I woke up this morning, gave a loud sigh, and began to gaze at the ceiling. I remained like that for nearly an hour before Judy came upstairs to see what was wrong.
‘I don’t know,’ I said, tearful beneath the duvet. ‘Call it the Monday morning blues or the new week syndrome but I’m suffering from a general malaise. I don’t recollect my outlook on life ever being this bleak.’ With another sigh, poetry came to my lips. I had memorised the lines a few days ago in anticipation of this very moment. ‘“I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars did wander darkling in the eternal space…”’
‘Oh, not another of your moods,’ replied Judy, carrying a pile of washing to the drawers. ‘I thought you’d be up early to feed your beaver.’
‘On days like this, not even a beaver’s the answer,’ I said.
‘Come on, Richard! What have you got to feel glum about?’
‘I suppose you’re right,’ I sighed. ‘Were I broke, unemployed, horrendously overqualified for every single job, living far from the nation’s media capital, and clueless about my future, then I might have a reason to feel down. As it is, I’m not Fred Talbot. But I do worry that my body of work is not being appreciated by the people that really matter.’
She began to consider my underpants before she folded them and tucked them away in the drawer. She was thoughtful for a moment or two longer than I expected.
‘Since you brought it up, Richard, I did want to ask you about how your job hunt is going.’
I groaned and buried my head under the pillow. ‘Don’t talk to me about that. I’m due in town today to revisit the job agency. They might have news for me.’
‘Well, isn’t that good? They might have found you some work.’
‘But that’s just it, Judy. I don’t actually want a job. I have enough work to do here, writing twelve hours a day for no financial gain and no exposure but knowing that I’ll be a latter day John Kennedy Toole whose work is recognised only after I leave Channel 4.’
To this, Judy gave one of her most meaningful huffs before she went downstairs. Five minutes later, I heard her car spluttering down the drive.
When I did get up, my email box was no great consolation. Five emails questioning the size of my manhood, three from unknown Kenyans offering me obscure financial opportunities, one from a writer hoping that I’d be able to further his career and his novel, and another enquiring about a job at Channel 4. As a generously proportioned man of some financial means yet unable to find himself a literary agent and soon to be out of a job at Channel 4, the emails could not have found a more inappropriate recipient. However, I quickly fired off replied to all ten and then got down to my day’s work.
Which is where you now find me, scribbling this note before I begin on another day’s labour at the keyboard. The problem with writing a blog is that it’s such a small part of my day, a fraction of my output. This is what people fail to see when they send me emails. I have a beaver to feed, a novel to complete, inventions to patent, scripts to polish, ad libs to write, a man called Oddie to polish, and then letters to write and post.
I have a full day ahead of me but little energy to commit to the cause.