Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Lazy Day

Not today, mind you. I'm talking about the sort of day that laughs, or perhaps sneers, at the idea of writing much of anything. I'm talking about yesterday.

A lazy day where only laziness precludes self-loathing, laziness as aggressor and defense mechanism against itself, like an all-day tug of war between right and left arms, each faltering in equal degree, strength bleeding away as though ticking.

Another wasted day in a lifetime of too few days. Another day of waiting for nothing identifiable. But I'll know it when I see it, right? Of course, even were that true, there's simply no chance of seeing it from a disheveled living room that smells of cigarette smoke and kitty litter all but used up. Stale memories crowding the corners, caught in cobwebs, whispering, a modest panic, an avowed intention to linger, torment for torment's sake.

The sun sets but it is no darker in the apartment than the afternoon was. There are things, regions, that even the sun cannot illuminate.

A day of realizing, too late, that the lights are off and the apartment bed-time obscure. The cats stir, look about, hold my eyes with palpable disapproval, then resume their chins to paws postures; their lot is to sleep without regret, to accede to the passage of time without ambivalence, but they know my lot differs, and fault me my inactivity as I might fault their industry were I to come home one evening to find them washing dishes.

How late until it's all right to start a movie? And when my laziness stalls even past that time, until suddenly the movie will run beyond Saturday Night Live, and who cares about either -- movie or SNL -- at the end of the day? Which is of course why they are the perfect (in)activities to crown a house-bound day: purposeless, not in any way mistakable for worthy the time they occupy like cultural squatters emitting a fog of ignorance and apathy, entertainments, we glibly call them, and the church a few blocks away chimes away another hour, the shadows curl and suggest with protean malice an end of days.

But of course then follows sleep, blissful overdue sleep, 1:30 AM because to go to bed earlier would be to leave the day incomplete and risk its perseverence into the next . . . better to exhaust one's ennui in one agonizing sitting and will the next day to begin on a different note.

And of course it has. It usually does. Real life rarely allows for the abject squandering of two days running. But the sting remains, like an ache in the back of my throat suggesting tears barely restrained, and I welcome it: only when it fades will I find myself once again stewing in a stinking pool of my own ennui, once again traversing this occasional obligation to stagnation.

Taciturn. Today.


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