An Infant Hums “Stonecutters Cut it on Stone”


Wednesday has always been my least favorite weekday, rooted in a summer swelter that rushed my parents from enjoying “Carousel” at Chapel Hill’s Varsity Theater, back in ’56. My mother spent the next full day in flailing labor. Then at a moment past midnight, I finally emerged, dazed and confused, and overwhelmed with questions. “Who are these skinny people?” “Why am I still naked?” And “What ever happened to that suddenly charming, misunderstood, and freakishly kindred baby that first appeared on screen as Hal and Margy were scurrying down the aisle?”

I was born at 12:01 on a Wednesday, a day that no two people were ever able to recount with the same details and zeal. My mother, an excruciatingly reserved, demure, and proper woman of twenty-five, endured 27 hours of labor without so much as an unkind word or expletive.

My father, a confident and boldly dramatic man, likely slipped into endless German ravings and commentary, as I’d later find that he did whenever he got just a little too excited. By Saturday, we were quietly at home as I enjoyed my new crib and new-found privacy. I imagine that very day would’ve been a far more appropriate day to enter the world.

Yet I was born on an uneventful midweek day, Wednesday. Over the next fifty-eight years, I would endure almost 3,000 of them. All of the momentous chestnuts of my life have been on other days: weddings, funerals, graduations, parties, great first dates, lousy first dates, and Casey Kasem’s “American Top Forty” radio show. Wednesday was always a day on which I was cramming my energies into finishing a school project, staying late at work to meet a deadline, or compulsively planning the most elaborate of details for a dinner party.

I can’t really recall any particular Wednesday, although with prodding and time, I might. There was one particular one, back in 1993, on which I went to sleep on a Tuesday and awakened on a Thursday. That medically-supervised and morphine enhanced stay in the hospital was, I am certain, blissful for both my sub-conscious and alter ego. They never, however, addressed such an admission.

So here I sit, on yet another Wednesday at my ever comfortable and increasingly dusty desk. The day has naturally been uneventful, although my “To Do” list is teeming with unfinished household missions. Surely, there will be nothing on television this evening to pique my interest. Every time there is indeed a compelling program that airs on Wednesday, it is promptly cancelled by the network; case in point: “Pushing Daisies”.

Mind you, I am being neither negative nor a fatalist, just an observant pragmatist. Wednesdays are, in my humble estimation, the best of “bridge” days. They link Tuesday to Thursday, both of which are days that are infinitely more interesting with historically more attractive TV viewing options.

I am, however, now fifty-eight. Time seems to pass, unravel, or tick away rather quickly, so Wednesdays are no longer consumed with dread. “Carousel”, however, is! For quite a while it was my parent’s favorite film as it was linked to the birth of their first-born.

At age ten, when I finally first viewed it, I suggested that my parents had indeed exited the theater too quickly that night to escape the film’s idiocy, dripping sweetness, and insipid ploys. They rolled their eyes, as they often did that year, and Hal sang “My Boy Mark” in German, gently adapting Mr. Hammerstein’s original lyrics. I’ll always remember that night as my parents and I all laughed but for different reasons. Of course, it was a Friday night.

Turnabout is fair play, but Wednesdays still “suck apples through a chain link fence!”

Do I rank the days of the week? You bet I do!

In any case, Gentle Reader, I am listening to the Real Tuesday Weld on an otherwise uneventful day. I will close my eyes tonight at bedtime with modest hopes of greeting the day known as Friday when I next awaken.

(Image: “Royal Bath” by Martin Wittfooth, 2012.)

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