Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Spiderman vs The Black Dog

Well, I tried not to let it all get on top of me, but I failed. Pretty miserably. Poor show all round. In sharp contrast to Lordi, nul points. The Black Dog came a-visiting, and I let him in.

Sundays are generally not my best days. Regardless of circumstances, I find they hang heavy around my neck and drag, smelling like old dust and sounding like the dry tick-tocks of ancient grandfather clocks. So this past Sunday I busy myself with the mundane but necessary chores of fixing up shelves, unpacking, and the like. But everything seems so frustrating, infuriating, aggravating. Tab "A" does not go into Slot "B," screws break off, tools mysteriously vanish. Dearest Wife comes home from visiting her mother in hospital and says things do not look good. The kids, bored and seeking attention, create a ruckus. I shout at them, which only upsets them and me and Wife. I was planning to settle down and watch a film (Svankmajer's Faust), but by 9:30 PM I feel so exhausted and exasperated that I just take myself to bed. The Black Dog curls up on the floor next to me.

Today, Victoria Day bank holiday Monday, I finally wake, prodded by wife and children, at 8:30 AM. Though I'd slept soundly for eleven hours, I still feel completely drained and irritable. I'm not sure where the morning goes, but go it does, amidst much grousing on my part. Everywhere I go, Black Dog follows. By noon we are on our way to Home Depot. God, how I detest big box shopping. I can never last more than ten minutes in those merchandise mausoleums without feeling queasy and light-headed. I don't know what it is that does it; maybe the flourescent tube glare, perhaps the fume-laden atmosphere, perchance the onslaught of Special Offers ("Dremel MultiPro X-9000! Engraves! Sands! Embosses! Plucks Nose Hair! Tattoos! Only $99.99!!"). We leave after an hour of discomfiture, prizes in hand (curtain rails and a hanging basket, if you must know), and me even grumpier. Even a stop at our favourite local cafe does nothing to lighten my mood. So the rest of the afternoon goes. The kids rambunct around the house, I shout at them again, both they and I get upset - again. After dinner, I swear, apparently for the umpteenth time, while doing the washing up, prompting Dearest Wife to ask gently, yet pointedly: "Is there anything else you'd like to curse at?" The Black Dog stares mournfully.

The other day, Felix and I were talking about superheroes. He's become particularly fond of Spiderman lately, and while watching the Ramones cover of the theme tune he asks me "What does Spideman do, Daddy?" "He fights bad guys" I reply. "What else?" asks Felix. "Well, he makes people safe" I said "and protects them from bad things happening." Pause. "Felix," I ask, "who is your favourite superhero?" He smiles broadly, looks at me, and exclaims, flinging his arms around my neck, "You are, Daddy!!"

Right now I don't feel much of a superhero. Must try harder.

Nick Drake - Black-Eyed Dog (buy here)
Ramones - Spiderman Theme (buy here)