Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have not upped sticks and left cyberworld, although cutting down on net time improves productivity, and everyone knows that. Oh no, I have been producing all right all week, working like an African donkey. All around me there were sleeping dogs,

and there were patient dogs

and there were also two Starbucks and two phone calls, but other than that it has been reclusion. Just me and the Oxford Anthology of Poetry and the Mac.

I cannot quite figure it out but for the past couple of weeks a certain sense of urgency has descended upon me. I have started to stress over the job I haven’t got yet. Can you believe that? I have only put in one application for something that is not due to start for another six months (six months I am telling you) and one should set off tomorrow for a position that isn’t open until well into May. So what am I stressing about? How can I possibly worry that a job, any job, may take precious time away from editing time? Ach, I don’t know, it just feels that way.

Good job a friend of mine is pregnant and can share my current hormonal delusions. She too feels a sense of urgency, even though she ain’t due until the beginning of June and the nursery is all ready and she doesn’t even need to work. So what’s the rush? I don’t know. Spring (or a semblance of it; the weather has been shit this week, there is no other way to convey the truth I am afraid) brings that out in me, a sense of should have done this last week which is completely unrelated to what I am actually doing and to what I need to do. No matter the number of ticks on my to-do list, it’s never good enough.

I don’t even rest at night. My sleep is infested with the most vivid and peculiar dreams. The other night I was being shown around some studio apartment in Knightsbridge by Hugh Grant. Yes, sure, I could see Harrods from one of them (at ground level, as the studio really was a falling-to-pieces cellar and I only had a sliver of gap at eye level between pavement and gutter like in a Tolstoj short story), but it was nothing like the apartment I often day-dream about. I was not impressed: ‘Well’, I said to Hugh, ‘I was expecting something a little more... Knightsbridge-like, you know?’. As I then found myself back in the street, Hugh pointed at a corner townhouse with a double-doored front and bay windows as big as my garage. ‘Like that I presume? Yes that’s one of mine but with your budget...’ and he then did that thing he does, he creased his eyes as his mouth grimaced into a phantom smile, nodding slowly and then finishing with a ‘Yeeeees’ in falling intonation, his eyes darting left and right and his eyebrows scrunched up in the middle as if pinched by an invisible peg. Why was he not inviting me in for coffee?

Bloody hell, why do I dream so low? Why cannot I enjoy ten fabulous minutes at least in my dreams, with a driver waiting by and a squillionaire husband? Hugh would do fine, I don’t even have to marry him. No, my dreams are always exceptionally down-to-earth, even when they don’t look it. Like that time when I dreamt that I was at a Bon Jovi concert in Central Park with a VIP pass which turned out to be good for nothing, as I was at the back of the field anyway, ten thousand people deep, barely able to see him even on the giant screens. Or that time when I entered the Dior store in Paris clutching five hundred euros cash and it turned out that the pair of shoes I wanted cost fifteen thousand euros. Or that time when I was in a Batman movie and when I finally got close enough to speak to him after what felt like the whole night spent hopping from skyscraper to skyscraper in an obvious Spider-man interference, I heard a rising beeping sound and all I managed to say to the Batman was: ‘What is that?’ and he replied: ‘It’s an alarm clock’ and I woke up. Life, in all its guises, is just so unfair right now.
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