May 25, 2011

No one pressed 'play.'

(Excerpt from For the Birds Trapped in Airports


It’s one of those Wednesdays, I think. Well, I’m pretty sure.

It’s dark and rainy but not because the sun hasn’t come up, but because it’s one of those Wednesdays. It may stay like this all day. There are remnants of last night's thunder still chatting, but not loudly. These kinds of Wednesdays provide vivid memories, because no Wednesday like this has gone according to its normal routine. It cancels something out, in childhood it was recess but maybe that set the tone for the rest of life. Something seems to have taken the day off on these kinds of Wednesdays.

I remember wondering why I had to go to school as a kid on Wednesdays like this, with the day starting with the battle of TVs - ours and our parents’: Sesame Street vs. Traffic Reports. Soggy cereal, wet shoes, squinty eyes, curiosity for where the sun might be and who forgot to press the play button on the world VCR. There’s nothing I’d rather do than be inside, but enjoy it for the right reasons. Wednesdays like this remind you how to appreciate Wednesdays like this. The rain will pick up sometimes, then it’ll slow down, then pick up but you won’t be paying that much attention to it because it won’t matter. But what remains the same until tomorrow is that this kind of Wednesday isn’t like other normal days.

I have memories of Wednesdays like this right out of high school, too. I was working as a janitor for the summer, cleaning things that were dirty and doing lots of latex-based eggshell-white wall painting with stereotypical ocean blue (not real ocean blue) “Go Spartans!” in random places that would maximize inspiration and pep, or sometimes banisters with black lead paint that the boss would tell me to not let anyone know that he had me do that. But I remember a Wednesday like this where it was all inside, painting a classroom and not really listening to the radio that was playing; instead just thinking and listening to my brain go off to other places, like the paint spreading from roller nap to cinder, actually considering my thoughts and allowing myself to get somewhere with my sense of understanding for something. That Wednesday was one of the first times I think I was really self-aware, or something. Maybe it was just one of the first steps in the direction of life that has brought me from that kind of Wednesday to this kind of Wednesday. But to be honest with you, I still don’t know what this kind of Wednesday is like.

I mean, yeah it just started, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those Wednesdays.