On Good Days & Bad Days


On some days, you do not doubt yourself, because the sun is shining high and bright, like your own heart, and everything feels right.

Those are the good days, and they are few and far between, like rainbows, and meant to be savored when they come.

Then there are the other days.

The days when even the way you pick up a spoon to lift some cereal to your lips is incorrect, somehow uncoordinated, a gangly movement from a creature more doll than human.

The days when the sky feels heavy with the storms and clouds, even if it is blue and unblemished, and everyone walking along the streets are bent and hunched over as if it were already raining.

The days when birds do not sing, they squawk, loudly, a great blaring cacophony of them, and, conveniently, just outside your window; when every car seems determined to run your over in a swerving rush; when puddles drench your socks rather than splash up prettily; when apples taste like sugary balls and sugary sweets taste like bad apples; when people you thought liked you do not seem to see you when you wave at them…

The days when the money trees not only do not grow in your backyard, but seemed to have become extinct, perhaps many years ago, along with the dinosaurs, and the days when even people you love, just yesterday rosy-cheeked pixies and fairies, morph into ogres and demons to hulk and growl in shadows….

…when everything you write seems more a condemnation than a mere word, each one driving into your heart like a nail, until your chest is full of splinters like a fleshy pincushion…

…those are the days, I think, that define us more than the good ones; it is the rainy days, rather than the sunny days, or the coldly beautiful days when everything is blanketed in sparkling white snow, which determine who we are, and what we make of ourselves in the years to come.

For on those days, unlike the other days, we are given a choice: a choice to push on even when it is hard or to give up; a choice to smile or frown; a choice to hate or to love.

Today was a rainy day, a pouring day, and, when I stepped out the front door, was drenched to the skin in seconds, and shivering with cold. The rain trickling down my face mingled with my tears. What I wanted more than anything else in the world was to retreat back into the warmth of Inside, where I could hide beneath a blanket and weep and shriek to myself in peace.

Instead, I simply took out an umbrella, unfolded it with a snap above my head like an enormous mushroom, and walked down the street, with my back straight.


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