I have bad days of all sorts at work.
Bad days when “don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” is everything but a joke.
Bad days when all I want to do is curse loudly, and to add insult to injury, I have to spend hours being polite on the phone.
Bad days when my patience is a ticking time bomb, and composing resignation letters in my head is the only thing that keeps me from writing real ones.
What becomes of all these bad days? They blend into one another, cancelled by all the good that happens in between, until they stop mattering altogether. And then there are the Very Bad Days: the ones that strike like a summer storm on a quiet day at the beach, the ones I still remember years after the fact.
A Very Bad Day has nothing to do with being hit by more deadlines than I can handle, sacrificing lunch breaks to meetings, or having to suffer through a client’s power trip. A Very Bad Day is when the Fraud Police comes knocking, knowing I’ll open the door and let it announce my list of crimes: warming up to the idea I’ve earned my spot, making mistakes no amount of wits or skill could save me from, forgetting I’m only good to let myself and everyone else down.
I don’t have all the words, or enough of the right ones, to describe what hearing my own voice play my catalogue of failures in a loop feels like, but the Editors’ “Spiders” most definitely does. Like many of the tracks that precede it in An End Has A Start, it takes the hurt, confusion and betrayal I keep dishing out to myself, and sings them out loud, in the face of rationality, in the face of the voice of experience and its indifferent “this too shall pass”.
There’s spiders in your room
But there always will be
There’s people to be fooled
And there always has been
Hold out your hand
Hold out your hand, or we’ll carry you
Hold out your hand
Hold out your hand; come back to me
With your back to the wall
You’ve got one place to fall
Sometimes it’s all
Better on your own
Played as loud as practicable through my headphones — I work in an open plan office, where sound leakage causes more ripples than a brooding face — “Spiders” is like hearing a loved one’s voice say I see you, I understand, I’m hanging in there with you. Or perhaps it’s the voice of the part of me that loves me in spite of everything, that will always put up a fight. It takes a whole album to summon it, and by the time I do, I’m almost ready to crawl out of the black hole.
(Song recommendation by Federica S.)