How to Ruin a Day
A ruined day’s a grueling march, a slog with glass in both feet, a torture I look back on and say, “Wait. Today was actually fine. No tragedies, no emergencies, not even any major hassles. No lasting harm, no serious losses. Even the weather was good. No real trouble except that I had to keep poking the day with a stick, poking and poking till the day and I both bled.
A ruined day is not a bad day. Bad days just happen, from time to time or very often, as you already know. For example, if you find out your beloved aunt died a month before, but you didn’t matter enough for anyone to tell you, and now the only person around to comfort you is your estranged husband’s new boyfriend. That is a bad day.
Bad days are fairly straight-forward. Basically you just have to survive and avoid biting, screaming and crying, as well as suicide and homicide, life’s two great temptations. A bad day is not your fault. Grace is indicative of spiritual muscle, but even if you cuss and wail, nobody really blames you.
Whereas, a ruined day is a perfectly good day I went ahead and spoiled, spat on and stomped to death. Because (for example) today was the day I decided to become successful -- spiritually, practically, and in bed.
Dammit, even after it was clear I’d never be a pragmatic winner, even after it was very obvious that I was toast of nothing, I had to keep hammering away at the “in bed” part. I couldn’t have just gone to the Peach Festival. I couldn’t have just watched the squirrels. Oh, no -- I had to be a winner in, you know, all the ways I decided I had to be -- in a profoundly spiritual way, and also for the good of all mankind and also like a porn star, you know, overall. Pope Francis with a ten inch penis and, if that wasn’t the way it worked out, well, I was going to war.
I ruined a day. There was nothing wrong with the day, but I ruined it. And I’m not even talking about an plodding, employed, citified, file-cabinet-kind-of-a-day, but a truly first-rate day -- with trees, squirrels, cats, cherry juice -- to say nothing of the Peach Festival, which I missed. I could have just eaten peaches but, no, I had to be somebody, and I had to be somebody today.
It’s a very terrible thing to ruin a day. Like a dog it just looks back at you mournfully, as if to ask how you could ever possibly do such a thing to such a perfectly good dog of a day. It’s inexcusable, it’s excruciating. I mean, seriously, how many green-leafed, idle, pain-free, fully-abled days could possibly be left? I ruined one. I couldn’t let it be. I had to make it something. Like a parent who vetoes every outfit the kid wants to wear, until finally the kid bursts into tears and shouts, Never mind! I’ll stay home!, goes into her room and slams the door so hard the whole house shakes.
It’s a terrible thing, to ruin a day. I must learn to let the day be.