People at the office I work at are constantly talking about days of the week.
“How’s it going?” “Well, it’s Tuesday.” What could that possibly even mean?
Of course it’s just generic, impersonal office talk. But where some people consider talking about the weather to be so boring as to be almost rude, at least weather can be unpredictable, can upturn lives, can be a force. This discussion of the nuances of what day today falls on and their signifcances only makes me think of the steady march towards death.
Still, today truly is a Monday– the platonic ideal of Mondays, the golden ratio. It’s been a full and fleeting weekend, with plenty of loved ones and sensory experiences, only serving to remind one of one’s proximity to the grave, or the coming day in which one buries those loved ones.
On the other side of the office, it’s the opposite– my friend has just had his first baby, a son, with his wife, who he’s been with since college. A half-conscious, benevolent orb, the baby I mean, and my friend is not just on the other end of the office but on the other end of the world. The frequently-harried friend’s thoughts couldn’t be further from Oxford commas and apostrophes and those eternally warring bros Comprise and Compose.
There is a world of life and birth and beginnings and one of ever-spiraling decay.
And there’s a new layer of fear and dread with this life and birth world of course, too. Suddenly my friend is very, very emotionally attached to an extremely vulnerable thing.
The hilarious thing about the above observation is that I think I know what I’m talking about. I just bought a kitten and it’s made me 100% absolve, in my mind, and totally understand, every instance of helicopter-parenting my folks ever committed.
This fear and dread I mentioned, its positive equal on my side of the world is freedom. That terrible freeloader Freedom, crashing on your couch indefinitely, giving you heartburn.
Other things I’m afraid of: sudden catastrophe (in fact this is not so much a fear as a dreadful understanding that it is surely coming soon); that people are just humoring me because I come off so intense that they are afraid to to be impolite, extreme poverty, insignificance, being revealed as a fraud, being misapprehended as a creep.
The punchline of this piece is me saying all this stuff to a coworker in the elevator, who is nodding but with a freaked-out look on her face.