The world is ending. We are all going to die. Although I would never go so far as to say that I was a morning person, I can start the day with this news, looped, hearing about the imminent nuclear attack that will kill us all quite slowly in 18 months, while drinking the coffee that has been killing me quite slowly for the last 15 years, and sort of tune out the gloom. Yet, give me the same news, or even slightly less awful news, seven or eight hours later, and I will be weeping, rendered immobile by helpless despair. I don’t know when the world will end, but I’m pretty certain that the grand implosion will happen at about 3.52pm, GMT, and it will be my fault. We all know that mid-afternoon brings with it a physical slump, a bone-weariness, a double-physics ennui. But what about the soul wearing that has set in every weekday for most of my working life? Possibly longer. Desks everywhere bear the indentation of my head, depressed in every sense. I can provide a comprehensive list of the best office loos for an undisturbed weep. In my check-out girl days, I once had a 40-minute long existential crisis while locked in the Sainsbury’s Beers, Wines and Spirits closet.
From 8am until about 2.58pm, I am, if not quite a paragon of efficiency, fairly successful at self-parenting. I can trick and cajole myself into meeting deadlines, doing exercise, eating vegetables with a minimum of self loathing and panic. Then, with breathtaking regularity, for the next two and a half hours, I become as sad and slow as a rail replacement bus service. Everything seems completely pointless – and yet, oddly, these feelings begin to abate during the opening credits of Pointless.
But during my Horror Afternoons, I fall into the same set of bad behaviour patterns. I attempt to self-medicate with sugar. When that invariably fails to cheer me up, I then spend 40 minutes scrolling through Twitter, self-hatred building with every single swipe, simultaneously bone-tired and abuzz with Fruitellas. However, the one benefit of allowing myself to be consumed by exhaustion and self pity is that I begin to get bored after about an hour and actually do some work.
The clinging fog, which seems so sticky and impenetrable at, say, 4pm, starts to lift as soon as I start to think that yes, everything is dreadful, but maybe I could have something nice for tea and, sure enough, come 6:30pm, the crisis is averted. Until tomorrow. It’s like some terrible Greek myth… this too shall pass. Until next time.
By Daisy Buchanan, @NotRollerGirl