Monday, May 30

Ennui (What is it? I think I mean something else.)

1. Train Travel (Sun)

I would just like to say I have been to Brighton and back on the train, and everything ran exactly to time. Also, the sun came out and the heaters were turned up and I sat on the promenade by the beach drinking beer and burning my head. Also my arms. I wish I was still there. I like the sea.

The next train has gone ten minutes ago. (Punch, 1871)

2. Lagomorph (Hope)

There was a reason for going to Brighton. Tim and Charlotte live there. He is my son. She is what makes his life, and I can understand. They have a rabbit called Hope, who lives indoors with them and is the fluffiest lump of wonderfulness. That’s why I went to Brighton.

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. (Isaac Newton)

3. Family (Weird)

At one point there, we were on the Internet and talking via MSN Messenger to Andy, my other son, who is in Nicaragua. At the same time, Tim's and Andy's mother (who I’ve not seen for some 13 years) phoned to speak to Tim. So, in some way, the family of four I broke up all that time ago was in the same room at the same time. Tenuous, yes. Weird, sort of.

I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on. (Thomas Hardy)

4. Death (It comes to us all)

A couple of hours after I got home from Brighton, my brother rang to tell me that my father, who has been quite poorly for some time, and is 85, and is now very ill, is (officially) not going to make it. The doctors say. But don’t worry, I am not going to write any poems about it.

Bunny died, then John Latouche,
then Jackson Pollock. But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them? (Frank O’Hara)

5. Skin (It flakes, don’t it?)

Where I burned my head, my skin seems to be flaking off. I think this is quite funny. I sit watching TV, and I rub my forehead, and little bits of white skin float down on to my black t-shirt. Actually, it’s not funny at all. Why is this all going under the heading of “Ennui”, anyway?

Things had indeed been very slow with us, and I had learned to dread such periods of inaction, for I knew by experience that my companion’s brain was so abnormally active that it was dangerous to leave it without material upon which to work.

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