Jay Meehan: What’s a guy to do when his melancholy goes missing?
My melancholy has turned up missing. I felt its absence only this morning. Even my major-depressive-disorder management centers are clueless as to its whereabouts. My sloth, however, appears rooted firmly in place, as healthy as ever.
The former makes little, if any, sense. Leading up to this recent void, the perception of impending darkness had seemingly homesteaded all available psychic space. Each nook and cranny held a symptom or two. In the Biblical sense, there was no room at the Inn.
One would think that maybe a small semblance of the original cache might turn up due to the vacancy. But, no! Clear skies everywhere.
I immediately began re-scrutinizing my normal melancholic fuel centers, as in the Electoral College, cyber intrusion, the lack of democratic process, gerrymandering, the Supreme Court, climate change, racism, Xenophobia and the like. No truants among the usual suspects. All present and accounted for!
Admittedly, the Utah Republican conspiracy to render impotent the current Navajo tribal-oriented San Juan County Commission did, in submariner fashion, open its outer doors and fill its tubes, but still, no “blues” worthy of the name.
How could that be? Certainly it’s not my faith in the “left” to unite at the polls and send the Nazis packing. Even when word came down that Rudy Giuliani’s cronies had reopened his usual back-door communication channels to the Ukraine, the pall that normally fell over my days refused to blot out the sun.
As with Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, my normal gloom appeared “neat, clean, shaved and sober, and didn’t care who knew it.”
My immediate reaction to set things straight and get rid of the blasted smirk slowly spreading across my skewered mug involved, as most things do these days, the internet. But not even the formerly reliable incantation of Trump’s hate-filled greatest hits on YouTube could summon the usual darkness that normally pervades my days.
When word arrived from Britain that iconic ne’er-do-well Boris Johnson will be taking up residence at #10 Downing Street, my usually active despondency meter didn’t even budge. Blond ambition is taking over our planet and I remain erect. Go figure!
How much longer my woe will continue to sport a tux is anybody’s guess. Maybe we could get an office pool going. What’s not to love? Ya got me!
If truth be known, I miss my melancholy. Even the muted horn of Miles Davis that I woke to this morning somehow featured a nuanced subtext of optimism. When his solo faded, I pictured him with a wry grin and a je ne sais quoi body language as he slowly back-pedaled from the microphone.
Where was his signature glare and seeming disregard for the audience? At least Dylan muttered underneath his breath that nothing is revealed. Much is amiss in my cosmos this day. What’s a guy to do? Engage his fellow man? Walk around with a smile?
And what’s next? Are my Dodgers, out of the blue, going to start playing “small ball?” Out of nowhere, are my boys of summer going to acquire the ability to move a runner from second to third with less than two outs with a smartly struck sacrifice bunt? Now, that would be an omen.
These portending positives are complete strangers to my inner hallways. Who are they to take it upon themselves to return even a spoonful of my former joy? And while we’re at it, who gave these guys the keys to my limbic system? Or the punch code to my temporal lobe? You don’t think they switched my amygdala with Alex Honnold’s, do ya? Nah!
I suppose I could put up flyers in laundromats and post queries in online chat rooms. I mean, it’s not likely that my melancholy could blend into its surroundings forever. Under its threatening black fedora, you might say “hope has left the building.” It’s all about sneers and clenched fists. It’s not like I lost a puppy.
I mean, there’s absolutely no way I could continue through the impending presidential campaign without my melancholy to hover like a black cloud over any intrusions of the optimist variety. I can’t go through that again. Hope played nefarious games with my psyche last time around. I need to shed myself of such notions.
By the way, although I doubt if it’s a devotee to the goddess Kali, it answers to “ThugBoy.”
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.
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