I woke up the other morning after a day. That day, the prior, I had been drunk, quite. I'd gone to two plus I-don't-know-how-many bars and didn't recall how I had arrived back at home, where I awoke. However, it was just before eight o'clock and I was due to work at eleven.
I was working in a deli that was located, conveniently and irritatingly, just below my apartment. I could hear, soon past eight, the bustle of the preparatory workers readying the place. Voices called to each other through the carpet of my bedroom as chairs were shuffled from tables and clattered to the floor. The front patio of the deli called the iron pell of outdoor furniture being unchained and set up, oddly (I vaguely thought in my morning haze), despite the steady drizzle of rain persisting from the previous day.
The previous day had, with its rain, set me in an unfavorable mode. My mood is often bleak, but the damn rain has never proven to aid its bearing at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. I'd had the day off from work and had set out to see a girl I liked, who worked at a bar, the type lee I often choose in dreary (or any) weather. There, I saw the girl and we spoke, which alleviated my doldrums quite. The bartender's hand was heavy, though, and my wallet unusually deep. I'd had too many drinks less one, and left just before I had the chance to make a daylight ass of myself in front of the girl (I could care less about the barstaff. It was three PM).
I walked through a bare mist, a patter of rain, with my umbrella under my arm, to another bar, one at which I could make (and formerly had made) a fool of myself without debilitating regard. It was (and is) a bitter and ugly place with no windows and the same patrons every day, I knew, as I found myself there very nearly every day. I drank until the point at which I remember thinking that I ought to leave, but I do not remember leaving.
I must have left, however, as I woke the next, dark morning, as I've said. I rose from bed to the scraping of the patio furniture below. I went to the kitchen and took a half a sandwich and an open beer from the refrigerator. I ate and drank them, only looking out the window, at the gray sky, a little.
It got darker as the day grew. By quarter-to-nine, the sky was a heavy azure with a tick of black and bore only the light from the streetlamps, reflected by the thick, grim clouds. About this time I began to think, only slightly and in an unthoughtful way, that perhaps today wouldn't occur. The thought grew every couple of a few minutes or so, as I'd glance out a window at the steady dim and I would think something like, maybe that's all there is today. Maybe there'll be no more sun or days from now on. I actually thought that. I actually thought that was what might very, very possibly be going on.
I thought that maybe that was it. Whether the clouds had set up for good, and dark, or the sun had simply shrugged off passing anymore over.*
Three minutes after nine I was convinced. The sun had burnt out and the world just hadn't gotten cold, yet. Or the clouds had knitted into an impenetrable blanket and that was our new, lower sky. It was never, never this dark after nine in August in this part of the world. It was never. Things must have simply changed.
I smiled at this, believe it. I thought that I might have the day off work. No sense in being open for the day if there isn't a day. Maybe no-one would open shop today. I could take a walk on my day off and there would be nothing to do and nowhere to go and no-one to see. I smiled at this.
I was granted a good hour or so of light bliss and quiet before the obvious struck me, as I'm sure it has struck you now, or had at the start. It was the quiet, actually which made me realize, terribly. Of course, though I thought, still oblivious to what had happened, I will go into work, but they will be waiting, of course, to tell me that the deli wouldn't be open for business, of course, in light of the darkness (pardon). It wan't the prospect of skipping work, however, that drew a smile on me. There was something about the receding of days which brightened what had been in me a heavy heart these past few months, years, truly. It may have been the point that I had begun each day with regret & forboding for so long, and that I was glad to see the entire institution of days wither and be retired, rightfully.
A little past ten, though, I suppose I was sobered sufficiently, the deli below so still & hollow, and I realized that, of course, I had not slept away the night, but only the early evening. The deli had been freshly closed, I was alone in my wakefullness, and, terribly, the day I 'd thought evaporated by perpetual night had yet to begin.
And when I realized that the sun had just gone down, and not died, I was sadder for it.
So I put on a shirt and went to the bar.
*I am aware that this is not how the sun works.