Coffee is not enough.
There is no day or night. Only periods of light. And dark. Sleep comes between kids and school and a third shift-job. Sleep apnea without the CPAP—multiple trips to the bathroom for no reason, smoking cigarettes in the back yard until the entire pack is gone, fits of gasping for oxygen. The wife upstairs. The couch is hard and never enough money. The two year old refuses to drink the powdered milk from the food bank. The food bank that you did not know your sister-in-law worked at. Your big-assed better than thou sister-in-law who sits in that small, cramped office with her government forms asking questions about nutrition, and handing recipes for pumpkin strudel pie. A week ago you bought three pumpkins and took the fucking time to carve three fucking jack-o-lanterns with your eight year old daughter. You took the pumpkin innards and made cookies and stew and bread and meatless pumpkin burgers and roasted the fucking damn seeds because you didn’t really want to carve the jack-o-lanterns, but the pumpkins were the cheapest thing in the grocery store that week.
What the hell does your sister-in-law know about cooking pumpkins?
“How’s the wife?” she asks.
“Fine,” you say. “Everything’s fine.”