I could say weekends are little deaths but that would be a platitude and it would be false. Weekends are journeys to a place where there is nothing. This place is the land of perpetual suspension. Death brings conclusion but this place, the land of weekends, is not blessed by the possibility of conclusion. This land is the land of eternal and inescapable nothingness.

Weekends are suspended in time in a way only childhood days are. Childhood is the only time in life when time truly never passes. Weekends are a return to the timeless nothingness of awful childhood days. Of those days, I remember the doom. Also, the impotent rage. Also, the wish for death. Also, the desperate (literally — no hope) desire for a rescue I knew could not possibly come.

I invented my own rescues, of course — every child does — but my rescues were rooted in emptiness and were just as desultory as the nothingness of those unrescuable days. My rescues were fantasies of impossible things. I reveled in the impossibility in order to try to give substance and reality to my pain. If I could truly imagine a rescue and then also imagine how this rescue could or would not come, I would be able to feel sad for myself and this sadness would be better than the nothingness.  At the same time, though, I knew I had concocted the whole thing in my head and my feeling sad for myself was phony. At the end, what was real and solid was the nothingness. Acres, miles, infinitudes of nothingness. Nothingness forever. I would get a lump in my throat but the-child-who-had-renounced-tears could not cry. (I would try to cry. I tried to cry for a long time. It took me decades to feel that I was entitled to tears.) Eventually the days passed but the sense of doom never did. The sense of doom stayed on even when the days passed and life trickled (flowed?) again. I had stared hell in the face and I knew hell was real, only a thin gauze away from the normality of my days. Hell was the foundation of my life, more real than anything else in it. The nothingness was what everything else in my life rested on. The nothingness would never, ever go away.

There is no color in the land of weekend nothingness. This is a land of interminable tedium, purposelessness, absence. It’s a land with no one but me. It’s a plain of white rocks, the occasional withered or burned tree stump, a pale sun, dust. There is no temperature and there is no life. There is no air. There is no wind. There is no movement.There is no past. There is no future. The land of nothingness makes a mockery of memory.

Weekends are places of banishment, just like the nothing-days of childhood were places of banishment. Why was I banished there? What had I done? What had I done? What had I done?

Oh, but to really ask that would have been to feel sad for myself and I didn’t feel sad for myself. I had done something awful and the nothingness was where I belonged. The nothingness had been with me from the day I was born or, better, the day I was thought of in God’s mind. I was a child doomed to nothingness. The nothingness would never go away because I was essentially different from everyone and everything in the world and this difference was that I dwelled in nothingness, belonged in nothingness, and nothingness would have me forever.