The terrifying enforcers and cajolers of officialdom are less active at night and can more or less be avoided after dark by just closing the blinds and hunkering down til the commuter traffic begins to surge through the knackered old morning, just like the last one, just like the next one. Live at night, when the debt collectors and governmental agencies have made their ways back to the mollifying hearth and home. Draw the blinds and watch it all fall down. The corn falls to the sickle, cycle after cycle, but we’ve evolved beyond those unfortunate enough not to live in the modern age (like everyone who ever lived didn’t live in the modern age, at the apex of significance and understanding. We’re not the same superstitious villagers who hurled themselves time and time again into bloodbaths and apocalypses to appease angry gods and mad tyrants. They lived in the past – and we live somewhere else – just like them, unable to see the future lurking round the corner past the bend in the road, with its jaws wide open for its favourite snack, forgetful and gullible humanity, tossing itself furiously into its gnashing teeth.

We’re a species who just can’t still still for long enough, who can’t contain its frustrations any better than a tired, angry toddler. We’re being reminded of our limitations by a new, dumb virus – or we aren’t. We’re all going to die – either very very quickly or not really at all. It’s a big thing or it isn’t. We’re arguing about it. We don’t believe any more – most of us don’t, anyway – that the Jews are poisoning the well, but we darkly suspect that someone or something is poisoning something somewhere, in that superstitious medieval villager kind of way; could be anyone or anything – government, Nazis, race baiters, race haters, Donald Trump, Dominic Cummings, the Illuminati, lizards in disguise, the left, the right, statues, the past, the present, the future, the left the right, the black, the white.

You can choose the flavour, but you don’t get to leave the table until you’ve chugged every intoxicating mouthful of sweet, sweet poison. It’s Jonestown on the rocks  with a dash of The Black Death and a generous helping of your favourite dystopian imagining. You’re invited to pick a side and fight to the death We’ve just got bored of waiting and now we’re ready to jump, anywhere. I check the news every morning now before I bother unpeeling myself off the sofa and committing to being awake. One morning all the fissures will be running so rapidly from the epicenter that there won’t be any point in getting up. You might as well stay in bed, feel frustrated by the concept of paragraphs, have another wank and hope it doesn’t hurt too much when the zombies come to eat you.

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