There once lived a man who could make things disappear.
I don’t mean he could perform slick tricks of quick dexterity, though he certainly could. His fingers were quicker than the flash of lightning that comes before the flash of lightning. And I don’t mean he was one of those “Eeny meenie, chili beany, the spirits are about to speak” parlor magicians, though he certainly could have become one if he wanted. There wasn’t a spirit in the Great Beyond who would not rush to speak at his seance table.
I mean he could make things go away as if they had never existed. You know that thing you could have sworn once existed but when you checked, you found out it didn’t and never had? That was him. He got peeved, said “I don’t like it”, pressed his will against the warp and woof of the universe, and it simply…ceased.
Tuesday morning, the man woke up and decided he didn’t like Tuesday at all. It was grey and dreary and, when he turned on his television, he found out his favorite program had moved to one of those new streaming services that seem to have popped up like dandelions across his well-kept entertainment world. In its place was a rerun where people bought lavish houses and tore them down to build even more lavish houses except the people didn’t seem to have jobs and, well, that was simply enough. The man closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t like Tuesday”.
When he opened his eyes, it was Wednesday, just as it had been before he woke up.
Two hours later, the man sat in traffic where a car was trying to make a left turn from the slow lane during the morning rush hour. He wanted a donut. Specifically, he wanted one delicious Boston cream donut from that place that only made Boston cream donuts on Wednesday mornings. Except this car was making him late, and the donuts sold out quickly, sometimes as quickly as a half hour. He was already behind because of an accident and police officers who, instead of directing traffic, stood around and watched the tow truck pull a mangled car from around a tree. The worst thing was that both the officers were eating donuts. Boston creme donuts. That was not a good start to Wednesday. He didn’t like it at all.
Suddenly it was Thursday, the second day of the week.
On the way home from the office, where the copier simply would not stop jamming and the phone rang so often he nearly wished his ears away, the man stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. His culinary tastes were simple but one of the things that delighted him beyond measure was Taco Thursday. He had everything he needed at home except for the taco shells and now, looking as a shelf bereft of anything resembling a taco shell — not even a single pack of tortillas! — he sighed and thought to himself just how much he disliked the Taco Thursday rush at the grocery store.
Friday night became Saturday night — and how silly of me to even suggest there had ever been a thing called Friday — before the man got out of the grocery store. Nothing good even happened to him on whatever that day might have been had there been such a day as that. No one ever invited him to parties and who threw parties these days anyhow? You couldn’t watch a good ballgame without being inundated with commercials. He had all those thoughts plus a couple more while standing in line behind a lady named Mary whose cart was full of chips and snacks and soda, no doubt for a party. He recognized Mary. She lived three houses down and, clearly, had forgotten to e-mail his e-vite, or whatever people did these days. No, Friday was unlikeable. SAturday wasn’t much better, and for most of the same reasons. What was the point of them? Errands and yard work and a lonely night at home? Bah.
Sunday. Now that was a solid day to…well, no. Church happens on Sunday. The man didn’t have a lot of use for any sort of deity. Why would he when he could unmake things with a single thought? Sunday would have to go, too. He had a moment’s concern for boiling the entire week down to a single day but who could complain? Once it was done, it would be as if it has always existed. Even he, after a while, would forget all those other days. Friday, Saturday…that other one that he thought probably began with a “P” or a “D”, ah, who cares? He didn’t like them. He made them go away. That was that.
The man sat in Monday and grumbled. Monday was all day, the only day. Tomorrow would be another Monday and the day after that would be Monday, too. At least Today Monday was sunny and bright and…no. Was that a cloud? Did a cloud pass in front of the sun? And another? Oh, this could not possibly do! Monday wasn’t any better than…something…than…Monday wasn’t a good day at all even though it was the only one! And who came up with the stupid idea of giving the only day a name? Why couldn’t there be more days? Four or five of them? Give them special names and do special things on them. What was wrong with people?
All those thoughts the man thought as his grumbled became words and his words became shouts and stomps and a fist raised toward the skies. But then he had one more thought.
Why must there be any day at all? How could everything disappoint him so if there was nothing to disappoint him at all? He smiled the sort of smile that would make the Devil himself take a step back toward the Almighty. If only he had seen himself in that moment.
One exertion of will later, the man floated in a vast expanse of nothing. He had done it. He had removed Monday and so there was no day at all, nor night. Nor anything, because what can exist without day and night? He looked around him but saw nothing. He sniffed the vast emptiness and stuck out his tongue. He reached out with his hands, searching for a wall or floor or flower or taco or friend.
At that moment, the man felt a small flutter of an emotion in his chest. In a voice that sounded weak in the airless void but that echoed throughout eternity, the man asked, “Where is everyone?”
Sometimes a story seems playful in my head but, by the time I get it down on paper, it’s gotten itself a vicious streak. This story is one of them. The Man is not a good man and his power, no matter how many times I’ve daydreamed to having it myself for just a brief moment or two, is not a good power.
(Photo Credit: kropekk_pl on Pixabay)