Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 98

Last night I dreamed of I missed my broadcasting slot this morning, and that someone had put my broadcasting desk into a classroom that already had a party with separate music going on. I dreamed of school children burying their books in mud and having to dig them out on the last day of term, and that teachers were sending notes home with the students telling their parents what terrible children they had for burying their books like that, and that I told the kids that I’d just tell the teachers to stop being so petty. I moved my broadcasting set-up into the school attic, and under the table I set up on, two lizards had made their home on a discarded cotton tent and were running around making sure everything was ready for them to lay their eggs. And still I couldn’t connect my radio set-up to the internet and got on air at least half an hour late. And when I asked someone to bring me my mobile phone, it turned out to be an old clamshell one that was falling apart and wouldn’t work. In the final part of the dream, I was in the school canteen with one of my arch enemies, and we were competing at who could eat the last huge piece of cake the quickest. It had lots of chocolate button in it. And then I woke up. I’m not even going to attempt to analyse that little lot.

I was out and about yesterday. Trains. People without masks on trains despite the flashing message on the train screens over the aisles that you had to wear masks unless you were exempt. Loud phones and music. The landscape flashing by in sudden sharp showers of hail. People in the streets with no masks, people with no idea of personal space never mind social distancing. Seeing two or three old friends by coincidence (not that coincidence exists). Sunshine. Grass under my feet. Different accents and languages. Working late when I got back. Dropping into a cricket committee meeting for 30 minutes in between the work I had to do. Streaming services not working properly. And the wind raging around the garden office, louder than ever. And then those dreams.

It will be another busy day. Another busy weekend. I spread myself too thinly a lot of the time. I don’t know why. I wondered aloud last night with M why I hadn’t stayed in academia. Part of me thinks it’s because I’m not clever enough. M said it was actually because I couldn’t find a subject that fascinated me enough. Maybe that’s why I spread myself too thinly. Because I’m still trying to find something that draws me in entirely and that I love to do with all my being. I’d have thought writing was that. The only thing I always leave out of al these equations when I’m trying to be good at everything is that I actually need to earn a living. So I need millions of you to buy my books. Then I’ll be able to write all day every day.

Actually, I’ve always loved history, but maybe I didn’t love it enough.




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