I’m in France. I’m at the shack. I’m writing five books. I’m going to publish them all myself over five weeks. I’m going to become a self-publishing sensation. (Keep hope alive.) But in the meantime, I keep getting distracted. A few days ago, for example, I started tidying at around 11am – organising rather than tidying; the living room, the kitchen, the shed – and suddenly it was 7pm and all I’d had to eat were two slices of toast. So I stopped organising and started cooking.
I took a long time over the meal, reducing the sauce slowly. Meanwhile, I started a fire outside, put on some music and took out a table and chair. I had enough wine left in my box for one single glass, so while the spaghetti was cooking, I poured it and took it to the table. Everything was perfect.
When the food was finally ready, I dished it up and made my way outside. Just as I was leaving the kitchen, however, my fork began to slide off the plate. Foolishly I made an attempt to stop it, which was when this happened.
I heard the wet splash and felt the plate become light before I’d really realised what had happened. ‘Did that really happen?’ I wondered, although only briefly, because the evidence was overwhelming. Then, wishing that someone else had been there to see it, but accepting that there wasn’t, I took a photo.
Then, very calmly, I grabbed most of the spaghetti, plopped it back on the plate, took it through to the kitchen and put it back in the pan. (Thankfully, I’d made enough sauce for a second plate.) Then I set about cleaning up the mess, starting with the wall.
Then I started laughing.
I laughed quite a bit. Not hysterically – not even remotely like a madman; just the right amount.
Then I threw the unsalvageable remains onto the fire, and took the second batch outside in the pan, just to be sure.
While I was eating, I realised that in the past – at pretty much any point in the past – there is every chance that, having done the same thing, I would have flown into something of a rage.
I then realised that – on the whole – I am fairly intensely happy. It’s true that I am growing increasingly tired of solitude, but that’s OK.
Life is good.
I caught the fork by the way.