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How Sad Sometimes Works

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

― Mark Twain

I spent the other afternoon laying in my bed. It was cold out. That’s an understatement. It was ridiculous out there. So, with the kids over at their mom’s I decided that the time had come for me to be a heap. I wasn’t feeling particularly happy. My joy, my up moods, they come and go these days, pretty much like they always have. I don’t think that’s unusual though. I doubt it’s tied in all that much to my divorce coming down this week or any of that.

Sometimes you just feel like shit.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes there are these pretty perfect combinations of natural and unnatural factors like weird weather and tired bones and maybe too much coffee in the morning which leads to that 1:15 in the afternoon total system crash. What makes you feel like shit at any given time doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you need to acknowledge that you feel that way.

So there I was, feeling shitty. I’ve been blue lately at times because of the divorce thing, but to be totally honest with you, at this point I’m kind of over it. The demon shows up on my porch, peering in my window, wanting bad to come in and wrap his scaly mitts around the back of my neck and kiss me deep and hard so that his wicked chivey breath makes me want to puke in his gob, but I’m bored with that now.

Look, any time you get to crawl back in bed in the middle of the afternoon and you aren’t about to hurl up your little bowl of breakfast, I’d consider that special, okay?

Divorce, the demon, it wants to control you. It wants to make you think that you are done for. And it isn’t hard to feel that way when you stand around your house having coffee with a monster or rubbing your universal body wash into your scalp with the demon standing right there with you, all squeezed into the shower with you, his big dork face looking at you through the steam.

“Do you want to tell me some more things I’m gonna miss about her?” I’d say to him. And he’d get all excited like a school kid who is about to show you his collection of dumb crap you really don’t give a damn about.

“Ooooh, yes!” he’d spurt. “Yes, yes, yes, indeeeed!” And then he’d fire off a bunch of things that were spot on, stuff I was going to miss about my old life, my married life to a woman turned ghost.

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But the human soul can only listen to your own personal album of medieval lovesick dirges so many times on a loop before it will start to jab a bacon-scented fat finger in your eye and tell you to take that stuff somewhere else.

And when it’s your own soul telling you that, man, you’d better think long and hard about stepping out of your used-up skin, you know. Peel off the past. Let the new cool future stick its tongue in your ear for a goddamn change.

I climbed in my bed in the middle of the afternoon then. I write from home and so maybe three times a year I find myself in this rare mood/position/opportunity around noon where it seems almost inevitable that I am going to end up in my bed by 2. The other times usually involve pukey feelings down in my guts.

But this time, it’s special.

Don’t ask me why? I don’t really know. It just is. Look, any time you get to crawl back in bed in the middle of the afternoon and you aren’t about to hurl up your little bowl of breakfast, I’d consider that special, okay?

I opened my book. "Anne Frank’s Diary". I had to chuckle. What the hell is happening to me?, I thought. I’m feeling like ass. I feel lonely and tired and drained. And here I am climbing in bed with Anne Frank.

But guess what?

It was fucking glorious.

It really was.

People forget that you need to fight the blues with the blues sometimes. People lose sight of the oldest trick in the fan book, you know? We turn to other people’s lives, to other people’s blue-tinged tales or songs or paintings for a damn good reason. And even though you might be one of those people that says stuff like, ”Well yeah, reading sad stories helps me to feel better about my own life” I think you might be missing a finer point to it all when you do.

See, Demons and blues and sad books that make you cry, they are actually not doing their thing so that you feel all chipper about the fact that you’re not so bad off. Yeah, I guess there’s a bit of validity in mumbling to yourself that things could be so much worse in your life.

Hey, you whisper, at least I didn’t get swept up in the Holocaust, right?

And of course no one can argue with that logic.

Yet, what I’m getting at, is this bigger picture. This deeper pool, so to speak.

My divorce/my sadness/my tears/my thinking thoughts of miserable futures where I never get laid again or watch TV with a pretty girl again or even laugh or smile again, it’s all just one kid pissing in the ocean, man.

There is so much piss in the ocean, too. You know that right? Everyone who goes in there pisses. I don’t care what they tell you. People piss their kidneys out in the ocean. And people, you/me/all of us/everyone who ever lived and lives now or ever will live, we all also want to feel like shit sometimes, too. Deep down inside us, back behind the echoing pangs of the relentless carpet-bombing of ‘how to be happy’ bullshit that gets dropped on our skulls every ten seconds these days, there is a miniature version of ourselves. And he’s like this bridge troll squinting out at the lightning and the thunder of all this force fed positivity, all this wild unmoored malarkey raining down on us like a bird shit war.

And all he wants to do, all any of us want to do every now and then, is to climb back into bed at a most unexpected time and curl up against the page or the note or even the very flesh of someone else who is also currently feeling like a bag of crap.


It’s simple.

Because we’re human. And humans feed off of each other. Especially when we’re broken and busted and down. Sad hearts need sad hearts to hang out with, just every now and then, so they can start to feel happy again.

I read maybe ten pages, felt my eyes getting heavy. I head The Demon let himself out.

I fell asleep with Anne Frank on my chest, dude.

Sad on sad.

It’s actually a very happy thing.

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