01 September 2010

That Sunday Afternoon Feeling

Do you know it?

It's a little bit blue, a little wistful; it has a touch of melancholy. Sometimes it can be itchy and uncomfortable. It can feel wide and windblown, or boxed-in and breathless.

It can strike without warning - having nothing to do with how much you are or aren't looking forward to work or school on Monday. Sometimes, regardless of how you've spent your Sunday, it feels as if things are ending and you're not quite sure what's beginning.

Curiously, in our experience, the Sunday afternoon feeling can also be caused by things other than Sunday afternoon.

Coming to the end of a book that has really got under your skin can do it. I'm looking at you, I Capture the Castle. I'm looking at you, Gilead.

Coming to the end of a series you've lived with for years, even more so. I'm looking at you Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm looking at you Mockingjay. I'm looking at you final ep of The Sopranos.

Some writers' work is infused with the wide and windy feeling. I'm looking at you, Joanne Hornimann and Judith Clarke and Helen Garner.

Sometimes it can sneak up on you when you've listened to too many Paul Kelly songs in a row. I'm looking at you Comedy, on repeat.

Sometimes it strikes at the change of seasons.*

It can arrive on Christmas night, after the eating and drinking is all over and there's nothing left under the tree except for the emergency presents.**

According to Jesse Martin, you catch it sailing into Port Phillip Bay after months and months alone in your little boat on a big ocean.

And sometimes it sneaks up on you for no apparent reason at all. It's not quite Holly Golightly's mean reds, but it's not the blues either. Perhaps it's not a colour at all. What do you think? Is this wide and windy, boxed and breathless feeling something you have a name for? Or is it simply only ever always that Sunday afternoon feeling?

*Although not usually this one - hello, first day of spring. Hello, rain.
** Did your family do this too? Just something small, and usually home made - maybe a bottle of tomato sauce or tarragon vinegar - wrapped in red cellophane. To guard against the possibility of unexpected guests - a cousin's new girlfriend, a neighbour dropping in - going presentless.


Lilybett said...

To stave off post-good-book-syndrome, I've been known to trawl through fan-fiction sites to try and catch a further glimpse of the characters or the setting. Sometimes, though, this feels like picking cigarette butts out of the gutter for one last hit.

As a child of divorce, the long, slow slide to 5pm on Sunday afternoon is forever associated with boredom and unease. Essentially it's the return to the ordinary primary carer and leaving the exciting weekend parent, but there's also that sense that you can't start something interesting or go and do anything because the 5pm deadline looms.

thaliak said...

What about that long, no-time-zone flight back to Aus after you've been travelling for months.
Definitely boxed in and breathless.