Pete’s Annual Review

Despite the morning being beautiful I pretty much slept through the whole of it. I eventually hauled myself into the living room, managed 2 Ibuprofen and half a banana, and lay down again, this time on the sofa. The company was better. One friend had stayed over – which was lovely. She came last year, and there was a time shortly after she arrived from New Zealand that she was a regular sofa guest. The three of us hung out playing cards and computer games and being silly. A proper day with no commitments, but the need to recover. I got smashed last night. I was varying my intake a little too much.

Brian got himself a Star Wars game for Christmas. I watched him play it a while before having a go. It’s not easy. It’s one of those games where you’re playing with lots of other people and half of them are trying to kill you, but death is merely an inconvenience. As far as I can tell, the longer you manage to not be dead, the more points you get. We have both realised that it’s a very good thing we aren’t involved in any infantry wars. Sometimes I was dying almost as soon as I moved. It got to the stage where we invented a character for Brian: “Stormtrooper Pete”, very well meaning, thoroughly incompetent, just wants to be a Stormtrooper, worried about his annual assessment, thrilled when he can not be dead for more than a minute, revelling in the small things “I saw him! I saw him before he killed me!” And so the day passed, interrupted by cats and dimsum.

By evening I needed to leave the house. My dad would always insist that we go for a walk down Marine Drive on Boxing Day, whatever the weather. If I was still in the IOM I’d probably have done that today, despite the volume of my complaining when he dragged us there as children. Without access to any windswept coast roads here in London, I’m making do with a stroll down the Thames in the rain, followed by a bus ride. Off to see a dear friend and healer.

Damn that was a fine evening. I just went to Waterloo and hung out. Good friends and good conversation. The perfect coda to a day spent mostly being killed by lasers. Despite my morning, I ended up having some white wine, and when I thought I was probably just going to be there an hour I ended up gladly staying three. Now I’m heading home feeling galvanised, to get stuck into leftover Christmas food.

I wonder if Stormtrooper Pete has managed to keep himself alive for a bit longer in the time I’ve been away. I wonder if maybe I should see if, after I’ve stuffed myself with cheese and turkey, whether I can help make sure that Pete does a little better in this year’s annual assessment.

This year has been pretty shoddy for many people, not just Pete. 2016 had a reputation for being shit. 2017 has been godawfully terrible. Another year coming. Time for optimism?

Here are my friend’s 2 diaries. One for 2017 and one 2018. That’s how different these years are going to be. Bring it, spangly 2018.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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