I’m in a strange mood tonight. I guess I first noticed it after watching the season one finale of The Newsroom. It took me awhile to put my finger on it. I wandered around, sat on the couch, went out to smoke, and did it all with this contemplative air of introspection, but I wasn’t so much reflecting as just wondering what the hell this mood was. I’m not sad, anxious, happy, angry, brooding or horny, so what was it? And what the hell did it have to do with The Newsroom?
As I sit here at almost one in the morning writing this, I think I may have figured it out or, at least found a few pieces to the puzzle. It’s a weird, disjointed ride so try to follow this but it all has to do with the weekend.
My weekend, like most people’s, just ended and tomorrow morning I’m back to work. I sleep too much on the weekend because the work week, complete with ridiculous demands and impossible deadlines, sucks the life out of me. Sleeping that much cuts my waking weekend hours down and I don’t accomplish the long list of things I plan for the weekend.
All week I dream that my weekend will be when I’ll finally get to work on the artistic projects I dreamed of during the week. The Newsroom was about people who bucked commercialism in journalism to focus on real news. I’m not a journalist but I do make TV and tomorrow I’m back at it again and it’s pure commercialism. I want to buck the system but I can’t, I have bills to pay and kids to raise, so I save my art for the weekends even though I know it doesn’t work that way. I have family and need to spend time with my kids and there’s housework and repairs and besides, I sleep too much on the weekends and so the art doesn’t get done. Now the weekend is over and for five more days, so am I.
None of this is new, I go through this every week. The only thing that makes this weekend different or special is that this weekend I skipped my twenty year high school reunion. I don’t regret that but it does make you think about your life whether you go or not. During the week I practice my craft but not my art and so I’m not who I hoped to be. On the weekend I get to reflect on that and I think that if I could only make my art I’d be happy.
I’ve learned over the years that art alone doesn’t make me happy. Nor does family, friends, sex, mindless entertainment, or lofty intellectual pursuits. Happy for me comes a bit at a time, here and there, when I’m lucky. I’m never lucky during the week so I spend it hoping I’ll get lucky on the weekend.
So what was this strange mood? It’s mourning. I’m mourning the weekend because that’s when I hoped I’d save myself or, at the very least, catch moments of happiness. It’s opportunity to finally be, lost to the ether of the passing days. It’s the end of the movie and time once again to stumble out of the theater and into the strange daylight of adult life. It’s mourning the dream of who I never was but secretly believed I could be. It’s midnight and I’m turning back into a pumpkin without ever having gone to the ball. It’s the hangover, the funeral, and burial. It’s mourning.
Or to put it all another way? I’m sad because I have to go to work tomorrow.