Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This

Sunday was one of those days most sane people prefer to skip. You may know the kind, the ones when some Monster of Gunk deep inside you decides to rise up and disgorge purplish-black sludge all over the otherwise harmless world. Though absolutely no outside circumstance has changed, you know as soon as you open your eyes that the only possible way to survive the day is to never get out of bed.

gunk monsterPerhaps the uber-sane among us find some use in these days. Maybe the Dalai Lama wakes up, spies the gunk monster, and says, “Ah, another opportunity for instruction!” But I like to think he wakes up, bangs the heel of his hand against his forehead, and says, “Oy!” (Because everyone knows the Dalai Lama is secretly Jewish.)

I don’t know of a way to enjoy these days. I’m not particularly sure how to be grateful for them. I am certain they exist, for some more often than for others, and I know it’s important to recognize and share that existence. Otherwise we start to think everyone else’s insides are full of daffodils and butterflies and we alone are capable of spewing such ugliness for so little reason.

These days do end. On Tuesday, I spent the evening joyfully eating steak and drinking very good wine with my aunt and uncle. On Sunday, I could neither feel joy nor quite believe in its possibility. The best I could do was to remember that nothing lasts; this too shall pass, and God, though obviously absent and clearly inept, is in charge. Remembering does not yield great comfort during gunk monster and me bonding time, but it keeps the bottom from falling out of things. Comfort comes only later, when the world has righted itself through no effort of my own and the blue sky and sunshine seem once again to have some relation to me.

16 thoughts on “Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This

  1. No coincidence that you were laid-low on a Sunday. In my part of the world they’ve got a name for it: the “Sunday morbs”. To keep the morbs at bay, (a) leave your place, (b) go somewhere where there are lots of people, (c) sneer at the happy lot until you’ve suddenly joined them 🙂

    • Johnny Cash has a song about Sunday morbs! We listened to it while painting. I tend to avoid people for fear of being toxic, but I can see how the opposite might be more useful than wallowing.

  2. The entire month of August was one of “those days” for me. For no particular reason, at times, I wanted to scream “I hate you I hate you I hate you” to every person I saw. Fuzzy, pink dog bellies made me realize that there are good things in the world. Chocolate fed the pouty brat-child inside me, making her shut the hell up for a while. Planning a wonderful weekend away in October gave me a sense of purpose and something to look forward to. Ultimately, though, it was realizing that nothing changes for the better when I feel “poopy” that made me get out of bed most days, clean or organize something, maybe go to work and make progress toward my ever-looming ginormous deadlines, and appreciate the wonderful life I’ve been granted. I wasn’t born in Africa or the Middle East. I wasn’t starved into insurmountable health problems as a child. I wasn’t raped or disfigured by inhumane rebels by order of some psychotic despot. I’ve never been forced to do anything against my free will. The stupid choices I made were all mine. I was able to choose this path for myself, and it’s so much better than for so many people in the world. When all else fails and the grumpies are still upon you, try this recipe for happiness: make some heat & serve chocolate pudding (not the cold instant crap) and, while it’s still piping hot, pour it over a scoop of exceptional vanilla ice cream. Cuddle up in a blanket with your favorite “junk-food for your brain,” a novel you’d never admit to reading or an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, and enjoy every delicious, creamy bite.

  3. Did I? Thank you, I laughed a lot, and maybe remembering the laughter will help me with my next gunk monster day. Glad you are out of it.

  4. Thank you Rachel, I thought I was the only one who had days like that. I’m jealous of your steak. Did you get the “Bull’s Eye” steak?

  5. Gunk Monsters inhabited my life from early on until I “grew out of it” around age 11. Only to return in my 30’s. I still won’t drink coffee thanks to the Gunk Monster! Like that name Rachel, it says it all.

  6. Have you seen the animated movie “Spirited Away”? Not exactly relevant, but the gunk monster there is awe-inspiring.

  7. I am also having the very grown-up, philosophical response of stomping “No! No! Rachel no have gunk monster days!!” at the universe.

  8. But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
    Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
    With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
    O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

    (Gerard Manly Hopkins, ‘Carrion Comfort’)

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