Monday, October 31, 2011

My Sunday of Slavic Melancholy

My Sunday of Slavic melancholy began with a brief interlude of contentment at the Dazbog coffee house, where I enjoyed a latte and one of their breakfast pierogi, which are dumplings stuffed with potatoes, sausage, and cheese, cuisine dear to the heart of the Slavic people. (Dazbog is the name of a god in Slavic mythology, possibly a solar deity.) Afterwards I took a stroll to the nearby reservoir.

I was plunged into melancholy, a deep Slavic melancholy, upon seeing the grass and bushes surrounding the reservoir gone so dry and brown, decaying, the residue of the blasted hopes and withered dreams of summer, dead plants still clinging to the parched soil, dead and sad and pointless, like faded brown teeth in the jaw of a skull exhumed from an unmarked grave. I walked on, humming a Slavic song in a minor key. I pondered the miseries of life as only a Slav can ponder. Woe to the man, I thought, who, after a life spent scratching out a tiresome living with all its anxiety, arbitrary and unrealistic schedules, struggles with scoundrels and incompetents at all levels of the corporate organization, and disappointments in recognition and advancement, reaches the autumn of his career and finds the long struggle to have been largely in vain, with his every accomplishment forgotten or misattributed to others, having only a skimpy retirement annuity to show for decades of honest and capable service. Woe! Woe and despair!

Fortunately, I am only part Slav and could not retain this dark brooding for long. I returned home, had a bowl of Dreyer's fat-free frozen yogurt, and felt much better about life.

(Truth be told, today's descent into dark Slavic melancholy was a merely a reaction to reading too much 19th-century Russian literature. My actual Slavic relatives are very cheerful folks.)

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