1. It used to always be about Friday. I remember those days: counting down the hours (a very slow process) towards freedom and relaxation and running around like a wild man (never having seen one run, my imitations were exceedingly awkward).
For me, those days were called grade school.
Since then, weekends have never really been any different to me than weekmiddles. A day is a day is a rose is Pete Rose is Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers and boy was he sorry when the heartburn kicked in.
I’ve worked one desk job. I give it that name because it was my only five-day-a-week job (also, because I was the front desk clerk at a Youth Hostel, e.g. my job was a desk job). It’d be nine-to-five except it was seven-to-three. Really, they were the perfect hours: I’d get up in the morning when the sun was just glancing over the horizon and would be on my way home when people were longingly looking through their office windows at the day that would soon be over, their day-time existences tied up in a glass box.
But that job lasted only four or five months. Soon enough, I found my way into the service industry working as a barista then as a waiter with a three-day-a-week workload. In a week and a half my rent would be paid off. Another week and my expenses were taken care of. The rest kept me in coffee and paper.
2. I like crowds, but I’m happy that my work days are Friday and Saturday. It means that when I’m working at Poison Girl, I’m at the bar with everyone else, but I don’t have to be in the mix with everyone else.
The thing about the weekend is that it is everyone’s weekend. If you want to go to the park, feel free, but know that the park will be full of other people with their blankets, dogs, Frisbees, hungry ant populations, discarded burger wrappers, and complaints about sweating too much in this damn heat. If you want to go out to eat, well, so does everyone else, and we all know that with any meal a few people must starve.
3. And yet I can’t help finding myself in the weekend mentality.
Partly, that has to do with having friends. Regardless of what I feel like regarding the days of the week, too many parties and get-togethers occur on the weekend because that’s the time when the most people can successfully party and get together.
But mostly my taking advantage of the weekend as a break has to do with writing again full(ish) time. I’ve been spending every day during the week (and many weekend days) writing – maybe not writing reams worth of material, but writing nonetheless. And with all of that effort, it’s easy for me to slip into the despairing mindset concerning the question of when will this end?
Ideally, never. I hope to be writing for as long as I’m alive. But that abstract notion is different than thinking about each day of writing and how that connects to each future day of writing, a mountain of days and of words put onto the page and the screen, and the thought that if I don’t write something today than I’ve cut out the struts of one of my ideas because if I’m not writing then I’m not creating and if I’m not creating then what, exactly, am I doing with my time? How can I call myself a writer if I’m not writing? How do I justify what I’m doing when I’m not writing (and not, alternatively, making money with a paying job so that I can devote the rest of my time to writing)?
If that reads a bit hysterical, it’s because it is. But minds aren’t exactly fine-tuned machines, carefully tooled for specific purposes. They’re vaults of mystery and anxiety.
4. So, the weekend. A few days – they don’t even have to be on the weekend – when I let all the threads I’m weaving together rest. Some will pull themselves out and some will fray, but after today, after two days of letting my mind roam untethered, I’ll be able to repair.
What I end up with probably won’t be what I had in mind before the untethering. But that’s okay.
It’ll be better.