Word of the day

The word of the day is today, which is to say, the day that is today. We’re talking about Monday.

  1. n. The second day of the week. It follows Sunday and precedes Tuesday.
  2. n. The first day of the week in systems using the ISO 8601 norm and second day of the week in many religious traditions.
  3. adv. on Monday

That first definition offends me. Monday is the start of the week, thank you very much. Isn’t that why we all hate it so much? It’s like the slap that starts you breathing after birth.

Monday is everything that sucks about beginnings. It’s the tedious sounds from an inaugural piano lesson. It’s the roar of the ripcord that kicks off an arms-out slog with a lawnmower in the scorching sun. It’s the first day of work and it deserves our disrespect.

But when I look at a German calendar and see Montag in the leftmost square, well that’s just wrong. Nein, I say. How can Sunday be last week when it’s so essential to this one? It’s this week’s opening credits, or at least the witty cold open. That feeling you have lying in bed after you wake up but before you open your eyes? That’s Sunday.

Sunday is the abstract of the essay, the basket of bread with dinner, the first 120 seconds of Be-In (which you should listen to right now). It’s the atonal musing of the orchestra while the theatre fills. It’s the dedication page of a textbook; superfluous to be sure, but sweet. It’s February ice sliding down the windshield of a warming sedan. It’s the national anthem, with its words you’ve memorized but never thought to understand. It’s the formless begin before the beguine. And I’m not facing the rest of the beguine without it.

So I stand corrected: Life starts on Sunday. This makes Monday (the first pitch, the drop of the baton, the filmed-before-a-live-studio-audience, the in medias res, and everything else) worthy of less disrespect. Every journey is easier when you’re already underway.