bicycle rides :: 4
punctures :: 1
bicycles ruined in effort to fix puncture :: 1
days remaining till return to London :: 37
Yesterday I went to London and spent an hour and a half in the belly of the behemoth. It’s still not sure whether they’ll let me do the job, but I do hope so. It’s a one-off thing, making some tiny films for a giant accountant. It seems easy to me, but just because something seems easy doesn’t mean you can do it. It’s about getting the tone right. Fingers crossed anyway.
On the train on the way back up North last night, I realised I was sitting painfully close to a girl wearing a face mask…
I don’t honestly know if she had Swine Flu or if she was trying to protect against Swine Flu or if she merely had SARS in her eyes. I do not know, and I didn’t wait to find out. Rather, I took the advice of the Daily Mail and fled to the other end of train, screaming, ‘Black Death! Black Death! The Day of Judgement is upon us!’
Speaking of Swine Flu, when my bike broke the other morning roughly seven miles from home and I walked back through sporadically pissing rain and filthy temper, my ire was soothed – or at least temporarily cloaked – by listening again to Under Milk Wood in my ears. In one scene, Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard dreams that she is lying in bed with each of her dead husbands – Mr Ogmore, and Mr Pritchard – and she addresses them thus:
Soon it will be time to get up.
Tell me your tasks, in order.
I must put my pyjamas in the drawer marked pyjamas.
I must take my cold bath which is good for me.
I must wear my flannel band to ward off sciatica.
I must dress behind the curtain and put on my apron.
I must blow my nose.
In the garden, if you please.
In a piece of tissue-paper which I afterwards burn.
I must take my salts which are nature's friend.
I must boil the drinking water because of germs.
I must make my herb tea which is free from tannin.
And have a charcoal biscuit which is good for me.
I may smoke one pipe of asthma mixture.
In the woodshed, if you please.
And dust the parlour and spray the canary.
I must put on rubber gloves and search the peke for fleas.
I must dust the blinds and then I must raise them.
And before you let the sun in, mind it wipes its shoes.
Put me in mind of it, you see.
Dylan Thomas had just turned 39 when he died.
Christ, I feel miserable today.
It could be the panic of poverty building up. In 39 days I’ll be back in London, and living in London is not as easy as living with your grandmother, wallet-wise. And she’s going to miss me, and I feel bad about that. Or it could be because I’m going to the hospital this afternoon to get the pain in my stomach checked out again and what really worries me is that yet again they won’t fucking find anything and that in less than eighteen months I will die of gastric cancer. I know thinking about this stuff probably doesn’t help... but I can’t stop myself.
Whenever someone dies at an early age, people say, ‘Oh, it was tragic – he never achieved his potential’ – but what if I die in my early 30s and I did achieve my potential?! Eh? What about that?
Alright, alright, no more whining, no more thinking about death.
Doing anything nice this weekend?