Lately I have been in a thinking mood. I tried to escape from thinking by moving halfway across the world, but my thoughts have stuck. Don’t be thankful. Thankful for what? For being alive? It has taken me a while to realise that writing about life isn’t enough. Writing life is counterintuitive. I have been holding life at gunpoint, and now the hostage is free.
I have ideas, though most have been upended and twisted from the hands of my betters. I have space. Hot and cold, white, endless gold, red hair. As a way of making clumsy amends for my other – more creeping and intolerable – failings, I have channelled my every aspiration into writing.
To be the voice of my generation. To write the great disillusioned novel. By putting pen to paper, remedy the feeling that when it comes down to it, we’re not meant to be ok.
By putting pen to paper, put to bed the notion that we aren’t all forever waiting for the thing that will anchor us; watching uselessly as we continue, at length, to drift.
There needs to be a purpose to me, I remember thinking that. I can’t just be spinning around like some crazy car, hightailing it from one make-believe happiness to the next. One day this engine will overheat. One day it will burn, and all those ideas I thought would amount to so much will turn to ashes with me.
But I am forever an optimist, a technicolour dreamer, my evenings swinging and shifting between chance and disaster. And this happiness, well, it is as depthless as a piece of paper and as all-encompassing as the sun.
Tomorrow morning I will wake up, and in the fire and cords of my veins there will be a momentary tussle. Sadness will lock horns with gratitude. And I know, as clearly as I know the date of the day or the letters of my name, that thick-necked, raging gratitude will out.