Sad before birthday

This time last year I was lying by a pool in San Antonio thinking about the collapse of Thomas Cook and worrying about the UK economy with all the uncertainty around Brexit. Our merry little band of five were jaunting around the USA in a state of perpetual wonder, chasing the end of the summer before winter found us in Colorado Springs.

A year later and it seems like things have changed forever. Six months into this pandemic and it’s still as uncertain and haphazard as ever, with everybody policing themselves and policing each other. Back then we were having a ball. We were in a different state of the USA every week, going into rooms full of cadets and prisoners and old folk and students and kids to work them out about Shakespeare. Now we’re all at home.

I haven’t been following the news so I’m not sure of the specifics but things are feeling bleak. We are past the equinox now. The nights are longer than the days. Darkness is closing in. And it feels that way.

Lots of us feel sad. I’ve got that stomach thing where nebulous anxiety causes a knot in the base of the belly. The change of seasons is sad enough, but add to that the threat of martial law, the threat of a deadly surge of mutated virus, the threat of all of us shutting the doors again and dying of hate in a palace of loopaper, the threat of the economy collapsing totally, riots, burning, a new world order. The threat of getting older. That’s the big one.

It’s my fucking birthday again tomorrow. Today when you read this. Thursday. What’s a man to do? Birthdays in a time of Corona. Half the world has had one by now. It’s my turn and I remember being sure it would all be over by now back in summer.

Only six people at a time. I’ll be near Parliament Hill, no matter what the weather, naturing it up from noon until it’s too fucking cold. Lou has come up, thank God. That’s a comfort. She’s got her feet on my belly and it’s warm.

I’m feeling the weight of the encroaching dark. I really am. I always feel sad and slow before my birthday, and today is a particularly hard one as it feels like we are no further ahead than we were in June and now we have nothing but Christmas to bring light and warmth. You can bet all the fireworks displays are cancelled. I had a couple of self tapes, but nothing in the bag. Zip, zilch, nada. So little is being made, so little CAN be made with all the restrictions. It’s a sad sad situation and it’s getting more and more absurd.

We have to find light. If the darkness gets deeper we have to MAKE light.

Kitcat is going up to Scotland on Saturday. It’s been a year and a month since she moved in. She’s paid for a year. Despite the shortfall I’m sad as it’s an ending. It just adds to the sense of endings. The flat is ending too. It’s going to be different from now on. First the work, and then maybe a flatmate maybe not, maybe Airbnb, maybe lockdown. What the fuck is going to happen? Who knows. I feel totally swamped in it.

Anyway, it’s my birthday and I’m going to sober party. Noon I’m starting to hang in nature and I’ll borrow somebody’s zoom and do a Zoom thing late afternoon early evening just to see people’s faces. Probably about 5…? Oh I don’t know. I’m too tired sad and strung out to organise specifics. I just want to cocoon in a little warm ball under a rock like Hex, and come back out when it’s light and we are allowed to play again.

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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