Awake before dawn to talk of a distant winter farm. It doesn’t feel like winter. We are on the other side of the solstice now and there has been no winter. Lots of grey; plenty of rain. No winter. We will need a winter soon just to reset our mood.  

A work day. A real Monday workday with the steady growl of traffic along the back. From time to time the show-off neon glow of ambulance or fire engine eerily sliding by in conspicuous silence. The threatening rumble of a heavy lorry putting the morning into context and shaking me into action. I have to find action from somewhere. 

And then I’m on the high street and it’s still dark. My pack is heavy and I can’t remember what’s in it but I’m sure that I need all of it. From time to time I’ll check that my book is there, safely stowed into the secret compartment at the back. Against my back. I run my fingers in there to feel the familiar texture, the shape and weight. It is a burden I carry willingly but I wish that the morning ambulances would announce their arrival with a distant wail that gradually approaches. I cannot abide the sudden invasion of that pervasive light. It is enough that it fingers through my windows at night. 

This will be it for a while. A little freedom on the walk in until the minute I walk through those gates and I’m no longer mine own. 

There are no bells but the rigidity of the need for routine hangs in the air like the aftermath of a knell. This time, that time, here there, this, that. None of them my places and all of them another inch of me consumed; swallowed by the order of things that is more a part of me than the chaos of the break. It is gloriously comforting to be consumed by the monster.  

If only I didn’t have to face all those faces. If only I didn’t have to have those repeated banal conversations: 



”Happy new year’ 

‘Happy new year’ 

‘Good break?’ 

‘Good thanks, you?’ 

Oh the bullshit waste of time of it all. No one cares. They stop listening even as they’re half-way in. The full routine of it. It is marvelously comforting all of; the useless unfeeling bullshit of it all. 

I told myself today, after the recent diagnosis of the thing that I can’t yet talk about that I must not let myself be consumed by it. It is just a cloak that will turn me into something else while it wants me then spit me out when I’ve done my work. 

I am shamefully pleased at the end of this day that I am mildly happy with how I got through it; how maybe I even enjoyed it a bit. Because it’s different now and I have vowed that I have to shrug off the disguise. Must not let it fool me any more. I’m not fooling anyone. 

It’s another comforting trauma. 

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