Part of my "back to work" routine is my monthly haircut. I get this done at "Just Haircuts" by barber Joe Glover. Joe does good work, is a source of great conversation, and his prices are very reasonable.
Today the conversation was rather somber. I learned that a mutual friend had attempted suicide last week, putting a .44 Remington magnum revolver to his head. Our friend's aim wasn't quite true, the bullet passed just below the brain pan, doing no damage to his brain but a tremendous amount of damage to his face. He apparently underwent 9 hours of surgery just a couple of days ago, and it's unknown whether or not he'll lose his right eye. I was shocked by the news. Our friend is an athletic, handsome man who is well employed and to all outward appearances has the world by the tail. He is one of the last people on earth I would suspect is so depressed as to contemplate suicide.
But, it is still April and in my personal opinion, April is the most grim month of the year. My wife died in April, two years ago. The Columbine High School atrocity was in April and true to form the Virginia Tech Massacre occurred during the month of April. The death toll in the Iraq War was exceptionally high this month.
Here in Alaska, April generally marks break-up, also known as "mud season." Typically during April the snow and ice is melting quickly. The weather is warm enough that we want to do things outdoors, but the ground remains frozen, green-up is still weeks away and all the trash and junk that has remained hidden from view all winter can no longer be ignored. In fact, it is most astounding in its volume.
I try to maintain a healthy attitude during April, and I make it a point to keep myself busy with activities that I generally enjoy. Nonetheless, the onset of April is a time of dread to me and by the time the month has passed I'm more than ready to bid it adieu for another year. Here's looking forward to a great month of May.