Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A new plan, again: Day 9

So adult life is just saying you're tired every day until you die, isn't it? But I mean seriously I am really incredibly tired.

Fran has brought me Marmite on toast in bed, with black coffee, because she's a keeper. I've fed the corners of my toast to Mish, because I'm a keeper. You can get your grubby paws off my coffee though, that's for me alone.

Too many 2am closes. Too much work. But I'm less depressed than a week ago, less lethargic, I don't feel as much apathy.

Writing every day is helping with that, having more of a purpose -- but I don't think I could do that if I wasn't cutting out drinking and everything. And without a pint to be my reward, I'm starting to get that enjoyment from other things. From feeling like a paragraph or a post has worked well, from joking with friends, from walking home in the sunshine. So that's nice.

- - -

Gone round to see my mum. She's made me a cheese and pickle sandwich, I've taken her photo and had a go at fixing her laptop. We're in the garden now sitting quietly. She's reading, I'm writing on my phone. We never have much to say. It's nice that way.

- - -

2255, back home, full of evening sadness, an awareness of the passing of all things. Bus into town from my mum's, met Ant down from Quayside helping out for the last day of snooker. He was finishing as I arrived, then Straw turned up for a few, so the three of us sat, they with their beers, me with iced coffee, and we watched the remaining frames of the final. Williams fought his way to an 18-16 victory, his first world championship title in 15 years.

Straw cheered, looking tired -- he was coming off a week of nights and had dark bags under his eyes. Ant gave me a hug.

The sun went down, the Crucible disgorged its fans, the fans drifted into the night. Zoe and Steph finished their shifts, joined us with Emily and Zak. Everyone was drinking.

I left them to it and slouched away to the bus stop. Sad old journey home, empty streets, lonely lights in the dark. Grainy video posted on Facebook of an Indian taxi driver mauled to death by a bear. He'd gone too close for a selfie, because that is how we all now will die. Uncaring ferocity of the bear, the taxi driver's arm small and shielding, tossed aside, almost free, then not... teeth as ancient and merciless as the Earth... footage too blurred to make out the rending, the tearing, but knowing it was there, the man a human bullied at school, with too much hair on his back, perhaps, old colleagues who found him vapid and avoided him in the street, a girl he wished he had the guts to call, parents who called too much -- all of it flattened through one dumb act into a single moment of claws, of jaws, of implacable, indifferent destruction -- a billion thoughts, a lifetime, lost, for nothing -- zap, it's gone -- and that is coming for us all, dust scattered to the wind, crumbling bones -- oh world, oh moonlit soul!

I can't take it. I get scared in the lonesome place no one else can follow. I make it home and there are moths in my room, too many moths, black bodies, ink-scratched limbs, rustling tissue wings beating towards the light. It's all too much. I don't know. This feeling has been dripping down my spine all evening, before I'd have drowned it in strong beer, washed it clear with wine and whisky and rum. But there's nothing now between me and it.

So I'll sit with the melancholy of this bluebottle universe, this lugubrious stardew chorus, sit with the elegiac lament of the world and let it be and let it be and let it be.

Poor little moths. My dark windows look to them the worst of their options, but the lights to which they are drawn in truth bring only annihilation. It is past the dim wooden frames, over that chilled threshold, that their salvation lies. Sometimes what feels like suffering is not. If only we could see.

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