This morning I grew concerned that I was suffering from ADHD. Unfortunately I was not able to sit down at the computer long enough to fully research the matter.
As it happens I am texting this blog to a small Peruvian lady who offers such transcription services while simultaneously shopping, eating, watching the tennis and trying to read a number of books.
Reading is most traumatic. I fan books around me on the floor, pick one up, read a few pages, put it down, read a few pages of another, jumping from a novel, to a book on economics, to one on history.
Perhaps this accounts for my blurring of fact and fiction. Doris Lessing said that fiction allows you to talk about things that you would not be able to in normal debate. George Saunders said the same thing of comedy.
I can run with it.
The blog is late this week. Last Tuesday I took my cat to the vet to have a tooth out. At 11:00 I got a call from my ex-partner, with whom I share custody of the cat.
“Turn the music down,” he said. “It’s H. He’s got cancer.”
The vet said we should have H put down straight away. He would only live for another week, and then in discomfort. It was a shock, because I had no idea he was ill.
I wanted to write this whole blog about H, going to get him from the rescue place, worrying about him every time he went out, remembering how he used to grab your feet under the bottom of the duvet, sleeping with his head on the pillow.
But it’s a bit difficult, all this reality. Enough to say, I loved him. As did Gary, my ex. When we went back to his after, he went and got this black lacquer box.
“Look,” he said, “I’ve kept his whiskers. Every time one fell out over the years. I kept it.”
We’ll miss him.
“Watch out for him,” she said, “he’s rather spiky.”
Rather like Doris herself. I loved watching the interview with her, and the clips from her life. She didn’t want to talk about leaving her children. “Look, I’ve talked about that before” and I loved the way she imperiously dismissed other interviewers.
“When I took mescaline I rather wish they’d left me alone.” Because it’s all about putting on a face. At 88 she doesn’t have to bother.
“It doesn’t matter if they think I’m a loony now.”
Interestingly the warning on the iPlayer states of the Lessing programme ‘Contains very strong language’. For Kiss of Death it states, ‘Contains some strong language’.
Kiss of Death also contains in the very first scene, a body cut into pieces, later a head full of maggots, scenes of graphic torture, kidnap, imprisonment and murder. And Danny Dyer.
No warning for that necessary apparently.
I wonder if that’s what Lessing means when she decries the death of culture. What comes across though is her love of life. Even going out into the garden her eyes light up as she gazes out across her plants and trees. That was the biggest influence of her life she said, gazing up at the stars (her dad let her stay up to do this). It makes you feel very small.
Currently reading - The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein
Currently listening to - Catch the Brass Ring, Ferraby Lionheart