My knees are stiff from being bent in the same position for hours. My papers are spread across the couch like a dropped deck of cards. As part of my research, I started putting post-its on a map of Oxford earlier but they’ve all come off (the map to limp, the post-its too acquiescent) and now at my feet is a puddle of pink strips. I’ve been picking continuously at my right pinky all day. Earlier, I had a glorious run in the almost-sunshine, wearing shorts, which I haven’t done in so long, followed by an hour-long bath, in which I listened to classic.fm and read Pat Barker’s Regeneration, so my head is full of choral music and shell-shocked dreams. Every time I think about what I’m working on I feel a tiny jolt of panic.
“Don’t let your silly dreams fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall,” I hear, and I think, I’m trying not to, really.
In short, I need to get out of the house.