There are some days, some dates that will always make you feel like shit–not so much because something terrible happened to you, then but because that day or date signifies a kind of failure or death or sadness.
Every year this happens to me: the unconscious vigil, the not knowing why I’m still up followed by the accidental glance at the date and the creeping up of understanding–ah, yes. It is almost that day. I would mark it down but then I fear that the gloom and madness that overtakes me on this day would bleed into all the other days and I definitely do not want that.
It feels like someone’s death anniversary; maybe in some ways it is. Not of a person but of a friendship or of something I can no longer comprehend because I’m no longer the person who felt it. Everything changes, everything has changed–self included–and yet something remains. Residue, sediments of sentiment.
It’s like being drunk and waking up, no longer able to remember what happened but somehow feeling embarrassed or sad about something (oddly enough, the very feeling I associate with that lost period in time).
The most frustrating part of this whole forced “commemoration” is figuring out what do you do, anyway? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing because there’s nothing to do. Nothing because the thing about these things is that all you’re left with is the memory of something which you have no proof actually existed or exists ; the actual thing has no present, no future, it’s set in stone–it’s the past. It’s phantom limb syndrome: you feel like you should move but the thing to move no longer exists. Also, the resounding answer is nothing because it passes and then it’s (mostly) clear steering up until next year.
I am a pretty irreverent person. I don’t commemorate most things–I respect them (Easter, Christmas, All Saints’/Souls’ Day, this week) but I don’t really feel like I need to be immersed in them–and I suppose this is all the commemoration I can muster. To set aside a day of my life to dedicate to the internal conflict of the nothingness I am to do; a day for sitting it out, of telling myself it will end and then it has.
Although I do wonder–how long will this habit last? I look at my mother, my father: 3 years is something, but what happens if/when I get to be their age? Will I have to hold this vigil every year for more than a decade? Do I eventually lose these odd routines of worry? Or should I buckle up for a lifetime of still caring, kind of?
Obviously, I have none of the answers to these questions but thankfully, there is The National to tide me over the 24 hours of torture.
You are not the only one
to sit awake until the wild feelings leave you.