All the sleep I deferred last weekend on my cross-country drive is making its presence felt as an absence, a rip in the fabric of my consciousness. I'll be doing something, keen on getting the task done, only to forget what the point is. The result is kind of discount Existentialism, a provocation to think about the futility of human endeavor.
I can't fully blame -- or praise -- my exhaustion for that philosophical mindset, though. I had a realization in the middle of last week, after getting back from my drive and before the grandparent-retrieval mission had commenced, that most of the mental doors I'd hoped to leave open a crack have been nailed shut for good from the outside. Suddenly, I found myself in a corridor without any obvious exit.
After the time I spent with my parents yesterday and today, however, I am starting to believe that my only hope of making progress is to work through their situation with single-minded devotion. I'm going to have some time on my hands, once this Semester From Hell comes to an end. Sometimes I've fantasized about using it to pursue new relationships, ones that won't leave me feeling so empty and used. But the reality is that I'm going to be in my parents' apartment, asking my father's endless questions about where things are, helping my wheelchair-bound Mom to use the bathroom without falling, and doing the dishes at their place when I should be home grading.