Warning: this post may carry traces of incoherence. Wash your hands when you leave.
When I am under pressure to do one thing, my brain starts doing a million other things.
‘Let’s not focus on that,’ it says. ‘Let’s do this instead. Far more interesting, doncha think?’
I used to call it procrastination, but it’s not really. Or if it is, it is procrastination in a jazz improvisation style. Which means you still produce something, but whether it is good or bad is entirely debatable…
This means I’ve been busy. I’ve been busy doing the things I didn’t mean to do, but which just took me over. It feels like my brain, when it is told to go off and make a nice quiet pork pie (no jelly), suddenly starts throwing out a wild and misshapen string of noisy sausages instead. Jazz? sausages? I did warn you.
So now, instead of a nice neat chapter I’m surrounded by poems, a load of photographs, a big load of catching up with Immanuel Kant (who I barely understand a sentence of, but thanks to Professor Sandel at Harvard, I adore) and the beginnings of a short story.
I quite like the short story. This is the opening passage. I might finish it.
She’s dying. At the hospital. Switching the m/c off.
We couldn’t understand it at first. It was Sunday. The radio was on, playing something hip-hoppy. Easy Like Sunday Morning? We might all love it (secretly), but you can’t live your life in some throwback cliché, can you? Especially when middle-age shakes you awake in the mirror each morning.
‘Those wrinkles. Grey hairs. Already? But I’m not ready.’
We might be able to keep Lionel’s chin and the Commodores at bay in our house, but texts about death? They will come whether we like it or not. We don’t. It used to be in the post: death, like taxes, or at least a polite knock on the door, or a phone call. Now it’s via text, announcing itself with a dissonant bleep. Or, worse still, Facebook.