Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sunday, Damned Sunday

Like an old starlet poring over old clippings, I'm going over my Alma Mater's literary magazine in hopes of finding some inspiration now that I don't feel so very wonderful--inspiration from the days when we were all so good. I turn the pages. Damn. Even then we could write. Even in college.
I especially liked a submission by one Michael Cole--is he stil alive? I wonder.
In a piece titled SUNDAY, he writes about one Godawful Sunday. "It was a Sunday, a day he especially dreaded for no reason other than the fact that every Sunday seemed pure hell for him--nothing really to do, nowhere to go, and really nobody to talk to. That was what really made him unhappy--the fact that there was nobody he felt like seeing or speaking to. Oh, there were people he could call, but they were probably doing something already and there was nothng he especially felt like doing anyway.

Sure reminded my of old Jean-Paul's Nausea.
Where--was it on a Sunday?--life was so boring,so nauseous, so repetitive, cyclical-- that Jean-Paul Sartre could sense a boredom, even in nature, even in the universe. He could almost hear a tree groaning with boredom in the park while it grew to monstrous proportions, distended branches, ready to break with any windstorm..
But old school chum Michael Cole's story is more affirmatiive. Or attempst to be so. As I read, I sense the the author is really trying to write his way out of a Sunday depression..
He meets a little boy in the park who is doing a science project. The kid is looking for oak leaves which the boy can not immediately identify. The character in the story helps the boy, points out an oak tree under whose base there are the leaves which look like stone age spear remnants of another time. The sense of time seems to affect the both of them. The boy collects some proffered leaves, thanks him,says"will you be my friend?" --And as if in a time warp, he suddenly disappears.
And our hero is left all alone. Alone now, and alone later to frantic missed attempts at reaching friends, busy signals on the phone, the black-and-white TV with its bad reception, the eight beers in his refrigerator that taste as flat as he feels. He wakes up Monday morning with a slight hangover. The TV still on. End of story.

Well, my own Sunday was a little like that.
Might as well have begin like Michael Cole. It was Sunday. He had nothingto do today, and was therefore in no particular rush to get out of bed....
But I had to get out of bed. It was Suday and there was a depression hanging on me. No luck with last night's date. No luck at all for a long time. And not just with women. A failed novel. What had been the last thirty years all about? All of that storm and stress for a failed novel?
Oh yeah. I was beginning to feel Michael Cole's Sunday--and from thirty years ago. Sure, I too had a story in the Fith Page, our literary magazine way back then. But it was not nearly as good as Michael Cole's. But so much more original, so much better than the work I was putting out now.

Like Michael Cole, I got dressed, got out of bed and took a walk in the park. Action and exercise can sometimes make short work of a depression.
There was a rock band in the park, a biker's social gathereing for lukemia--bikers do their part too! But the band really rocked with a lot of Supertramp --four guys on a flatbed truck, and they were playin' real good.
Don't know which ogther match song they were playing at the moment.

"Tonight, tonight, we'll be here tonight
We'll make it all right
And it'll be Sunday tonight."

A hundred bikers, all in colours. Vagabonds. Outlaws. Some in plain leather jackets, presumably Hell's Angels.
Gorgeus tough looking little molls in custom fitted chaps and leather jackets, "Don't hit on my old lady!" And even kids, also in boots and chaps. There was a Freak-n-Leather outlet just on the edge of the park; that's where they must do their shoppping for the custom boots, jackets, chaps, printed colours, decals. The leather shop was open today, and it was still busy.
In fact the leather shop must have sponsored the event as
the trailer sign just ot the left of the band read, "Freakin' Show and Shine."
And the band was really shining.

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
The questions run too deep for such a simple man
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am

The bikers were rocking, but I was not. Still depressed.
(As I look around the blogs, a lot of people seems to also ask, "please tell me who I am." Even at fifty).
I know who I am. But on this Sunday when my neurosis seems especially high, I know two and two makes four, but like a psycho, I don't like it....And and five into four won't go if you're trying to bully your way in between two couples--"Don't hit on my old lady".
Well, a good stomping might have done just the trick! Deflected my depression into another area.
But I have been stomped before, and I didn't like it.
What is it that I actually want out of a Sunday?
Perhaps a mass. But they were really plaing pretty good. Even on a mass slightly black.




Mona said...

Ivan (((HUGS)))

I know that there is NO Exit out of the Full Moon Phase ( Approaching 4th August) :(

Perhaps what you need is meditation!

Try it, it really helps!

the walking man said...

Ivan, depressed and down hearted? The Temptations wrote something or other about that...personally I think you do your best work now. Your best writing is coming now when you look at the past from the insight of the present.

One thing for certain though, time is a road you can't physically travel backwards on, nor should you, what would you be now if you went back and changed shit up?

A houseboy in the halls of the wealthy with a life in a leather elbowed smoking jacket pontificating from the fireplace mantle? Children that always respectfully referred to you as "father." People ringing your doorbell to see if the sage of Newmarket has time for their adoring gaze?

Possibly but I doubt you'd find satisfaction in that. You do know that all would be just as big a leg hold trap as the one you think you're in now don't you?

Freedom is not found in not having any needs; it is found in not having any wants. Want for nothing and then you need nothing, then you are free to do as you please, come and go as you please, and be an oak leaf hanging or laying on the ground or blowing on the breeze, as you will.

Not every decision was a good one but it is what it is and you made some that you now regret, but there is no point in having regret. That is the anchor on your ass old man. Lose the anchor and keep sailing round the harbor.

ivan said...


I find extreme exercise helps. Something of a jock at seventy?...Heh. More like Richard Simmons. But a ten mile walk, stong ale and a steak afterwards seems to hold the demons at bay.
Meditation does work, but it seems to go better with ein gutest beer.
Thank you very much for the hugs, which, I think, I needed.
You are empathic. Probably because you have a brother who is also a Cancer and goes wailing on a full moon.

ivan said...


A balm. Words of wisdom. And what words from a poet!

Thank you. And Mona too.

Mona said...

Ivan, I am sandwiched between a husband and a son ( the one you saw in the pictures on my blog recently) who are BOTH Cancers and go wailing near the full moon!

Charles Gramlich said...

I seem to have known who I am since very early on, though I got confused a bit in my teenage years. note that I'm not the same person I always have been, but I'm aware of the changes. It's been a while since I've been depressed. But I remember those moments well, and it usually had something to do with knowing who I was but not liking it very much.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


That's the way I get when I'm completely sober...Ones awful self!
Enough to drive one to drink. :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Neither my wife or myself had any idea of my "lunacy" until I turned forty.
"Your neuroticism. Your moods. Hard to live with. You are driving me crazy."
She was the calm one and I was the spastic.
Heh. You're probably a calm person.
Sound like you'd have to be, with hubby and son moon children like yours truly.
Are they artists?
Myself, I'm a blackmith severely affected by the full moon. ;)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I guess living in the States for a while makes you aware of the Indian inflection of english. I'm thinking of the old movie, The Snows od Kilimanjaro.
Gregory Peck's gun bearer keeps repining, "Whiskey-wine is very refreshing to the stomach."

Power failures. Make us aware how rally vulnerable we are as a civilization. Six years ago, Toronto and the entire Eastern Seaboard went black. Had to do with Enron or something. But in fact, a failed switch on the continental grid.
People gathered. Candle-lit block parties. Toronto had never been a gemutlich town for years. The city had been well known for as being really retentive: Toronto the Good.

Everybody seemed to party in the dark.
But the vulnerability was plain. I had the only candle and the only old transistor radio on my floor. I was Mr. News.
On the accidental flip of a switch in New Jersey or somewhere, we were back in the cave.
But how the people got together!
But In Delhi, I suppose, it has become just another irritation

ivan said...

Oh Gawd. I meant to put the above on Mona's blog. My bad...Think I have been on this computer too long. Like the robot in the old series, Lost in space, it's ERROR, ERROR ERROR.

Mona said...

Nope, they are no Artists. Hubby is a businessman & son a budding scientist, still in college , second year of his under graduation.

ivan said...

Oh of we'd only used that business typewriter instead of the wordy one.:)
Says my British bandleader friend, an artist, I suppose, "All artist are assholes. Did you know that?"
He was last seen hitchhiking to Vancouver. "Toronto doesn't want me any more. Neither does my wife.Neither does my dog. Nothing for me here."

Tough luck, Harry Muck.
Maybe he should have fingered the business typewriter intead of the valves on his trumpet.
Ah, but a winning DVD!

Midnight said...

Perhaps you writers think too much. I was born with the Sun in Capricorn (opposite of Cancer), meaning I am apparently sometimes susceptible (sympathetic?) to your moods (when I'm not perplexed by your silliness, of course). I was also born with the Moon in Leo, and exuberance has been something that I have continually struggled to control (well, occasionally). Funny enough, sometimes I think that I was born to cheer up Sun-Sign Leos, since I seem to do that most of my life. Those sunny people can occasionally really get down.

We all go through down times, but I imagine that the trick is to never forget who you are, or how lucky you are. Expressing and allowing emotions to run their course is healthy. But they should always return you to the fire in your soul. And if you've got fire in your soul, then you can even be a poet. :)

Keep your face in the Wind!

Na Zdorovlia!

ivan said...

I read that Samurais have gunpaishas , head protectors, one on each side to thwart an enemy should he ever slam a door on your face or back.
When I was broke in west-end Toronto and had pawned my sword and gunpaishas, I think I heard the coockroaches saying, "We're going to slam the door on you, man.".
It was a little like my Sunday.
Thanks for helping with the Bushido.

JR's Thumbprints said...

It could worse. You could've ended up a convict teacher not teaching the unteachables. Not exactly the most productive way to spend your day.

JR's Thumbprints said...

To "be" or not to "be." Seems I left it out.

ivan said...

I get it, Jim.
But like they used to tell me at the tannery, the job is dirty, but the money is clean. But yeah. Around the vats full of muriatic acid, there is some loss of face.

On "to be":

No need to sweat it....Come to think of it, my media writing teacher at Ryerson U once gave me a zero for using the copula verb to be in copy.

"Action, action, it's gotta be action," said Prof Christine McBeth.

TomCat said...

Thanks for the visit, Ivan! I see you have not lost the edge in your writing skills.

ivan said...


How did you ever manage to resurface after all those Neocons shut you down?

TomCat said...

It wasn't easy, my friend, but I'm glad to be back.

ivan said...

It was amazing. To see you reassert and reestablish yourself against almost umbeatable odds, with the justice department guys seemingly holding all the cards.I would say they seemed to have very nearly silenced a blogger.