Returning to Work in a Pandemic (or My Goddess and the Tale of the Turgid Flaxen Clown on a Santander Bicycle)
As of the time of writing this, I am over halfway done with a new novel. Has it been easy in this strange and often terrifying new world we find ourselves living in? Hell no. There are times when it seems impossible to be productive, instances when, after watching a particularly jarring news report or stumbling upon a shocking social media post (anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers/someone from the horror community whipping their dick out and being rightfully screenshotted for their efforts/Fascism - delete as appropriate) all motivation to write is stripped away. Instead you find yourself sitting there, angry at people, staring at Boris Johnson's bumbling balloon head on the TV screen and wondering whether things will ever return to normal.
For me, things are returning to some sort of normality. Before last month, I had not composed anything longer than a few incoherent sentences, a silly poem here or there, a shopping list, a 'LOVE YOU' note to the woman keeping me sane. Fuck, just a few short months ago things were much worse. I was without a home just as the pandemic was back in the changing room doing stretches, limbering up for its big moment. I was about as productive as a chicken with sellotape covering its arsehole.
Something had to be done. Something drastic that will henceforth be known as 'The Right Thing'. I have spent much of my life doing the opposite, which has led me into various troubles along the way. I drank too much (enough to put most sailors into an early grave), was far too promiscuous (enough to put most porn stars into an early grave), and had become a misanthrope. Why bother with reality when the world was inherently broken? I had convinced myself that I had no place here, that I was being shit on from a great height; my writing career was over, I had lost a Goddess who had meant more to me than anything, and was living my best life in an alleyway at the back of a Greggs bakery. And now there was a virus on the loose, and selfishly I wanted it. That's how bad it got back there for a moment, but I don't want to dwell on that. As I said, normality is resuming, and I am once again happy. Let me tell you why.
When I was homeless, a family took me in. I was spending much of my day in the pub, just to get out of the cold, and it was there that one of the barmaids offered me a sofa. For months, without asking for anything in return, they put me up, fed me, and we played board games late into the night. We were on lockdown together, all with a severe case of Stuckhome Syndrome. But it got me out of that alleyway and back on my feet.
I cut down on my drinking, eventually stopping altogether, and the Goddess returned to my life. When it was safe to do so, I moved to Birmingham so that we could be together more, and in the months since we have enjoyed each other's company almost every night.
I did 'The Right Thing' and it paid off handsomely, and the Goddess continues to encourage me to write every single day, because, "Isn't that what you do? You make things up and people enjoy them and then you make some more things up?" She tells me daily how proud she is of me and what I am doing, and I tell her how proud I am of her (she is currently putting the finishing touches to her thesis and will be published herself shortly, albeit as a Dr., which is a little bit intimidating as I've always fancied having letters before or after my name).
So in this age of the pandemic and with maniacs seemingly running the show ("Do go out, but don't, but if you have to, wear a mask, or don't in restaurants, but don't go to restaurants, here's 50% off, you fat bastard!") life is still a beautiful thing, and it is made that way by the people around you. By the families who help you to get back on your feet when you're drinking rainwater from the gutter (slight exaggeration, it was piss wrung from a fellow tramp's chinos), by the Goddesses who, despite all your shortcomings, have never stopped loving you and continue to love you, by the men and women out there doing everything in their power to save lives, by the people who wear masks even though their breath smells and they're only just realising it, by children and babies who are having to go through this with us and don't know if or when they'll see their friends again or whether it's even safe to do so. Life is beautiful because, well, one moment you're drinking vagrant piss (slight exaggeration, it was arsenic from a leper's shoe) and the next you're safe again and in love. Not only that but you're halfway through what could possibly be the best thing you have ever written and can't wait to get it into the hands of your readers.
Covid-19 is a horrible shit-show. Boris Johnson is a turgid flaxen clown on a Santander bicycle. Fascists can suck my dick, which will never be making its unsolicited way into anyone's DMs anytime soon (believe it or not, gents, no one wants to see it. If your wife or girlfriend were being truthful, they would say it looks like it crawled out of the ground in Perfection, Nevada, and Kevin Bacon blew it up).
Will things ever get back to normal? Who knows, but I for one am taking everything one crazy day at a time. And that is all we, as a people, can do for now.
Now, back to work, while the homeschooled kids are still trying to figure out where I hid the Netflix remote and the Goddess stares lovingly at me from across the table, blissfully unaware that this is what I've been working on for the past half hour.
Writer of bestselling "The Dead" Series. Author of paranormal novels, The Susceptibles and Deathdealers, and bizarro novellas Larry, Hamsterdamned!, Vinyl Destination, and The Human Santapede.