I Can’t Be Nice Today

Somebody ought to take away my toys and send me to my room.

Photo by Marie Lysenko on Unsplash

Some days I don’t want to talk, and I want even less to write. I write anyway, of course, because I’m a writer and that’s what we do. But some days, I have nothing to say that anyone wants to hear. Life is blah.

A low-level depression, high-level irritability, and general malaise takes over and kicks out all the good stuff I might have to say on a better day. It’s best for me, and other people, too, if I pull down the shades, pull up the covers, and let myself be a lumpy recluse. My body seems to weigh a thousand pounds, and I can’t lift it out of bed anyway.

I can’t be nice, can’t play fair, can’t even be reasonable when I’m in my worst moods. I’m always on the edge of angry about something or everything — I don’t even know exactly what. Sometimes I get livid about things it isn’t even normal to get angry about, but here I’ll go anyway, getting my bloomers in a wad over some tiny little thing that wouldn’t even get my attention on a good day. I don’t care if I’m being normal or a world-class horse’s ass in a bad mood.

Back before blessed retirement from my day job, I would take off work just to be mean and hateful alone and mitigate the damage from my moodiness. I yell at the television. The trains going by irritate me, although I usually don’t even notice them. Cats stomping around the house. You name it.

I guess I get the most righteously angry about injustice, and there sure is a lot of that going around these days. I try not to think about it, but something comes on the TV, and I’m yelling again.

Am I the only one who gets like this? I know I’m a mean old lady today and I don’t care enough to control myself. I should have stamp on my forehead on days like this that warns people away. Something like, “may bite off heads unexpectedly.” Or they could make me carry a sign around proclaiming I do not play well with anybody.

Someone innocently texts me, and I want to text back, “leave me alone.” A friend excitedly tells me her kid is making straight A’s, and normally, I would celebrate right along with her. But today I want to ask if she noticed the west is on fire, a pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands, the police are killing black people, and a lying tyrant who wants to be a dictator is in the White House? Just look how nasty I am. I’m spoiling for a fight.

It’s as if I don’t want to hear any good news and I don’t want to be mollified. I want to be mad. Just for right now. Just for today. I want to be mad.

These are the days that I should be a silent woman. My acid tongue needs to keep still in my spiteful mouth.

If I am quiet, which is not a natural state for me, it’s probably best to leave me alone. I can go off like a rocket from the tiniest spark — on days like this.

Am I the only one who hits a bad day, a down day, and gets mean about it? Somehow I don’t think so. I believe I’ve sometimes run into others having the same kind of day. But if I’m the only one who gets like this, do other people stay nice all the time. Well, no, not in my experience.

So I’m busy today. Busy being an angry old crone. And I like it. For now. Lord help anyone who makes the mistake of trying to get me to cheer up. Right now, I don’t want to.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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