I’m taking a road trip in a few weeks to Evian in the French Alps and then on to Brussels - I have also made a valiant attempt to book myself into hotels that are not occupied by assassins and passport forgers. A man can get weary of hotel rooms where the toilet doubles up as somewhere to sit while you have a shower. Sometimes a man would like just a little more floor space than somewhere to put your bag and boots before there is none left. Sometimes a man wonders how some hotels manage to stay open.
In spite of this perceived luxury (because hotel room pictures on the internet lie like a rug), I’m certain there will be magic to be found in the cracks. These two trips (though Belgium is a repeat offender) means I will have enough pins in the map to punch out a second volume of Cities Of The Dead - and that in itself is going straight into the win column. That’s a fine project to open 2019 with.
Life as a magazine editor can be strange. It messes with your head. For instance, it’s not yet October and I’ve just begun work on an issue cover dated December. Yesterday, the schedules for the next twelve months got handed over - which means I can see all the way to 2020 from here. It should be frightening but you get used to it.
Double that up with working from home seven days a week, I hardly ever know what day or month it is. After Christmas, sometimes I even forget what year it is.
This is a good thing. In the Sign Of The Times live footage of the Prince tour of the same name, he delivers a stage rap about how you only have one birthday, the day you are born, and the rest are just days until you die. That sits well with me. It makes me at least try to do something with every day because many years back, I spent far too long wishing it was The Weekend. Wishing your life away to use up 104 days out of 365 is not a good way to live your life.
Everybody knows that you should live ‘in the moment’ - any dog owner can see how this should work - but doing it sure is hard. Maybe if you’re one of those people based in Alaska who truly live in an “if I don’t do something constructive today, I will die” manner, it would come easily, but most of us don’t ever have to think like that.
For most of us, I think The Moment is there to be wasted. I struggle with this stuff. I struggle with how to make a life that means something a lot of the time if I’m honest - and I am one of the lucky ones who gets to do what he loves all day long too.
Figuring out how to stuff the days of your life with silver is a tall order. (Yeah, I did write ‘gold’ in there originally but I don’t like gold. It’s an awful brassy metal. I tried wearing a gold ring for about five minutes once but it just looked like I had stolen it.) Regardless of what you think of your circumstances, if you’re reading this, you are privileged. Politics be damned - you have more information available at the tips of your fingers than anybody in the entire history of the world. You probably have a fridge and a car. Hector probably eats better than half of the people alive on the planet today.
We have no worries… and yet, here we are worrying about stuff.
Right now however, I have signed my life away on the next magazine to hit the shelves and I am going to purposely live in the moment by eating chocolate, drinking tea and watching this for an hour because I think it’s excellent:
Even Dirty Realism Philosophers need an escape.