I have misplaced a day. I don’t know where I put it or what I did with it: it’s gone. I’ve lost it. And what is worst: I don’t even know what day it was that got lost. For some reason, I was certain that my massage was on Monday and there is no doubt about that: I got to the massage, I had the massage… I thought it was Monday. If you think it is Monday, then logically the next day is Tuesday, right? Well no. Not if the day you thought was Monday was really Tuesday, which seems to be the case because I found the woman’s business card and it definitely says: Massage: Tuesday 11 a.m. So which day did I lose: Monday or Tuesday? It would seem that I lost Monday but I lived Tuesday as if it were Monday so I lost Tuesday, no? And it gets worse. The meeting I wanted to go to was on Tuesday at 7 p.m. I religiously showed up at the place where the meeting was to be held and no one else showed up: they apparently thought that it wasn’t Tuesday, which is wasn’t, but for me it was Tuesday, so I lost Wednesday also because Tuesday hid it from me: of course, there was no meeting because it wasn’t Tuesday at all, but Wednesday: I just didn’t know it. I believed that they had cancelled the meeting because it was August and everyone was on vacation. The mind will do what the mind does. It gets worse…
Having fried Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a wok of confusion, making a Chinese mess of everything, I began my Wednesday thinking that I really must get to the breathing class I wanted to take with the masseuse at 7 that evening: that certainly would make up for there being no meeting on the day I thought was Tuesday which was really Wednesday.
At 1:30 on what for me was Wednesday I left the apartment to go to lunch –today I was decided on not being late and being turned away from the restaurant I really wanted to have lunch at like yesterday, Tuesday for me, when I had arrived after two and been told that they stop serving lunch at 2pm- walked to the restaurant wondering if they would find another reason for turning me away again. There was no reason I could think of so confidently I walked into the restaurant on Wednesday, according to me, where I had been turned away on Tuesday, according to me. I was informed by a slightly bemuddled young lady waitress that they could not seat me. Once again I listened to her explanations of why, not understanding a word because my mind had boggled at her negative to seat me and saying: “Je ne comprends pas; je ne comprends pas”.
“Ce ne pas possible; ce ne pas possible,” she repeated lamely and disappeared into the kitchen to bring dishes for the fortunate people already seated. There was an empty table in front of me, one that would have been perfect. A young waiter appeared and I asked him if I could sit at that table and get lunch: “C’est impossible” I was informed once more, and the young man pointed to a group of about 12 people standing outside the restaurant looking in my direction. Finally I understood that they were waiting for a table and the waiters were waiting for enough tables to empty in order to seat the 12 together. I turned and left, not without feeling like an outcast being banned from the company of my kind. Dragging my feet I wandered into the center of town to find, much to my surprise, that the Thursday market (the market was ALWAYS on Thursday) had taken place on Wednesday this week. I was dumbfounded. I had been waiting for the market to buy more DVD’s at the second-hand DVD seller’s table and perhaps sell the ones I had already finished watching. I couldn’t understand why they had changed the market day. Of course, it was too late because the market ends at 1:00 pm. Everyone was picking up the tables. I thought to ask someone why the market had taken place on a Wednesday (when the mind is convinced that it knows what it thinks it knows there is no shaking it loose, it is like a dog with a bone: nothing can open its jaws) but was so depressed for having been turned away for a second day in a row (for me Tuesday and Wednesday) from the restaurant (it was beginning to seem personal) that I didn’t want to make the effort in French. No doubt the market would be set up again the following day which was Thursday as far as I was concerned, and perhaps there had only been a few stalls this strange Wednesday for god knows what reason. I proceeded to find a restaurant that was willing to feed me (the French don’t care how hungry you are, when they stop serving, they stop serving: the cooks charge for a certain amount of hours and one minute over is over-time pay), and I ate a pretty decent meal.
Feeling better with a full stomach, I decided to take my car, drive to the next town and do some walking. So, I was off traipsing with my dog through the woods on MY Wednesday, having a marvellous time walking by the most beautiful river, listening to the birds and the breeze in the trees (oh my, a rhyme) when I glanced at my watch, saw it was 6:30 and realized that I would be late for the class at 7:00 if I didn’t hurry, which was really absurd because I already was 23 ½ hours late, or 143 ½ hours early, either way. I leapt into the car and drove lickety split down the highway, rushed up to my small apartment and rang the teacher on the phone.
“May I come to your class at 7pm” I panted in my worst French (there is no such thing as my best French, I murder the language every time I open my mouth). There was silence on the other end.
“My class is on Wednesday” she responded with a voice full of doubt.
“Yes, I know; today is Wednesday” I answered without the shadow of a doubt in my voice.
“Today is Thursday” she responded hesitatingly, “and the class on Thursdays is at 8:30 in the morning.”
And there it was! “Today is Thursday?” I repeated dumbly.
“Yes…. And if you want to come next Thursday at 8:30 in the morning please let me know in advance”, now I could almost hear her unspoken doubts about my sanity.
“Thank you, yes I will, certainly” I mumbled and hung up. I did not want to go next Thursday, I wanted to go today, Wednesday. I looked at the date on my watch: 13 (that would be August if I have not lost a month too, somewhere in the mêlée) and then I went over to the calendar hanging on the wall, my mind still not willing to give up what it was certain it knew for a fact: that it was Wednesday. I ran my finger down to the month of August, found 13 and sure enough, there it was in black and white: Jeudi… There was a feeling of panic: I had lost a day, a whole day, somewhere, and the worst thing was I didn’t know which day I had lost: Monday certainly was nowhere to be found, but Monday had been Tuesday for me so I couldn’t find Tuesday either, and Tuesday, which was yesterday had actually been Wednesday, so where was Tuesday? And Wednesday… Gone too, without a trace… And of course, Thursday hadn’t even existed until this very moment… so all of four days lost in a cloud of absolute confusion. I sat on the bed, staring into space, well, what little space there is between the bed and the wall in front of the bed, wondering which day had been lost. What if I can never know? What will I do with the VOID? Gone, gone forever and the mind, which insists on knowing things without a doubt, in a whirly twirly of anguish looking for the lost day, which of course it can’t find because it doesn’t even know what day it is looking for.
Today, yes today: Friday (I have checked on my watch and on the calendar) I have caught up with myself, or is it waited for me to catch up with the week, or is it… anyway, I know it is Friday today, at least I believe it is Friday, I think it is Friday… oh God please make it Friday, what in the world will I do if suddenly it is Saturday and I don’t know it…? Maybe I should ask someone… but in French, God knows what they will answer or if I will even understand them, or they me… A day, a whole day, one precious day… which one… which one?