The Concept 'This Monday' Has Been Canceled Until Further Notice

Illustration for article titled The Concept 'This Monday' Has Been Canceled Until Further Notice
Image: Wellcome Collection (Other)

Moments ago, my editor and boss Julianne Escobedo Shepherd informed the Jezebel staff that we will not be working “this Monday,” as it is Martin Luther King Day, a lovely and licit holiday that bears celebrating and one that I have no issue with. What is confusing to my colleagues and me is the concept of “this Monday.”

Advertisement

Now, “this,” “last,” and “next” in conjunction with days of the week have always been troublesome for me. Isn’t this Monday the same as next Monday? And furthermore, isn’t “this” Monday of the week we are currently in also “last” Monday? This confusion has never been more pronounced than in our current little corner of history, where my house is also my office, gym, theater, drinking saloon, and cannabis edible buffet. Perhaps due to several of these factors in conjunction with one another, time has begun to, not so much pass as slide. This feeling is not unique to me, as my colleague Kelly Faircloth also noted when Julianne reminded us that it has somehow become mid-January: “Weird we have a three-day weekend when it was Christmas yesterday and the coup this morning.”

Sometime a few days before that was the election, I’m pretty sure, and then maybe two or three weeks before that we were all talking about the bummer of spending the summer at home but making plans for the fall when surely this whole thing would be over. It seems like there was at least one Halloween in there as well. And Donald Trump may have stood maskless on a balcony at some point looking like a bad network television drama’s idea of a scary fascist president, but I could have imagined one or either of these events. In fact, here are a few things that possibly happened in the past 12 weeks or could have happened before or will happen in the future or possibly will never come to pass at all. I cannot exactly be sure:

  • Rudy Guliani’s hair in a can melted down his face at a press conference.
  • Georgia saved America.
  • Mr. Peanut died.
  • 4,000 Democrats ran for president.
  • One of them won.
  • It turns out a white professor was pretending to be a person of color.
  • A troubled squirrel issued a Notes App apology for biting a neighbor.
  • President Donald Trump was impeached.
  • A racist fake shaman dressed as a... I want to say buffalo... broke into the U.S. Capitol while lawmakers were in session with a mob of insurrectionists who wanted to overthrow the government but ended up just shitting all over the floor.
  • 2020 turned one year old.
  • Some man bragged about torturing a child with a can of beans and then said it was fine because she had plenty of pistachios.
  • The world got a boner for a hot fireman while the world was also, unfortunately, on fire.
  • Human vaginas had a very good day when it was revealed that they are often self-lubricating.
  • It turns out a white professor was pretending to be a person of color.
  • There was a fourth day of July.
  • Bread was a weird shape and people did not like it.
  • A person from Boston was not from Spain and people did not like it.
  • President Donald Trump was impeached.
  • Harry Potter became problematic.
  • All of the romance novelists got into a brawl.
  • Mr. Peanut was reincarnated as a smaller peanut.
  • The man from the Man From U.N.C.L.E. is possibly a cannibal.
  • It turns out a white professor was pretending to be a person of color.
  • News broke that a Secret Service agent possibly had diarrhea all over the Obamas garage because Jared and Ivanka wouldn’t let him use the toilet.
  • There was some talk of a vaccine.

When I was a child, my grandmother had a little framed quote that read “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” Because I was a child and not a particularly bright one, I assumed Time was the name of a stream back in England where my grandmother was from, and imagined a lot of merry English people just dipping their bobbers in Time, which burbled through a pastoral stretch of hay and bovine-dotted countryside. Occasionally they would get a nibble and pull a wriggling fish, dripping with Time, from the bracingly cold water only to find it too small for a full meal and would then toss the fish back into the stream, where it was lost to Time—which has no beginning and no end, only a bracing push in some places and puddled stillness in others—forever. I cannot be sure of what day it is currently or what day it will be tomorrow, but I have never been more certain that at some point in the past, I was absolutely correct in this belief.

DISCUSSION

The Jezebel staff WILL not be working THIS Monday. Together, the capitalized words make it pretty clear to me. If it was the Monday that just passed, you wouldn’t be about to do something on it. Among future Mondays, ‘this’ is a lot clearer than ‘next’.