Heathland

Today there was a bit more blue in the sky at last. Up to the heath as always. I spend my life up there right now – the heath or bed. That’s it right now.

Half the day asleep in adventurous dreams. Minnie and I were fighter pilots from WW1 but we’d gone through a wormhole in time to some sort of dangerous swampy future and we were trying to save the universe. Then I woke up and realised I was in a dangerous swampy future but without Minnie or the two person Spitfire.

I don’t get to see Minnie so much these days. I miss that. It’s harder and harder with my friends who have settled down with kids. My own selfnoise about being irresponsible and single sometimes gets in the way of what used to be simple interactions. Ten years ago if you’d asked me who my best friends were I would have said with no hesitation: “Minnie and Jo”. Somehow I still feel the truth of that. It takes time and trust and honesty and exposure to open the channels that have been opened between us. But Jo has a daughter whose age is measurable in years, and I’ve never met her. Minnie has Zephia, and I don’t even know her that well, even if she DID name my owl bottle. My friends make kids and I find that I edge off to the side, feeling like I’m a bit cracked and no longer useful. Feeling like I can only easily connect with the friends who, like me, have not had kids. There’s all sorts of stigma around it. My sister in law can’t frame me. She has a musician brother with a trail of broken marriages and somehow that’s easier for her to understand than someone who’s been careful.

I can hang out with Flavia because somehow I’m just mates with her kid Ivo. I have no idea how Ivo and I made friends like we did (I think it was literally to do with banging a table when he wasn’t even 1.) It leaves Flavia in the position where sometimes I have so much fun hanging with Ivo and asking why he’s killing the Lego Man that she has to remind me I’m there to hang out with her as well. Hal and Hester as well sometimes, when I ever get myself to Crowborough. But there aren’t many friend’s kids I get on with right now. Should I be trying harder?

I spoke to Kitcat today – she’s recovering in Chelsea. The flat is such a chilled out area. I think it’s had nothing but the energy of relaxation for decades now. For someone like Kitcat who energetically reminds me of my mum it’s the ideal recuperation zone. It’s been too easy for me to stumble into bad habits there, as I’ve built a nice thoughtframe in the flat to support my self-destruction.

But we often ground our habits geographically. Moving house can help us give up smoking. A new base is often a good shot at recalibration. And this place… It’s so well located. It takes no time at all for me to hit one of the only bits of London that really feels like countryside.

I’m pretty happy here. I’m just thinking about how the world moves on. Generation cedes to generation. Those dear dear friends have bred, almost without my noticing. Such a long list of the ones I love.

I’ve never done babies.

Saves me a fortune in nappies, and lets me stay up all night worrying about bullshit, rather than babyshit. You take the rough with the smooth. Even if I’m covering a spot of melancholia with a dash of glib. Who knows. I might have made a good dad. I doubt I’ll get the chance to find out.

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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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