Wednesday, 16 November 2016

What's the correct pronoun for an imaginary puppy?...


(And tune in to my debut on The Pulse Hospital Radio via the interweb.)


Since last week’s news, I have felt unable to engage with the world. The normal me would desire and even enjoy a discussion on how and why this great political history was made (or actually not made), and what circumstances lead to He Who Cannot Be Named winning the White House. But all I can do is mentally adopt a foetal position and imagine what life would be like if I adopted a puppy. A cute beigy-brown, yipping puppy. I am by no means a dog person. I’m not even a pet person. But I can see it now. I’m sitting on my sofa in my candle lit, hyyged-up living room, stroking this new beigy-brown puppy that loves me. He/ she/ it (what’s the correct pronoun for an imaginary dog?) is contentedly sitting on my lap, exuding love and warmth, its velvet fur rising and falling rhythmically with every gentle puppy-breath. Ahhhh…

(Wait, do puppies actually sit on your lap? Or is that just cats? I can’t have a cat. Mr Angelina is allergic. Yes, even to imaginary cats. Probably.)

I’m watching cute puppies and cats on facebook. And laughing babies. It gives me comfort and is an antidote to all the other stuff I’m reading. I can’t help reading it and now I’ve been on Twitter I realise how much I wasn’t seeing. Twitter goes much faster than The Guardian or my friends on Facebook or Newsnight or Have I Got News For You or The Last Leg or Trevor Noah or Last Week Tonight. I haven’t been able to watch The Daily Show or the last episode of Last Week Tonight since That Fateful Day. I will have to psyche myself up to do so soon as my Sky box is getting really full again. I’m going to have to delete some of those unwatched French films I recorded in 2007. And maybe the Oprah episode where she interviews JK Rowling but I pressed a button on that one to stop it from ever being deleted  because I thought if I kept it and watched it a few more times it would make me write a novel and I can’t remember how to undo it. Anyway, also on Twitter are memes and jokes that I see repeated four days later on facebook (so I can’t “like” them as they are now old) and on the popular topical news shows (so I can’t laugh again plus I now know they are as original as poor Melania’s speech).

On Twitter I found out about this secret facebook group/ page called Pantsuit Nation where HRC supporters hang out and offer words of encouragement and now, post-apocalyptic consolation. It is invitation only but my friend from the US added me so now the posts appear on my feed. Reading these posts makes me cry because people are posting awful stories about going to work and being faced with people rubbing their noses in the election results. On Twitter I’m following this @shaunking who is documenting all the post-Voldemort (damn, I said it) hate-trocities. [Ugh -I just made that up and hate myself for it- but frankly it was only a matter of time before someone did- if they haven’t already] that are happening around the U.S. in schools and on the street. I follow links to articles and news stories and personal testimony till late into the night and fall asleep, drunk on injustice and dread.
I can’t really do anything about anything. Impotence in the face of a darkening world can be wildly frustrating and even a cause for shame. But to counter this, I have undergone secret training in a studio in the roof of Watford General Hospital. Tomorrow, Thursday 17th November, I will climb the steps to the seventh floor and enter the dodgy area that looks like the boiler room setting of an 80s action thriller where the love interest is strapped with duct tape to some sort of large industrial pipe. I will step over the section of wall beneath the door and try to avoid the likely comedic outcome of getting my foot stuck in the bucket which has been placed to catch the leak from the roof. (It is very glamorous.) And at 10 o’clock, I will make a broadcast of cheerful/ borderline-hysterical levity to the patients of Watford General. I’m not making any jokes about that. It is a terribly serious endeavour. My training has qualified me to press Very Important Buttons. Which is more than can be said for He Who Cannot Be Named.



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