I have one full day, one day, before I return myself to the melting pot, the exchange of pain. I overdramatise.
When I was at school, we had four Houses, one of which was “Spender” – Richard Spender, the Second World War (note my capitalisation) poet – who once, or so we were always taught, wrote a poem entitled “Embarkation Leave” which finished with the line “Oh God… tomorrow I go back”. I have never quite been able to track down a copy, but the line has stayed with me from my schooldays. Do I overdramatise when I apply a line written in wartime, to a return to my own working, living, active life? I often wonder. And this self-investigation I have applied constantly over the years, never quite knowing from time to time how far I am overdramatising, am distorting or defiling the poetry of a man at war.
I will never be a man at war. I will, quite simply, always be a coward. Lazy. A failure.
And what worries me more than any pain or fear or sorrow, is that from time to time, that’s fine.