Ever had a “hellizon” day? Hellizon days are the direct inverse to Halcyon days, which means rather than looking back upon this day with nostalgia you would prefer to bury its memory deep in your subconscious, along with the day you peed yourself at school in grade 4, or the day you accidentally let a silent but deadly one go at the drive-in, on a first date, at 16, with that really beautiful boy you’ve been lusting after for months, and you are engulfed in stench and silence.
A hellizon day occurs when Satan’s secretary is really bored with plague, war, famine and pestilence and decides to isolate a particular global citizen for special consideration. He (Satan’s secretary is male) is sitting at the desk with his feet up looking back and forth, from his computer screen to a poster magnetised to his filing cabinet that depicts a frog strangling a heron, which is attempting to swallow it whole, with the caption “Never Give Up” at the bottom. He rolls the dice and your day begins. This is Hell. And today is a hellizon day.
It begins at 4:30 am because you’ve been interstate all weekend and you have to catch the red-eye home. Of course you’re tired and sleep deprived, so the first item on the agenda is a bitter argument with your significant other about where he put your goddamn purse and he says it’s under all the goddamn shit you’ve piled on the bed.
Then of course your flight is delayed meaning you will be late for work and the Taxi driver who looks about twelve doesn’t speak any English except for “yes ma’am”
Do you know how to get to…?
You don,t have a GPS?
Would you like directions?
Er I said left, no your other left.
LEFT, LEFT…nope you missed it, take the next left….or the next.
But most of the time he just can’t hear you because of the Hindi Hop belting from his stereo.
You finally make it home but you are now 15 minutes late and you’ve been awake for almost five hours and it’s not even nine in the morning. You can’t stay home and hide under the doona because you are presenting at a break out session during a conference today. You jump in the shower and the water heater ceases to work at the exact moment you’ve soaped up your hair with shampoo. Freezing, you rinse your hair under the tap and head to the hair dryer, which you discover you’ve left in the hotel bathroom.
About now you realise you can’t leave because your considerate friend, who was feeding the cat while you were away, has hidden your keys, in case thieves get past the two deadlocks and take them in order to steal your car. And you’ve deleted the text that told you where those keys were hidden. You finally locate them under the pillow with your pyjamas after you have trashed the entire house, and phoned your partner, and can’t BELIEVE that he doesn’t remember the text either?
These are the kindest words you’ve shared all morning. You’re still furious because he stole the window seat on the plane and promptly fell asleep while you had nothing to lean on, so kept dribbling and jerking yourself awake. Even the way he was breathing was irritating.
You leave the house, accidentally locking the cat in for yet another day.
You arrive at work, sneak in and check your emails and discover that a colleague has beaten you to a promotion and you weren’t even shortlisted. The main presenter catches you checking your emails and talks to the group about the importance of active engagement. You nod solemnly in agreement as the boss glares at you.
Suddenly the roller coaster ride of a disastrous weekend and your shit morning takes it toll and by break time you are helpless as the pent-up resentment begins to leak inexplicably from your eyes. And none of your friends in the toilets believe its hay-fever. Their sympathy, instead of being welcome, is suffocatingly annoying and they back off when you vehemently deny that you’re just tired and emotional.
By the afternoon you’re called on to comment on something inane but you manage to make it about something really important, and professionally significant, if you could just stop your eyes leaking and find the words. People are now oscillating between looking at you with wary expressions, expecting you to whip out a rifle and cause a lock-in, or resolutely avoiding eye contact.
By day’s end you would love to head home and curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a paracetemol, or maybe a glass or six of red, or lay your head in your mum’s lap and blubber, sniff, snort and shoot snot into a tissue, while banging on about your problems, but she’s off on a fabulous holiday, spending your inheritance.
Of course you can’t indulge yourself with a day off, because three months ago, during a halcyon day, you offered to present an evening workshop tonight.
By now the cat is ready to scratch its own eyes out, because your best mate forgot to feed it on the last day you were away and it’s piercing caterwauling is drilling a hole into your grey matter.
So you feed it and trudge off to the workshop, resolute in the hope your panda eyes are not too distracting. During your opening address the top button on your jeans bursts and you remember those six donuts you ate on your last hellizon day and spend the rest of the workshop constantly fighting to keep your fly up, much to the consternation of your participants. Finally, it’s over and you realise you’ve left your bloody keys in the toilet. In that loo they locked an hour ago and you have to get security to come out at immense expense and get them to open the dunny.
You’re on the home stretch, dark has fallen, the day is lumbering home dragging it’s feet, head down and soul depleted. You remember that basketball starts again tonight, you can’t pull out because they’ve only got five players and they’d have to forfeit without you. So you head to the wardrobe to look for your sports wear and notice that the cat has vomited the food it hungrily hoovered up five minutes ago, on your favourite pair of suede boots.
While you are looking for the paper towel, you are renaming the cat, some of them are extremely creative, but unpleasant nomenclatures and the neighbours are starting to wonder about the crazy bitch next door.
You become increasingly aware that there is also a mystery smell that’s been bothering you since you got home and you can’t seem to locate it anywhere. The yellow pages is open on the counter.
In a startling moment of synchronicity you realise with absolute clarity that there is a link between the fact that the cat has been trapped indoors for two days and that the pages have moved further along from the ‘P’s. With mounting trepidation you peel the pages back from rubbish removal to TrueFlow Plumbing Services and there, in the centre, is a fresh, steaming, hot turd kindly left there by the cat to remind you that animals must always be catered for while you are away from home. FUUUUUUUUUUCK! (more neighbour discomfort)
You rush out to basketball and realise you are on empty. But you make it to the stadium, only to find you are playing against a bunch of svelte, sixteen year olds with the metabolism of seasoned triathletes. They lithely lope across the court and trounce you into an asthma attack.
On leaving with your ankle iced and three tech fouls for abusive language, you just manage to roll into the most expensive service station on the street and start to fill the tank when the phone rings. It’s mum and she’s having an absolute whale of time, and wishes you were here darling.
And, in a freak, one in a million chance, just to prove the caution signs are actually necessary, the static electricity from your phone ignites the petrol and incinerates your new car…….Okay that didn’t happen. But it might as well have.
Right about now Satan wanders back into the office only to find said assistant loafing about, spending all day on Beelzebub.com chatting with fellow demons and updating his status from…
Lonely Lucifer: says Hello ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now diamonds. I’m on a horse.
Lonely Lucifer: is wondering if you choke a smurf… what colour would he turn?
and thus Satan smote him to very small pile of ash….
Meanwhile back on Earth, you finally make it home and significant other has been moved to buy you flowers, put the electric blanket on, uncork a bottle of your favourite wine and have a delicious meal waiting for you on the table.
He has also tossed out the offending yellow pages.