bleak and blank

04.02.2020

In December before the election I was in the cafe at the station with B and I asked him whether, in his opinion, there was any hope. He said he really didn't think so, despite admirably keeping on going with canvassing all the same. Then we caught a bus to a little bit of woodland where a Thing was happening and played Christmas carols for people round a bonfire, which was a welcome distraction even though I don't really care about Christmas carols in themselves, but it is nice to play music in the trees with people joining in. And I tried not to hope, because we know the hoping is the worst part, but of course I did just a tiny bit, just like everyone else who wanted rid of the Tories. (Well, probably, I am not everyone else so I do not know this for certain.) And then of course it all turned out so very much worse than most people imagined. So that was that. And then it seemed like there was a collective howl, then a kind of numbness, and now we've left the EU, and I can't even see whether the people up the road are flying their flag or not because it's too foggy here.

I'm proofreading a book about cardiology and it is very repetitive and seemingly endless but it's a good focusing distraction when I'm feeling anxious. Of course, at the times when I'm feeling creative it is an annoying chore that is in the way, but I've been doing it for so long (because it totals 260,000 words) that I've gone through several cycles of liking it and not-liking it. The oddest thing that has happened so far as a result of working on this book is that I was skimming through the Wikipedia article on Bertolt Brecht the other night and when I reached the paragraph detailing his heart condition I suddenly became extremely focused on every word of it, and human brains are really quite strange, aren't they?

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