One of Those Days / One of Those Nights

Mixed media image by Inbar Dekel. 

Yesterday wasn’t one of my best days.  I arrived home after a long day’s work, which wasn’t too bad other than the fact that the baby stumbled right between my feet and hit her head while her mother was looking directly at me. Okay. Moved on, another job—my once a week regular German family.

We must have gotten past the polite phase since I was “asked” on my way over to bring “2 milk, waffles” and something called “ZIMTIES”. After several failed inquiries I ended up bringing three Cinnabons, but alas, the aforementioned Zimties are a brand of cereal …

The mother had been in an exceptionally good mood following a one-hour shower session and single glass of white wine on the rocks, hovering over a giant pot of the “Wedding soup” she had been cooking (following a long detailed explanation, it turned out be some sort of German version of Ramen). She continued with some clothes fitting in which I was put in my place for not being honest enough regarding the true scope of her thighs in the pair of jeans she had on—‘cause naturally I “should say what I really think, otherwise it’s just not polite”.

Later on that day while embodying the roll of the bad witch, counting rope jumps, and making Easter eggs and bunnies out of colorful construction paper, I was texting my friend, who is on the standard of the perfect host while her brother is in town, and as one, she must obviously tend to his every 22-year-old whim.
Next, as I was riding the bus towards the nearest S-Bahn station, I texted her that they should visit a very legitimate hotspot I’m personally fond of, but I instead repeatedly encountered tyranny-afflicted criticism; the brother, as it had appeared, simply “can’t stand hipsters”—and what, in fact, is this weird place to which I’ve dared to lead them? An art gallery? What’s that??

Meanwhile, missed my station. Didn’t push the button in time, and although the driver did stop to board passengers, it’s presumably, I guess, unheard of that the back door would also open for offloading unless asked in advance.

So walking back one station I got back on on the train and finally arrived home, one-and-something hours later, exhausted yet determined to go out to meet a friend. Trying on different outfits after what had seemed like forever, eyeing my reflection, my own thigh scope didn’t seem to settle with me. Nothing seems to work today—what happened?

23:55 (instead of the original 22:30 planning) I was off again. Waiting for my train to arrive, shedding breaking point first-tears-of-the-day, I whipped out a pocket mirror in a sheer narcissistic, obsessive, yet typical moment, saying to myself I would hear the train, “I am right here.” But I didn’t hear it. Right to the familiar ring sound of closing doors. I tried running, but it was too late.

Just before I started cursing the very existence of my being, I heard a man’s voice calling me from the driver’s cabin. Of course I had done something wrong, otherwise what could he possibly want with me? Had the Universe not turned its hairy plumber’s crack at me enough today??! But there are still good people along the way—driver invited me into the cabin to ride one station with him so I could change to a normal car the next stop.
As I was coming to grips with the realization that something nice had actually happened in all of this travesty of a day, the driver asked me if everything was okay. Years of practice prevented me from breaking into tears, and I just said, “You know, one of those days…”

Stepped off at the right station this time. Hallelujah. After a not very interesting night in an over-crowded dance floor alongside bling-wearing chain-smokers insistent on sticking their torsos way too close, trying in vain not to ash on random people, I had, at last, returned to my little room. The content of my also-small closet now scattered all around, I looked happily towards that long-awaited sleep.

So without waiting another minute, not even to bother setting the alarm clock, I shoved whatever scattered pieces of wardrobe from the bed onto the chair, lay down, closed my eyes and sank into deep satisfying slumber.

Tomorrow I’ll rise again to yet another full and frenetic day of meetings, friends, work and complexity that is living in this city I call home.

Those aching-breaking moments come hand in hand with the high ones. They’re an integral, not at all less substantial part of this fragile humanity of ours. Instead of chasing after ultimate happiness, which everybody seems to think is to be found in a proper job or a stable relationship, for the first time in my life, I’m trying to do what my heart says. Not that this makes it any easier to obtain, but at least I’ll be true to myself along the way. And that’s a lot—it’s everything.

By Inbar Dekel

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