What To Do On A Gloomy Day

You wake up, and you feel gloomy. Things haven’t been going exactly the way you’d have liked, and you’re stressed about typical coming-of-age, college-student crap, and the weather’s nondescript, and your apartment is empty, and you wish you could just fast-forward through the whole day.

But you’re also restless. This isn’t a day for sitting around inside — it will only make things worse. So you shower, get dressed, make eggs, put too much salt on them, eat them anyway, and go to class.

Except on your way to your history class, you realize how much you don’t want to sit in that room for an hour and forty-five minutes and pretend to pay attention. You don’t want to doodle in the margins of a notebook with hardly any legible notes in it. Not today.

So you stop in at a dining hall, because you’ve already left your apartment and you need to do something. You have a piece of mushroom pizza for lunch, despite your lactose intolerance. (You’ll regret this later, but it was worth it at the time.) You decide that since you already skipped class, you may as well go downtown and try to have fun.

You’re wearing sunglasses just to spite the gray sky.

You get on a nearly-empty bus. You look out the window the whole way and try to feel excited about what you’re doing, but you still feel unsure of yourself, and vaguely guilty for skipping class. You check movie times on your phone, knowing that’s probably where you’ll end up.

You arrive downtown, and find your feet guiding you to your favorite vintage store. There’s a sign outside advertising 10% off everything inside, for one day only. 10% isn’t enough to make any sort of real difference, but it still makes you want to buy something. You buy a striped polo. With your curly hair, it makes you look like Greg Brady, but not in a bad way, you think.

You have headphones in this whole time. You listen to the White Stripes, you listen to Nicki Minaj, you listen to Kanye, you listen to Joni Mitchell. You’re alternating between music that appropriately blends with your gloomy mood and music that might jar you out of it. It works, a little bit.

You go into a liquor store. You buy a water bottle for the movies, because they only cost a dollar there, and then get a grape swisher, because you think cigars are old-fashioned and funny, and you want to cheer yourself up. You put them both in your backpack and walk toward the movie theater.

It’s an independent theater, one that looks like someone’s modest house on the outside, but the screens and seats are pretty nice. Movie theaters, especially funky ones like these, have always felt like second homes for you, and as you settle into your seat you let the familiar, comfortable quiet excitement surround you. There are about ten other moviegoers, all older people, probably retired. You like that you can share this experience with them.

You watch the five Oscar-nominated live-action short films. You think about the Oscar plans you have with friends, and you feel excited. The shorts are all sad and funny and touching and surprising, and you’re glad they were completely worth the matinee ticket price.

As you leave the theater, it’s sprinkling but thankfully not pouring, and downtown is oddly quiet. You decide not to put your headphones in, but instead walk back to the metro center and enjoy the silence in a space that is usually so bustling. You feel a little bit like Holden Caulfield, but that’s probably only because you’ve read Catcher in the Rye about ten times.

You get back, and your apartment is still empty, but you don’t mind. You skip your second class, make dinner, smoke some weed, and watch Seinfeld.

Later that night, you’ll laugh and talk with your housemates, and tell them about your day. You’ll go to sleep feeling better. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Malene Thyssen

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