Richard Pierce

Life, Politics, Sport

Day 265

Another hectic day. And I’ve not yet prepared my show for tomorrow. But there are more important things. I’ll just make the show up as I go along. And for some reason, although I’ve had the heating off all day in the office, it’s 25C in here.

I had another one of those thoughts today, which I’ve mentioned before, about how I could just make up anything to write in here, and no-one would be any the wiser, at least not those who aren’t close to me. Reading Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is probably the trigger for that. satirising as it does how politicians will just make up anything to get votes, and expect most people to believe it. And, unfortunately, many people will believe it, because they’ve been deliberately under-educated. But then again, it’s probably not satire any more (the book came out in 2007, and we’ve seen, even before the Brexit referendum, politicians just making things up on the spot, blatantly lying, and either starting to believe their own lies, or being confident that most people won’t realise they’re lying. In fact, lies are everywhere. And I’m not being paranoid, just presenting a fact. And it’s not a new thing either, I guess. It’s a long time since I read Humankind by Bregman, and I think I’m back to the cynical stage where I am not convinced that much good exists in humankind. Except for some massive kindnesses done to me over the last few days, and the kindnesses I see everywhere. But we have, and will probably always have, leaders who lie. I must work out some way of changing this, something that goes beyond Bregman’s theories, and beyond the hijacking of truth and integrity by necessity.

It’s dark already. At least this year, I haven’t had to pack away my cricket gear with melancholy regret that the season’s over, because I haven’t played all year, being officially retired. But I am starting to push harder on the old working front again, despite the pain in my right foot (and the x-ray and CT scans still haven’t come back to my GP, because of the understaffing at the local hospital, which, as I’m sure I’ve said before, I believe to be entirely due to Brexit – and so we come back to lying). Once I have myself sorted out, which I hope will be soon, I will start fencing here in Norwich, and I will push myself harder physically. I have added press-ups to my daily stretches, too, when I remember and give myself time to do them.

 

AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 217

Aggie shrinks back into her space under the stairs as Valentine and the nameless (and brainless) woman approach the door. For once, Aggie praises herself for not wearing perfume, for not exuding any noticeable scent at all. She hears them starting to climb up the stairs, is tempted to follow them, to see what Valentine has in mind now, but knows she’d just be putting her own venture at risk. Ten minutes pass before she hears a door clang somewhere, and the smattering of their voices disappears. She waits, looking at her watch, for another five minutes before she moves again.

Although she checked as she made her way here, that there were no cameras, she checks again as she starts up the stairs again, pausing after every five steps, just to make sure that there’s no-one here who can hear her, no-one to ambush her, none of Valentine’s minions to stop her. She feels like it’s taking her too long, feels like she should just run for the hole in the wall as quickly as she can. But that’s a secondary instinct. Her warrior self tells her to take her time, to be secure, to make no mistakes, no noise, no inadvertent rushed mistakes, because everything will be lost if she does.

Finally, she reaches the level at which she came into the building. Sometimes she forgets that other people can’t see in the dark as well as she can, forgets that people, even when it’s light, don’t ay much attention to what’s around them. That’s why neither Valentine, nor the girl, will have seen the plus-shaped hole in the wall through which she came, a wall which isn’t that far away from these crudely-constructed stairs. She slips out into Truman’s tunnel through the hole she made, and replaces the four bricks she removed with her bare hands, pushes them back into place so the wall is as smooth as it can be, hopes no-one will be inspecting this side or the other for a while, and heads of back along the tunnel, the incline now upwards. She’s still asking herself why it’s been this easy when she arrives back at the inside of the wood panelling she pushed aside in Blair House, steps noiselessly out into the corridor and onto the thick carpet. Still no sound of anyone else in this dark deserted place. She pushes the panelling closed, lets herself out of the back door, and into the bare yard between Blair House and the doughnut shop. She lets herself back into the restaurant, the hum of the electrics loud in her ears, goes into the toilet, washes her face quickly with cold water, and steps out into the corridor, back into the room.

Rochelle is still at the counter, half asleep, but opens one eye when Aggie walks past her. ‘Took your time in there,’ Rochelle says. ‘Coffee upset your guts?’

Aggie smiles, her sweetest smile. ‘No, just been a bit stressed lately, and it got to me a bit. You know how it is.’

‘Yeah, I know girl troubles when I see ’em. Be seein’ you.’

‘Sure,’ Aggie says. ‘Thanks.’ She steps back out into the cold and sets off towards Marion’s house. She’s only walked a block when she hears sirens and alarms, and sees police cars screeching past her racing towards the White House.

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