Tagged: January

January, still

Somehow, we are still here. Even though this month started years ago. How many years? Nobody knows. We stopped counting after the first trillion.

But on it goes, endlessly, mirthlessly, punctuated by funerals and re-watching TV series you’ve watched eight times before.

Sunshine has become the currency of joy – a currency no-one can buy and no bureau de change can sell.

And why, when I’m doom-scrolling, does the amount of ads I see seem to double incrementally each endless fucking day? Buy! Buy! Buy! there’s sod all else to do.

Only there’s loads to do, but it’s either unpalatable or the energy cannot be found, cannot be generated, cannot, can’t.

So the hallway remains covered in mud brought in from a rare walk outside and the shopping remains in bags on the kitchen floor – why spend energy you don’t have to wipe down and sanitise everything when you can leave it for a week in the hope any virus will die on its own. Doesn’t it know time is meaningless? Why does it still cling to surfaces like my claws around my phone?

How, HOW, is it still January? Though it appears on the calendar that today is the last day of this godforsaken month, is it in fact a trick? Will we wake up tomorrow to find it’s still January 31st, an endless day, every day, until we forget February ever existed? Until we forget we ever existed?

And February has traditionally always been a shit month anyway, with its Valentine mockery and cold wet days.

But (because there is always a but, there has to be a but) the daffodils are coming out. There are bunches in my living room right now. Dying, I grant you, but it’s been a week and they opened in a day and shot through the gloom with their sunshine yellow. Outside, at some point in the night, the bulbs pushed their stems up through the earth and they are waiting, waiting to burst open – tulips and daffodils and crocuses.

If this month ever ends.

If this month ever ends, then the daytime will push into evening and the buds – I’ve seen them! – will open like popcorn into white and pink blossoms and colour the streets with joy, with beauty.

If this month ever ends.

If this month ever ends, there will be anniversaries and birthdays and nights without all the blankets, days without all the socks.

If this month ever ends.

If this month ever ends, and the next month and the next six after that, I will turn 45 and I will be 45 for everyone who never got to be 45.

If this month ever ends.

Happy New Year (2021 edition)

Oh hello, 2021. No, no fanfare, no red carpet for you, but, if you would like, come sit on this old broken-down sofa and join me for tea. Don’t be shy, I’ve no expectations. You may be new, but I am too old to be taken in by shiny pretty new things. Ignore the the clamouring crowd outside. They don’t know you, though they’ve waited long enough. None of us do, yet. They’re just excited, because you are not your predecessor, so you’ve been deemed a success by what you are not.

So much weight on your young shoulders. As if you’re in control of what will happen, rather than just a vessel. But you’re unblemished, and full of promise, something to pin the feathers of hope to with a safety pin.

Yesterday, on the last day of 2020, I could not stand, or walk, or wash, or dress, or sit up for long. Most of the day was spent in bed, unwashed for three days, unable to form words, or keep my eyes open, while my mind raced inside my skull and I held onto walls and doors for visits to the bathroom. Today I showered and dressed and spoke and wrote and walked briefly in the freezing cold air and ate my meals sat on a chair, enjoying the strength of my body that wasn’t there yesterday and may not be there tomorrow, because those moments are rare and are to be savoured no matter the hour, the day, the year.

I ask nothing of you and I hope we can be friends. Don’t let your tea get cold. Have a biscuit.

Happy New Year II: In which we say goodbye to January and start again

Dear January 2015,

I know it’s hard, being the first of the year. December is a difficult act to follow, what with all its froth and glitter and celebratory wantoness. Then you come along – turning up the morning after and picking your way across a dirty carpet covered in streamers and fag-ends. You are overwhelmed by expectation. People expect change goddammit, they want something new, something better and they expect you to deliver. So you reach into your pockets and pull out your offerings: cold air, short dark days, a broken boiler. You root around for more, desperate to find gold amongst the bits of fluff and loose change. But all you can find is illness, a flu virus here, something more serious there…Then you bring out the big guns. The media go mental. It’s not your fault, of course it’s not. It’s not as if these things don’t happen to the others.  It’s just that you’ve got this reputation and frankly the weather doesn’t help. You’ve done your part. You’ve ushered in the new year, you’ve given people the excuse they needed to hide under a duvet, to stay inside, to ingest something healthy. But now it’s time to move on.

So. Let’s start again. Happy New Year. And HELLO February (Oh for god’s sake put those chocolate hearts away, what are you, twelve?!).