A long time ago, crying at the kitchen table, my friend's mother confessed to his sister about her recent suicide attempt. His sister told him and later he told me how his mother had sobbed, "Please don't tell your father." As far as I know, nobody ever did.
I only met her once that I recall. All I really remember is that she was pretty. She seemed happy.
There was a moment somewhere on that porch with our cigarettes, telling our secrets, that the ever-present free-floating panic (anxiety is not a strong enough word for my twenties) lurched across my consciousness and coalesced somehow into an idea - our parents were just as ill-equipped and emotionally immature as we were. Nobody was steering the ship. We were all going down.
It had a revelatory quality to it, but it's the oldest idea ever, right? We're all going to die. OMGWTFBBQ.
A coworker talks about pain, anxiety, medication and children. She says she's the only one in the room who is qualified to make whatever claims I'm not really hearing because I have a podcast playing in my other ear. She's the only one who's ever had a baby, she says, so she's the authority in this room. I laugh and say you don't know.