Here’s a quote by a brilliant man:
“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” - Jean-Paul Sartre
Here’s another quote by another brilliant man:
“In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn’t cope with, and that terrible listlessness which starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know that you’ve had all the baths you can usefully have that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the papers you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o’clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul.” - Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything
As I write this, it is 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. I have lingered over coffee, I have taken a long shower, I have stared at the Sunday paper for hours - every single page of it. And now I am smack-dab in the middle of the long dark teatime of my soul.
I hate Sundays. And I hate 3:00 in the afternoon on any given day. So most of all, more than anything else, I hate the hours between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. Those three hours are quite possibly the most dreary hours of the entire week. No matter what I do on a Sunday, particularly between the hours of 3 and 6, I am always acutely aware of the fact that I am just killing time so that the stupid day is over as quickly as possible.
In Germany, Sundays are particularly hard on me because no stores are open, so I couldn’t even go to Wal-Mart or something and wander around to pass the time. People here go for Sunday walks, they have cake and coffee around four, they like to relax. It really is a day of rest here, which most everyone seems to enjoy - at least judging by the debates that rage every time someone mentions the idea of letting stores open on Sunday.
I’ve tried to do the German thing. I’ve gone for walks on sunny Sundays in the hopes that the sunlight would improve my mood like it’s supposed to. It doesn’t work. I’ve gone for walks on cloudy Sundays because fresh air and movement are supposed to improve your mood even if it’s not sunny. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried drinking tea and relaxing, I’ve tried playing music, I’ve tried reading, I’ve tried watching TV (which is even more depressing), I’ve tried meeting with friends for coffee.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, works. I still can’t shake that melancholy Sunday ennui. I still spend the day waiting for the day to be over.
Sunday morning can be a bright, cheery time to relax with a cup of coffee and be happy that you don’t have to go to work or do anything in particular. Sunday night is just like a weeknight because you know that the next day is a weekday and you’ll be busy doing something or other.
But Sunday afternoon? It’s nothing. It’s not the week, and it doesn’t feel like the weekend. 3:00 p.m. on a weekday is bad enough, but I feel real dread when 3:00 p.m. on Sunday rolls around. It’s such an empty time, a vacuum time. It makes me feel trapped in a time loop or something. It’s dead time. It’s a cusp, like the few hours right before dawn. It’s weird and unholy. It’s an empty room. It’s a ghost town. All I can do is keep myself busy and wait for it to end.
I breathe a sigh of relief once 6:00 p.m. rolls around. Then it’s evening time - something well-defined, clear-cut, normal. Then I can think about calling my parents to say hello. I can make dinner. I can busy myself by getting stressed out about all the things I have to do on Monday. I can turn on the TV to catch the Sunday night movie, and I can at long last numb my mind to the fact that some part of my soul was just sucked out by the soul-vampire that disguises itself as a long, dark Sunday afternoon.
As far as I’m concerned, the sun can’t go down fast enough on a Sunday.