Isaac’s only clean pair of black socks had a hole in the toe of one of the socks. He didn’t discover the hole until he put the sock on and his toe poked out the hole in his sock. He had to dig through the laundry basket for a pair of socks he could rewear.
When he started tying his left shoe and the shoelace broke, he knew it was probably going to be one of those days. He tied it back together and tied his shoes. Sure enough, it was rainy and dark when he left for work. Someone was always driving next to him at just his speed when he wanted to switch lanes. He hit every red light.
At work, under the bright florescent lights, he realized that one of the socks he put on was navy, and his shirt was inside-out. His log-in information didn’t work. He had a hundred emails telling him he did something wrong. He left his lunch at home and didn’t have enough time to go buy something.
He had to stay late at work fixing things, listening to his stomach growl. He couldn’t find his scarf when it was time to go home. A puddle stretched across the sidewalk outside the door of his workplace. Isaac had to wade through it to get to his car.
On the way home, his car ran out of gas. He had to walk in the pouring rain to the gas station. The wind turned his umbrella inside out and broke it. He got home very late. Dinner was cold. Charlie had gone to bed early, not feeling well. Marianne was scrubbing a spot on the carpet where he’d thrown up. Isaac greeted her, changed out of his wet clothes, and returned.
She held up the washcloth. “Tag, you’re it. I’ll go heat up your dinner.”
“I can heat it up,” Isaac said.
Marianne shook the washcloth. “Take it anyway. I am so done with this. Why were you home late?”
Isaac shrugged and took the washcloth. “Bad day at work. Ran out of gas. It was one of those days.”
Marianne stood up and Isaac took her place. “Days like that happen, I guess. Did you want to talk about it?” She looked away, and Isaac sighed.
“That’s okay. Go take a break. It looks like you had a hard day, too.”
Marianne looked back and smiled. “Thanks. It has been a little tiring. I think I might go to bed early and read.”
Before long, the house was quiet. Isaac finally got the carpet mostly clean. He went into the kitchen and started to eat his dinner without heating it. Unfortunately, cold spaghetti is slimy. And his hands smelled like vomit even though he’d washed them.
He put his dinner in the microwave and scrubbed his hands again. They still smelled. He washed them again. Was he just imagining things at this point? He put some floral-scented lotion on his hands to mask any remaining smells. The floral scent gave him a headache.
The spaghetti was now a little dried-out and stuck together. But it was no longer slimy. So, he ate it, because at this point, he was really, really hungry. He finished eating, but he was still hungry. He poured himself a bowl of cereal and poured on some milk. It was sour. He tossed the bowl of cereal with a sigh.
The bag of bread was open, and the slice on the end was stale. Isaac ate it anyway. He cleaned up his dishes. He was still a little hungry, but he was too tired to try to find something else to eat. He drank a big glass of cold water. His stomach churned at the sudden cold.
Isaac sneezed as he sat down at his desk, and he reached for a handkerchief. There weren’t any. He went to the kitchen for a paper towel. All gone. There was no toilet paper in the bathroom, either. He changed out the roll for a new one, and finally he could blow his nose.
He sat at his desk and opened the bottom drawer. Isaac had a secret weapon for days like this. At the back of the drawer, there was a small blue book. He tried three pens before he found one that worked. He started writing in his gratitude journal.
His family was safe. His house was warm. The roof didn’t leak. He had dinner waiting for him. There was a gas station within walking distance when he ran out of gas. He didn’t lose his wallet. No one drove by and splashed water on him when he was walking. He messed up at work and didn’t get fired. He had socks without holes. He had shoes without holes. The carpet was clean. Tomorrow would be better.
His problems seemed small. Nothing really terrible had happened, after all. It was just a bad day. Days like that happened sometimes. Isaac sneezed and blew his nose. Time for bed, so that he could fight off this cold. He smiled and put away the journal. Tomorrow was going to be a good day. He could tell.