The festive frolics over: the magic of Christmas melted away faster than a snowball in a microwave oven. Then, the seemingly long but oh so short days between Christmas and New Year. The exquisite nonchalance of the late twenties. A time to read unread books, or take in a few films or the latest art exhibition. These are days when you might feel moved to write or draw or immerse yourself in some other artistic pursuit. These are days when you just drift in a delicious chocolate-flavoured, tinsel torpor
And now it’s all over, we are back to the daze of days – the long succession of non-days, same days, that melt endlessly one into another with our daily routine. Is this Tuesday or Thursday, Just another day. The buses are running, kids are dragging slowly to school, the café down the road is open all hours, workmen propping up the bar for their early morning caffeine fix and smokers, outside, huddled round the door, puffing away, lost in their noxious fug. It’s a dayless day with news and weather and wondering what we are going to eat tonight and is there anything decent on TV. Days of drifting. Normal daily dayless days that will run their course until … What can possibly happen?
And there you are in the numb nondescript of yet another drab day in your café, supermarket, office … when in walks a heavily armed suicide bomber, he sprays the place with machine gun fire and then blows himself up. That’s nonsense. This isn’t a low budget action B Movie, this is my small town where small town people live their hermetic but reassuring small town lives. No, that could never happen here in this everyday place where everyday is this day but never THAT day.
A year on from the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“Was that only last year!” remarks a colleague. “It all seems so long ago.”