There are some people who like Mondays. If you are among them, we’ll talk later. Alright, alright. You’re allowed to like Mondays. Sometimes, I’m even one of you.
But that’s not who I was when this day set in, grey and overcast and chilly. If it weren’t too early in winter to start using adjectives like bitter, I would have. But more than bitter, I greeted the day as colourless and bland, and that was the frame of mind I carried throughout the morning.
I went out for lunch, still offended by the blandness of it all. But when I started my walk back to work I tried to pay attention to the world instead of my sour mood. At which moment, I noticed how the cold air I was drawing into my lungs with each breath contrasted so strongly with the soup I’d just had, but this in combination with the criss-crossing pedestrians keeping me from getting my green light just seemed to validate my irritability.
I tried to keep paying attention, and – forgive me if I’m sounding pollyannaish – then the world showed me how all this blandness was in my head.
A young man glided on his bicycle between the streetcar tracks, his long hair pushed back by the breeze. Behind him came another cyclist, swathed in heavy, black winter clothes, working hard at the pedals. A woman passes me on the sidewalk; her limbs are pointed in all directions due to what must be a muscular disease, yet she’s determinedly carrying shopping bags from the crooks of her arms. A girl with her hood up almost walks into an oncoming car, but stops at the last moment; she’d seen it coming, but I didn’t know that, and my heart has leapt to panic speed. A Latino couple step out of Silverstein’s, a wholesale bakery that does walk-in business. They’ve got fresh onion buns, and impatient, they’re eating them on the sidewalk. I try to smell them, but without success. Still, all my senses are active now, and I realize how fiercely the pipes outside the bakery are hissing. My breath and the pipes are a perfect pair – the pipes make steam sounds, my breath makes steam visuals. I too am playing a part in this pageant of the senses, which has unfolded in just a few minutes. I feel like Bart in the opening credits to The Simpsons, minus the skateboard.
This of course does not fully terminate my audience with the Monday blahs. But it does help me find me way back out.
PS – The next post I have in mind will be much less about me, and more about what you and I don’t know. With a bit of New Orleans flavouring.