All I’ve wanted all week is to be able to write, and, now I have half an hour to myself, the words won’t really come out. It’s a pain in the arse because I really don’t have enough time to sit around and plan and reflect on writing anymore; I just have to shove stuff down onto the keyboard and hope it goes somewhere. This is just a bit of rehearsing or finger-flexing before it actually arrives, I think; it’s not really going to rip up any trees.
But that sums up a week in which I have:
- Been told I was “eminently employable” by someone who didn’t want to give me a job
- Been told I was “lacking the necessary enthusiasm” by someone who didn’t want to give me a job
- taught grammar (including the present perfect, which this has been written in) but found myself disagreeing with the way in which we’re doing it as a set of disconnected functions rather than as a living, breathing, organic whole wonderful thing
- listened to Dog Man Star on pretty much a loop for the entire week, discovering that Asphalt World magpies quite a lot from Hendrix and Janis Joplin (which is no bad thing) despite it being such an album of its time, taking a surprising “ecstasy is actually shit” stance when in those days we were all meant to be gurning around in sweaty techno clubs after ingesting a couple of ropey doves
- worked with special needs classes and found them to be actually easier to work with than mainstream classes at most of the schools I teach in; and, come to think of it, more fun to work with… but no. There won’t be any job there either, as I lack the relevant experience and training and, yes of course, am eminently employable and yet lack the necessary enthusiasm
- been high-fived by my daughter as she sat eating strawberries, which was just rather lovely.
Anyway, look, I have no idea what I came in for. I am the middle-aged man who finds himself in the kitchen but has no idea why. I am that man quite a lot of the time, literally doing that. But today, I am trying to write. Remembering that I once upon a time actually got paid real money by actual people to write things, this is at once a disappointment and a cheer, meaning as it does that I might have been kidding myself that I was ever any good at it anyway.
Do you ever start something and feel you can’t bring yourself to finish it, or do it properly? I think that’s kind of how my career is now, and how everything is. I’m still sitting, waiting, for things to get better, for the tide to come in.