On not being sad
when you’re meant to be.
Things, by Fleur Adcock:
There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public.
There are worse things than these miniature betrayals,
committed or endured or suspected; there are worse things
than not being able to sleep for thinking about them.
It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking in
and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.
I’m definitely not in denial; I just refuse to be sad about it. (I do keep checking if I am in denial, or sad, but the results are in and I am not in denial, or sad about it.) I’m just old enough to want to enjoy myself, all of the sodding time. The bliss of developing a sense of your own mortality in your forties, by which I mean the horror of watching a really quite surprising number of your friends get ill and die, is that you do start thinking, right then, how long have I got? Is this it, my actual life? This one?