The Damayear

At least she coined a word.

The word was “damayear,” and it was a unit of time that represented the length of one of Lily’s depressive phases.

She discovered it walking home from the bus after work one day. At work, she’d received official notice that, while everyone knew she was qualified as an accountant and thought she’d done a great job filling in as one, they had decided to hire someone else to take the position and the salary. (Although, as her boss enthused, “Knowing what you can do, we’re going to keep a lot of this work in your lap!”)

It was rainy, and cold, and windy. Her umbrella—the high-quality one that she had splurged on because the cheap ones she usually bought always blew inside-out—blew inside out. With some struggle, she managed to turn it right-side in for about eight seconds, before it burst open once again. This time, three of the spokes ripped free from the black fabric, leaving the umbrella useless for any purpose but serving as the inspiration for the letter “k” in the title of a creepy animated film.

Lily smashed the umbrella against the sidewalk three times. Then, realizing that there were plenty of people around who might find this behavior insane, she stopped. Then she decided she didn’t care and gave the sidewalk three more mighty whacks. It was only when she realized that the people around were, in fact, watching her that she came back to her senses.

Pretending she had pride to gather up, Lily brushed past a young girl and her mother waiting to cross the street. She deposited the former umbrella in a trash can forcefully enough that it bounced a foot and a half and finally, just to set a bad example, crossed the street against the light.

“It’s been a crappy day,” she muttered to herself.

“It’s been a crappy month,” she amended. And finally, “It’s been a crappy year.”

It was a sequence of phrases that she’d muttered too much recently. So she could at least introduce a bit of efficiency to it.

“It’s been a crappy damayear,” she concluded.

Yes, that felt right.

A damayear averages six to nine months, although this one was pushing the upper limits of that timeframe with little sign of things improving. Lily briefly considered and dismissed therapy; she had tried it once and spent time discussing vague and hypothetical situations and using strange and indirect words for “I’m angry,” followed by a prescription of drugs that dulled her senses and made her sleep for fourteen hours a day. Lily knew that it was probably her specific therapist that was defective, rather than the entire profession, but she didn’t trust it anyway. At least, she didn’t trust her ability to not find another defective therapist.

She would get through this on her own, Lily knew. Somehow, someday, life would give her some glimmer of hope, some reason to care, and she would relish that blessed week or two of pure sunshine before the next damayear began.


This little happygram to start the week is one that I wrote a couple weeks ago after a reasonably bad day. It will come early in Receptacle, as it makes a nice character sketch of Lily, who will be one of the major characters in it.


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