As it had every day before, and will every day as long as I live, my clock radio bolted to life at 6:30 AM with the chirpy, peppy guitar tune of NPR’s Morning Edition.
My eyes lurched open, and once again have no idea what day it is. I knew it wasn’t the weekend. Otherwise, Weekend Editon would be filling my ears right now. You’ve probably had that problem, not remembering what day of the week it is when you wake up; I can’t imagine that’s unusual.
Now if I could only figure out what year it is, that’d be swell.
Yes, I would imagine that problem is a little different. Call it me losing my mind, if you’d like. That’d be the simplest explanation. Even if I have become insane, that doesn’t explain the symptoms of my condition. It’s sort of a reverse Groundhog Day with a twist of Memento thrown in. I don’t wake up in the same day over and over again. As I rise every morning it is a different day. Sometimes it’s the past, sometimes it’s the future. The past doesn’t mean much to me.
The headlines for the day had not begun yet, so I didn’t have much to go on. The sun was out, so it would have to be relatively close to spring. Every year has a spring in it. Well, all of them except 2044, so I suppose I was able to rule out that one year.
In truth, I could rule out some decades. I wasn’t in any particular pain for no good reason, so that ruled out most of the 2060’s. I could still see, and I wouldn’t go blind until at least 2071. I could reasonably guess that I was still a relatively young man, so I was pretty sure it was the first half of the twenty-first century. The fact that I had yet to live a day later than 2073 never failed to give me a twinge of existential dread, but I could move forward with my day knowing I would not die, whatever day it actually ended up being.
The radio started its rundown of the day’s stories. Congress was in deadlock. No help there. Could be any year. The Oscars had taken place last night, which only told me that it was a Monday. I couldn’t place any of the movies that had won, as the movies I watched most frequently were, in fact, Groundhog Day and Memento.
I wished it could have been a Friday. I once had a run of fifteen straight Fridays. It was the best.
The news went on, and before too long the placid, droning announcer uttered three words that threatened to give me an instant headache.
With a groan, I rolled over and jammed my face as hard as I could in the nearest pillow, and tried to force myself back to sleep, but to no avail.
With your experiencing each day one after the other in the correct order, you have probably felt the same thing I was feeling in that moment. Regardless of how much you want to stay in bed, the day is going to start with or without your permission.
It was 2019, of all years. I honestly wished it could be any other year.
If I was going to get through today, I’d need some coffee.