When the Tories were voted in again, I didn’t know what to say. The terrible election results keep coming, but I don’t seem to get any wiser.
On the Friday it happened I woke up and reached for my phone and looked at the exit poll. Then saw a text from my mum: oh fuck off exit poll. I smiled, just briefly, and then my eyes welled up. And then I just lay there. I lay there and thought about Brexit and Trump and David Cameron and Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott and George Bush and Boris fucking Johnson and all the other Men in Charge and I felt sick. And sad and angry and hopeless.
Then I stayed inside all day and willed it to disappear. Retreat isn’t a particularly powerful form of attack, but it feels good, sometimes.
You should try it. Just close your eyes, and tell it all to fuck off.
Fuck off exit poll. Fuck off Tories. Fuck off Brexit. Fuck off politics. Fuck off voters. Fuck off world.
But then you have to open your eyes.
The truth is, other stuff was going on too. My dad was in hospital again, I had some work problems, I cried over a passive aggressive email, I was so tired I struggled to sleep. No emotion is borne purely of one problem. No feeling is final.
The next evening, R and I went to watch our friend play a piano that was bigger than a regular piano – not just grand but more keys too. The back wall was illuminated so the performers were silhouette and the open piano lid glowed eerie, like a fish tank. The music was beautiful – haunting and hypnotic. And time stopped.
Afterwards we drank and went to a party and laughed till tears poured down our faces, but in the good way.
And the truth is that I forgot about politics. Forgot about problems and people and the world. And that felt better.
But then I remembered. And I realised that I forgot. And that felt worse.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 15th December 2019 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.