You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days (et al.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the best children’s book ever. I don’t know which one that would be.  I don’t mean the one with demons and archangels and archaeopteryx hanging out in the museum post-twilight, bathing in the fountains and gathering plastic four-leaf clovers from the astroturf, though that was very good.  Right now I’m thinking about the one with the astonishing string of meaningless, mundane coincedences leading to a Really Bad Day.

Supersimultaneity has always been part of my life. I have mused elsewhere that it is part of the universe in general, but somepeople to whom I mention this insist they’ve never noticed it. In my case, it has been particularly striking over the last many years, dating back at least to a fateful, related conversation with Sarah Ettling. Perhaps that’s evidence in favor of it being a matter of perception…

Sometimes the results are so strange that I hesitate to share them.  I’m still taking flack for merely observing the disturbing smiley-face biscuit that turned up under my hood the night my battery mysteriously died in the STAR market parking lot.  A number of people shared that experience, however; and the biscuit itself stayed around for a few weeks.
But I’m feeling more open towards the world these days, and towards humanity, and see only humour in those very improbabilities; perhaps you will, too.

Take the other day, for instance, when I lost three contact lenses and my last pair of glasses. One of my contact lenses had been bothering me, and I had left it out to soak. When I tried to put my contacts in again, it wouldn’t stay in; meanwhile, as I was cleaning its partner, that lens tore along the edge. Its time had definitely come. I had a spare which I had a month previous put away its old case, in solution; but on going to take it out, found it had grown mold… three small dark spots. Now there’s something I hope never to see again. Was that saline solution or lens solution it was in?
No problem, I thought, I’ll wear glasses. I had had two pairs the week before, one of which had broken the week before. The third and newest pair, ultra-thin, was in perfect shape.  But after wearing them for a half hour, as I took them off to lay them down on a dresser, *tink* — one arm sheared away and clattered softly onto the wooden surface, broken not a millimeter from the hinge

I must have been communicating to my belongings that I wanted to relax with my textbooks and forget about going outside today.

Then there was the day the sink and two electric razors fought with me
while I was shaving, the cat escaped, and the front door shattered… but that is a story for another time.

Log in