Yet once it was the busiest haunt,
Whither, as to a common centre, flocked
Strangers, and ships, and merchandise
–From Queen Mab by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I’ve got a cold. Outside, the world is soggy, and inside, my spirits have been dampened by my own self-pity. I tried to turn my phone on today and couldn’t. It appears to be hibernating; no longer interested in being the vehicle for my pathetic communication with the world, no longer interested in alerting me to text messages from 02 and phone calls from the bank, no longer interested in taking snapshots of autumn leaves. If it does decide never to work again, it will be a shame in more ways than one. I depend on the device; more than I thought I possibly could. All my photos from Dublin will be gone; speaking of which, with what will I express my photographic creativity? How will I wake up in the mornings, now that my alarm clock has gone to sleep itself?
But that’s not the point, really. The devices we rely on are replaceable (though expensive). The point is that I’m in self-pity land, sniffling on the couch, feeling a million miles away from everyone else. There’s a funny thing that happens when I’m ill; suddenly, even as I’m walking past the pub on my way to the shop to buy some soup, I have a sense that I can’t connect with anyone. There’s a wall, or, more accurately, a screen, a pane of fogged glass. I can see out into the world but I can’t interact with it, not wholly. I can smell the warmth and the spilled beer from the pub but I can’t go in.
All of it is self-constructed, of course; none of it is serious. But here I am, barely through October, already longing again for summer. I haven’t enjoyed the crispness of the air this year as much as I usually do; I still feel that it should still be August. This isn’t so much to do with the damp English summers as it is to do with my calender for those precious few warm months. Being that busy made the time pass too quickly; I still feel as if I’m trying to catch up with myself, with the days and months which marched doggedly on. I’m connected to everyone, everywhere, all the time; I spend hours on the internet, can email my parents in California or send a message to a friend around the corner in the same amount of time. But somehow I’ve lost a sense of being connected to myself. At a certain point today, cycling home–and maybe this was just the cold speaking–I actually had this sense that I was floating along, that my tires weren’t really touching the asphalt.
Mostly, I just need to write, which I haven’t done in too long. And until I do, I’ll probably continue to pump out these anthems to my own frustration, so I hope, for your sake as well as mine, I sort it out soon.