It’s Monday morning, the beginning of that day whose child just learned to tie its bootlace, according to Lady Madonna. That may be just about the only good thing that can be said about Monday—though the Mama’s and the Papa’s sang that it was so good to them.
I’ve always felt that there was a bit of irony or sarcasm in Monday, Monday’s lyrics, but perhaps I’m projecting my own feelings onto it. I need to be cautious about drawing unwarranted conclusions. That’s all too easy a trap into which to fall, to insert one’s own feelings into the mind of another, so to speak, just because one’s feelings are so strong that they feel that they must be there. As I’ve said here before, and not too long ago (I think), just because you infer it doesn’t mean it was implied.
Still, my own sentiment toward Mondays is rather negative. Not that yesterday was particularly great or anything—actually, I was rather stressed out by my laundry situation, since that is the only day on which I can do my laundry, and there were some impediments around which I had to go to do it, which made me feel very uncomfortable and rather angry. But I did nap a fair amount during the day, and I resisted eating until after 6, which is hardest to do on a day off.
Once it was time to eat, after I had gone most of the day without eating, I was frankly not very hungry, which is one of the great things about that process. Nearly all (and possibly in fact, all) of the times in my life when I’ve been most present and effective and when I’ve been sharpest and most successful have been when I had a habit of not eating breakfast or lunch. (I wrote a bit about this the other day, I think—how when one’s stomach is full, biology wants to make one slow down and digest, and to go into storage mode.) I mean to continue this process. I can already tell that it’s helping after only about three days, because it’s already easier to do my pull-ups in the morning.
When I was younger—so much younger than today*—I used to like Mondays, which was unusual among the people I knew. I almost always liked school, because I always liked to learn new things. It was a joy I absorbed from my parents and my older siblings, and it was not a case of “do as I say, not as I do”. Both of my parents clearly loved education and learning and thinking, and had always encouraged it in us. So I liked going to school.
School was where I had friends, too. I’ve always needed to have a venue in which to socialize; I can’t just make friends in purely social settings. But when there were a bunch of us there anyway, with automatic starting points about which to converse—classwork, for instance—that made the process much easier. Also, it helped that we didn’t move during my childhood. By which I mean, we didn’t buy another house and go to live there rather than in the one we’d had previously. Clearly we moved, otherwise how would I even have gone to school?
It was easier to make friends then, when we were all the same age, and we all had a good deal in common because we were all in school and in classes. And by the time I got to high school, that usual place of such peer-based evil and whatnot, I had a core group of friends, and I was in the orchestra, and I was already known to be a smart guy (along with my friends). We were not in the least afraid of the stupid people**, and we certainly didn’t give a crap if they didn’t think we were cool.
We were the cool ones, as far as we were concerned, and that made it so. Coolness is in the eye of the beholder, after all, and from an objective, outsider point of view, all the humans are just funny-looking, mostly hairless apes with hilarious and absurd and stupid habits and peculiar ways of doing things.
“This—all this—was in the olden time, long ago,” as Poe wrote in The Haunted Palace. Not that I’m any more worried about what so-called cool people or other fashion victims think now. When one is an adult, such people are all the more obviously laughable and even worthy of pity, not realizing to what degree they are merely analogues of bower birds and peacocks, strutting and fretting and trying to outdo one another, not even realizing they’re motivated by old, old, instincts and drives for reproductive competition and dominance hierarchies that no longer fully apply.
Life would be a tragedy if it weren’t so comical—and it would be a comedy if it weren’t so tragic.
Oh, by the way, I missed another chance at a palindromic recording number this weekend. We approached it steadily, and got close enough that I thought, “If we get another deal in a few minutes, we may just hit this one.” Alas, there then followed a longish stretch of at least an hour before the next sale, and when it arrived, we were well past the target. So—to no sensible person’s surprise—the universe is not yet sending me any messages that it wants me to survive.
That’s fine. I feel pretty much the same way about it. So, there!
With that, I’d better get heading to the bus stop for another oh-so-glorious day of productive work, of which Ayn Rand would surely be proud and toward which she would feel awe, if she weren’t dead***. I hope you all have a decent day and a good week. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family around you, cherish them. They provide a strong positive counterweight to a lot of the negatives of the world.
*It’s kind of funny that John Lennon wrote that when he was in his mid twenties. Just how much younger could he have been? I guess it’s all relative, and the perceived duration of any given time span becomes shorter and shorter as we get older and older, as each new passing moment is a smaller and smaller fraction of our total lives.
**To be fair to them, I don’t think there were many bullying stupid (is that redundant?) people in our school. People who were badly adjusted and too troubled, or too “cool”, tended to get involved with using and sometimes dealing drugs, and otherwise getting in legal trouble, and often ended up dropping out, which is rather heartbreaking. I don’t know how many such people died young and unhappy, but it was a sadly large number. According to some statistics I read, only 80% of the people who started high school in my city finished it, and only about 4 or 5% of them finished college. These statistics are not true now, of course—they don’t even apply. My old high school and junior high and elementary schools are all closed, and are falling into ruin, as is much of the Detroit area. It’s very sad. For a long time, it was a fine and impressive place, as were those schools.
***That was sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious.