“Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” – Monday’s Child (nursery rhyme)
“Some days are born bad.” Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck – Chapter 14, Lousy Wednesday.
Wednesday – that day of the week that falls just before Thursday and right after Tuesday. I know, you’ve heard that before but now it just makes me smile and think of my friends over at Wikipedia.
Hump Day. That’s what they call it around my office. I suppose it’s because that as of 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon you’ll have successfully made it up the arduous climb that is the beginning of the week and will be rewarded with an easy descent to fabulous Friday and a weekend of freedom from your labors. Of course, if you have read my previous blogs you will know that Friday is just a sad, drunk who has been recently murdered by crazy Tuesday. I guess there’s always Saturday to look forward to, but I think she ran off with Monday and hasn’t come back yet. I’ll get back to you on that.
As I often do, I wonder what Wednesday is really like beneath all the hype. There’s a lot of pressure that goes into being the beacon of hope for so many – that point at which the drones finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Has he embraced this role? Or is he more like Friday, rebelling against expectations by running headlong down a path of self-destruction?
I like to think of him as the voice of reason in a sea of dysfunction. A sort of cheerleader/self-help guru, talking the other days down from the ledge, imploring them to make good choices with their lives. Perhaps he is regarded as a killjoy by the more willful days of the week. Friday certainly would think of him as a stick in the mud but his girlfriend, Sunday, might be secretly turned on by Wednesday’s unflappable persona.
But what if Wednesday is indeed a child full of woe? What if hidden beneath his quick smiles and logical words, lies a deeply wounded soul. No one would ever suspect. He is the master of the facade having had years to practice it to perfection. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t all that hard. The others are enveloped within their own train wreck lives, blind to the pain that lurks behind his eyes. They take his presence and support for granted, piling their trials and tribulations upon his back, never once thinking that it might all be too much for him. That he might break beneath the pressure.
Until that day he does.
Standing on a ledge looking down at the traffic below, Wednesday searches for the strength to go on – one good reason why he shouldn’t take that last step forward right off the edge. The pain would surely end then, right? Who would notice if I’m gone? Who would care? They certainly wouldn’t, they never had before. He takes a deep breath and just as he is about to end it all, he hears a noise behind him. A whisper of words.
He turns to find Sunday, standing there with a gentle smile playing on her lips, her hair blowing in the wind. She repeats herself and extends a hand. Wednesday looks at it and then at her face. He sees the friendship etched there, maybe even something more. For the first time, he doesn’t feel so alone. His eyes stray to the ledge beneath his feet, to the street far below – then back to her. Life is all about choices and he is at a crossroads, unsure of where to go from here. Then, something blossoms deep within his chest, something he thought long dead.
He takes her hand.
And allows her to be the voice of reason in his sea of dysfunction.
“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” - Anonymous
***During my half-assed research, I found this interesting article which referenced a recent (2009) study that found 25% of suicides occur on Wednesdays.
Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed us all…