The other day, I could not get out of bed. When I woke up, I could not move my body, and when I finally could move, I could not decide where to go. I missed my morning run and never got around to reading the newspaper, and when I got outside, I had a flat on my car. I should have known then. It was going to be one of those days.

I dressed in a way that didn't suit me. I chose pants I hate and a shirt I didn't like and shoes that are not comfortable. I chose one belt and then another, settling on the one that didn't look good. For some reason I felt compelled to wear something ugly. That should have been my first hint. I should have gone back to bed.

I have these days from time to time. I think all of us do. Sometimes I think we bring them on ourselves. I can't blame myself for the flat tire, but I knew when I had this compulsion to dress ugly, something was up. I was going to punish myself. Don't ask me for what. I don't know. And don't ask me why. Again I don't know.

I went to the cleaners. They had lost one of my shirts. I gave them more stuff to clean and they promised it back the same day. All but two pieces made it. They don't know what's missing. Me neither.

I couldn't write a lick that day. I The words just weren't there. There was no flow to the sentences, and I couldn't remember simple grammatical rules. Spelling, always hard, became impossible. I would write one column while thinking of another, try to write that one and then think of a third. I wonder if this happens to Joe Kraft.

I got a check in the mail. That made me feel better. Later, when I went to look for the check, I could not find it. I looked in my pockets. No check. I searched my desk. No check. I went through my briefcase and then through the other briefcase I have started to carry since I found I could not get the work I never do into one briefcase. No check. Finally, I went through the trash. I found the check under the honeydew melon rind. The check was torn in half.

I knew I had done it. I knew I had torn the check in half and thrown it away. On a day like that, I am capable of doing anything. I think maybe I get this way because of body rhythms or maybe biorhythms, assuming, as I do, that the two are not the same thing. Maybe it is the tides. Or the moon. Maybe it is the stars. A friend gave me a session with an astrologer for my birthday and she was pretty accurate. She predicts a rough December for me. I don't believe in astrology, but I don't believe in being foolhardy, either. I'm taking December off.

It was on a day like this that I Napoleon fought at Waterloo. Wrong Way Corrigan had a day like this. Ralph Branca, too. President Ford had this kind of day everytime he tried to exit a helicopter, and Harold Stassen has one every four years. Ronald Reagan never had one. That's the difference between him and me. Maybe that's the difference between conservatives and liberals. They don't know what suffering is.

The bank called for its check. A magazine editor didn't call about an article I sent her. I know what that means. There were no pretzels in the vending machine, and when I got home, I found that my son had decided to make Yorkshire pudding to go with the roast beef. He's just a kid. I had to eat it. Words cannot describe . . .

The heater went out. The glass man did not show up. There is a window pane missing from the front door, and the cold air comes whizzing through. Thank God, I figured out how to light the heater and then, just to punish myself, I ate three chocolate chip cookies. I will now gain 25 pounds.

I went upstairs to check something and walked into a doorway. Don't ask me how. My knuckle is bleeding. My son says I should put a bandage on my knuckle, but I would rather bleed. Maybe I'll get blood on the Yorkshire pudding and then won't have to eat it.

Soon I will go to bed. Soon this day will be behind me. I'll try to sleep, but I know I won't be able to. I'm scared to death.

It's not even December yet.