corona journal found in an abandoned old house
Day 400m: Decided I’ll never write directly about any of this. (a) Because fiction isn’t journalism; (b) because I never write directly about anything; (c) because everything leaks into what you write anyway, & that’s all to the good. Even long-term processing is destructive when it’s conscious. Events should leak in & saturate everything you do without ever naming themselves; you should leave just a little space in the work to invite that to happen.
Day 16,042: please don’t make me go on Radio 4 & be pressured in a chirpy way to tell the listeners What Lockdown Means To Me. I would probably burst into tears & say, “I don’t know what lockdown means to anyone? Unless it’s being confined with Nicholas Cage 24 hours a day because there’s a riot in Cell Block No. 9?” Or: “I really don’t mind staying at home for a bit if it means I don’t die or kill someone else that month?”
5th January, 1958: This morning I started mapping commonly-reported lockdown anxieties on to a cluster of feelings I’ve had most of my life & don’t really notice anymore. Gave up out of a sudden raw panic. Not because of being alone: because, obviously, I’m not. I’m not even banged up, & can go out for exercise every day & shout cheerfully to someone I see across the road. “Orright?” “Orright!” It has to do with some deeper kind of alienation & that’s what panicked me. Culture is a lockdown & lockdown is already a culture. The speed at which the feedback loop turbos up is alienating in itself. I don’t want corona to give me full run of that understanding. Not at my age. Anyway it would spoil the writing.