It’s cold and it’s raining. Again.
There is absolutely nowhere near where I work to disappear for some kind of respite at lunchtime. Sometimes, I go to the local pub for a Red Bull. Usually, give me a drink and a book and I’m happy anywhere. Not here. I keep getting hassled by Chinamen carrying bulging black rubbish bags full of bootleg DVDs. And the pubs around here are two-tone shitholes, decked out in scuffed red and stained white, topped off with smeared mirrors partially obscured by football decals. The only thing that punctures the fug of smoke are the bronchial coughs riven with phlegm and blood that emanate from the toothless mouths propping up the bar.
Last Tuesday, outside where I work, a 53-year-old married father-of-two was hit by a 38-tonne articulated lorry. He was pronounced dead at the Royal London Hospital two hours later.
The other day, I saw two teenage boys shouting at the poor bastard behind the counter at the fried chicken place. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but every other word seemed to be “fuck”. The beleaguered till-jockey picked up a large metal pole and tried to scare them off. His arms were shaking. They weren’t convinced, but they slowly ambled away, throwing “fuck”s into the air behind them.
I’ve hardly seen my wife or daughter for weeks now. Get up early. Get home late. Just sleep and work and sleep and work and…
For a variety of not-particularly-interesting reasons, my social-life is virtually non-existent at the moment. The odd movie, an occasional beer, slivers of conversation, but it’s not enough.
I haven’t written anything worth a shit for too, too long.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying: I’m Burnt Out. The lack of frequent updates on this blog in the last couple of months bear testament to an absence of inspiration. I’m empty. The needle is in the red. I’m running on fumes.
At some point in the next 48 hours, I’m dropping offline for a week. Packing the family up, jumping on a plane, and heading for the welcoming climes of Sorrento. And I really, really need it. A chance to get recharged and reinvigorated.
No e-mail. No news feeds. No text messages. No phone calls. No intrusions. I’ll get a chance to recalibrate the level of Signal to Noise in my life.
Just food and fresh air, sleep and wine and, hopefully, laughter and play. I’ll stick a notebook in my bag and see if I can get the blood pumping again. Get the words swirling and the ideas dancing.
Which means I’ll be away for the Second Anniversary of the blog, but I’m sure you can blow out the candles in my absence. And make sure you save me a slice of cake.