems to be my mother's place in davis. i could look for new work, save money, steel myself for a bigger move without friendly faces at the end. getting the hell out of san francisco seems important - i need to be sure that the place is poisonous for me, or that i've blamed it for my mental state without cause.

that's it, so far. i'm very unhappy, and kind of scared, but things are going to change.

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