It started in April.
I had taken three puzzles to Louisiana, each a thousand pieces. At first, I thought I was just going to put a single one together to pass the time when I couldn't concentrate on reading or a movie and didn't have the motivation to go out.
By the time I wrote this post (on June 12th), I had completed twelve more.
This isn't normal behavior for me. I tend to do puzzles only when I'm extra-anxious, because they allow me to focus on something other than the things rolling around in my head, with the added bonus of bringing order to a little corner of the world.
At the outset, I wasn't aware of how bad my anxiety had gotten. But subconsciously, I must have known, because I felt compelled to take pictures of each project, which were consequently date- and time-stamped by my camera roll, as if I was documenting the duration and frequency of the attacks.
Looking back, I think that the inevitability of reaching my *cough*sputter*cough*th birthday contributed to this, as well as some situations at work. So why, then, have I continued past my birthday and into my summer break?
Whatever the case, the thirteenth puzzle was an unlucky one. Mom and I worked diligently to finish it one afternoon only to discover that a solitary piece out of the thousand was missing. Appropriately, it had disappeared from an image of Sherlock Holmes. Maybe he's the only one who can solve this mystery.