2018 All Shiny and New 12.01.18
I wake up in darkness: too cold and too dark. It's 2018, Edinburgh-style, in a freezing bedroom.
Thoughts of studies and part-time work come to me. In my part-time job I am writing a manual, with a page of FAQs relating to work. There's a question I kept to myself for obvious reasons, but it re-appears in the morning darkness. How bad would it have to be for you to dismiss me? It's the question I feel like asking everyone: line-manager, PhD supervisor, friends and family. It's the question I'll ask God when it's finally over, when I'm outside His gate, failing to get answers at a security booth of tinted windows. Heaven will be like Silicon Valley and God as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, in a swimming pool.
Over Christmas, I received an album from someone who can't stand the sight of me. It's now my favourite album, Marbles (2004), by the band Marillion. I read a pissy review in The Guardian about it, the journalist mockingly asking who listens to Marillion. Answer: I do, over and over, with a dazzling glaze in my eyes.
My flatmate Niki and I have discussed adopting a song from our all-time favourite film Rocky IV, called There's No Easy Way Out, as our apartment anthem. I will play it badly on an old synthesiser with single digits, while Niki sings it with her fist on her chest, just like in American football. We'll make all our guests stand up to it whenever anyone's crazy enough to visit us. We're thinking of having a party tomorrow night to subject our friends to this new arrangement. We'll lock the doors once everybody's in, to give our anthem added value.
It's 2018 and I'm entering it like a cheerleader of the Dallas Cowboys, putting on my biggest, shiniest smile. Happy New Year, everybody.