17 April 2010
I might as well. Everybody else is. And I was on the wrong side of it until about twelve hours ago.
Well, not on the wrong side, technically. That would have put me 40,000 feet up in the air, and then we’d be talking about more problems. All I really was was somewhere my home isn’t.
‘Was’, because either the things I read and write or the work I do, or both, leave me thinking things like ‘Act at the first sign of trouble’, not to mention ‘Volcanoes don’t stop erupting in six hours.’ I hate to go somewhere without knowing at least two ways back, and most of the time I end up feeling silly. (Ever since the flu scare, my kitchen cupboard has been full of tins.)
I still write worlds where something like this always happens. Being single, solvent, non-visa-dependent and reluctantly cat-free, disruption isn’t really that upsetting. (I didn’t used to think that. I think more like a protagonist since I started to create some.) The sense of What if things didn’t go back to normal after all, and nobody thought it was remarkable?, maybe. An extra night in a big city with a hotel room booked, not so much.
I still dreamed about trains. Not unconsciously, like the kind of dreams I had for days after reading Paul Cornell’s novel about a civil war in Britain, and then I dreamed I had to promote a concert full of soldiers, and then there was a wedding in a two-up two-down house, and then a famous novelist arrived to make the seating plan. Not dreams like that. I dozed off thinking about European trains, my schoolfriends in a three-person couchette laughing at petty gossip into the night, painting my fingernails for me with a glaze I chipped off day by day until we finally flew home, and me wishing somebody mature would knock on the compartment door just to tell us how petty we all were. Now I’m that age, and maybe about to travel a lot more on European trains, and I’m nowhere near as mature as I thought somebody that age would be.
I still think I’d rather leave my characters to go twitching at the curtain on their own.