I am in a bad mood. A really bad mood. On certain mornings this mood overtakes me like surprising headline on a daily newspaper. There is nothing that I can do about it other than accept that this is the way it is. This morning when I woke up in a state of gloom and agitation- I was well aware that my bad mood would envelope my morning like strips of canvas used to mummify the dead. This morning, is my one morning a week, to sleep in; instead I was woken up twice- once by the repetitive stomping sounds of my upstairs neighbors boot steps and another time by the flagellating engine noise of my next-door neighbors archaic jeep. As soon as the clock hit nine I had no choice but to realize my defeat and get out of bed. My heart was beating violently through out my body- fueled by the anger of being rudely awoken by those who do not care. I no longer drink coffee or smoke cigarettes, so on uptight mornings like this one- I am without a refuge for my rage, a helpless victim of my own bad mood.
I should of known better than to have breakfast with my wife. After twenty some years of suffering from these biological bad moods I should by now be well aware that when I am under their control- I need to be alienated from all people. I have seen the damage these bad moods have done to my family members (who also suffered from bad moods) from generation to generation. Fury runs through my pressured blood in the same way that a possessed person is animated by the vapors of the negative spirit that inhabits them. Any word that you say to me starts off an internal litany of judgment and condescension that I keep all bottled up in my head. I ask simple questions like “how did you sleep?” or “what are you doping today?” in order to avoid having to get too personal and to avoid having you ask me that one question that I hate most– “Is something wrong?” At breakfast this morning I did my best to hide my bad mood- instead I was barely able to talk and when words did come out of my mouth they were like crumpled up pieces of paper. I ate my food maliciously and ordered two extra sides of greasy ham to calm my need to rip the flesh off of another persons bones.
There is no doubt that a bad mood attracts other bad moods in the same way that a lint roller attracts lint. My father always used to tell me that when you are down the shit knows where to find you. My wife went from smiling at the beginning of breakfast to a defeated silence by the end. She had complained to me about the coffee and when the waitress asked her how the coffee was she said “fine.” My bad mood needed a target to shoot at and I could not resist this opportunity to let off some steam. “Why are you so afraid to say what you really feel,” I said. “What do you mean?” my wife innocently asked. “You don’t like the coffee and you were afraid to tell the waitress how you really felt. Why are you always so filled with self doubt?” Of course I paid for not only breakfast but also for this observation. I was met by her derision and disdain. “Shut it. Just shut it! I don’t want to hear it from you,” she said. And with that, breakfast ended.
My bad mood carried me to the car with a heavy gait. It felt as if my legs had lead in them. My chest was heavy and my vision was limited to whatever was in front of my nose. I could only smell the crap that emanated up from the dirty streets and the fog over head was a direct reflection of the fog in my head. I began to think about how much it sucks to be a victim of these pestilent bad mood spells. I am helpless against their weight, incapable of tearing off the peel and running free. Instead I turn in on my self and am a prisoner of the nebula of my own judgemental mind- unable to escape the wrath that is directed straight at me. I think about the job that I am stuck in, my years of failure and my lack of direction. I think about the books I will never publish, the paintings I will never sell and my cold home in the ghetto which is a punishment for my years of neglect and deflated ambition. I worry about money and condemn myself for spending so much of the small amount of money I do have. The litany goes on and on from money, career to focusing on my deepest fears and my getting more uncertain with the passing years. I start to feel hopeless and locked in and all I can do to find some respite from this inner narrative of pain is to sit down right here and write my bad mood out of me like an informal exorcision.
Of course now my wife is not talking to me and my neighbor is angry with me because I asked him if he would mind not starting his abomination so early in the morning. “But I have owned this car longer than you have lived here,” he replied. “What does that have to do with anything? I just need to sleep in on Saturday mornings and I really do not appreciate being awoken by the gas fumes coming from you car and the loud vomiting sounds of your engine. At least park on the dam street if you think you will be starting it early on Saturday mornings.” I spoke in a manner that was filled with a desire for revenge. He seemed to know that if he continued to make a case for his cars wellbeing over mine- that I could possibly become violent. He gradually backed away from me and said before smartly going away, “God man- you sure are singing the bitter blues.”
3 thoughts on “The Bitter Blues.”
Sometimes bad moods are invigorating but the trick with me, is to know when to let myself laugh at just how tetchy I am. This usually involves a good old rant where I can go totally over the top starting off at the real problem and working my way up to the niggles like that lump of hard toothpaste that no-one wiped off the sink, to a declaration that if only I could eat chocolate/drink JD, kiss a stranger, everything would be alright. ‘Singing the bitter blues’, ha!, that sort of comment might have been enough to tip me over the edge.
Randall you never fail to impress me even when your mood is shitty.
I could not agree more than with Renee (who by the way always leaves the greatest comments…..lucky you).