“Being old” holiday time.

My patterns are all over the place still. Mealtimes. Sleeping and waking. Washing. I’ve never been a creature of routine, but in normal structure I’ve habitually forced myself to take on too much and then to step up to it. It’s a comfortable way of living a life that doesn’t allow too much time for the bugbears to come scratch your memories. Not being busy means that suddenly I’ve got way too much time to think and it’s pretty relentless.

In some ways it’s a strange and rare luxury, having all this time. We will (hopefully) never have it like this again. It’s like we are all having a “pretend you’re really really old” holiday. We can’t go anywhere, it’s tough to see our families, everybody we know is worried about getting sick, we have to be super-careful about money but on the other hand we suddenly don’t have to do loads of weird stuff the whole time, and we can call the shots.

I don’t like it. I think, on balance, I’m happier when I don’t have any time to think about myself. It doesn’t help that I’m taking the booze out of the equation as that’s the comforting numbness and the enforced sleepytime.

But then again, this is a rare opportunity to look long and hard at where we are – where I am. What the heck have we made out of this personthing we’ve been inhabiting? Mostly I haven’t stopped to consider it as all the things to do are constantly crowding in.

I’ve gone into almost total communication shutdown the last few days. I have no idea what most of my friends are doing. Tristan’s sister showed up this afternoon to drop off my microphone and I barely offered three words to her. I feel like I basically just hissed at her, snatched the equipment and ran away.

I’m up all night and then I’m down all morning. I’m in my room burrowing into a warm place while Hex is in his tank next door doing the same. If somebody was to puppet a dead mouse for me now I might go for it. This time last year I was in Cornwall shooting a Rosamund Pilcher for German TV. Nothing could seem further from possible.

Thank God I’ve got The Heath two minutes walk from the front door. Despite my current morlock tendencies I’m still managing to hike out there extensively at least once a day, even on overcast days like today when the world is damp and squashy like an old sock.

Once I’ve got over the fact that feelings happen I’ll likely open the window a bit further and maybe telephone somebody. Right now I can’t trust myself not to either bite you or run away.

On the plus side, sleeping in the morning makes for astonishingly involved and memorable dreams. There’s a load of stuff scribbled in notebooks that might turn into something handy when I’m less erratic, and hopefully that won’t take much longer. If we come to resemble the creatures we look after, it’s probably not the healthiest that I’ve been stuck with a snake for the last few months. Why couldn’t Mel have been the owner of an enthusiastic hound?


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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