It happens when you least expect it. There you are, putting a brave front on anything and everything coming your way. “My decision,” you write in your notebook, while the rain pours out of the sky. For an extra serving of pep, you list the titles of the novels you’ve written in the past few years. Nobody has made a move for said manuscripts, and the querying process on one of them needs a fresh boost; but this is about drawing a happy face on a glum day, so let’s not start on the to-do list.
The meeting with the lawyer – both his premises and the man himself – make you happy serving the public as a Legal Aid person was never your calling. The light reading in the man’s office calls for artificial plants only, and he wears a jacket he must have bought in the eighties, when he had that one great success in his career? You get back home to a new slew of documents to pull together, and the sound of rain dripping out of the ceiling onto the floor in your bedroom. And a note from the Mayor’s wife, letting you know that, despite the fact you are about to become a divorcée, you are still on the list of people she wishes to know.
It’s called despondency. You look at your writing, and say: “So what?” You think about your choices, and tell yourself: “In all honesty, I could have done worse.” The smallest aggravation feels like The End – no, really, I can’t take another annoyance, not even another drop of rain in the bedroom. (The landlord’s take on a leaking roof? It doesn’t rain often enough to spend money on fixing it. His words, not mine.)
I know my bouts of despondency inside out. Right now, I’m feeling low enough to know I should hit rock bottom within the hour, and start climbing out of it again. But while it lasts? Man, I feel like a failure as a human being. No! Don’t tell me I’m not even bad enough to qualify as a failure. Leave me at least one illusion, yes?
It’s 7:50 am; I should be back on the horse by 9 or so. Laughing at myself? Of course, how could I not laugh at myself? It’s just not a convincing laugh yet. By 9; for sure.