There’s an awful lot of death around these days. Have you noticed? I’m just coming out of my news coma – I know it’s a couple of days early but I thought I’d get myself acclimatised so I’m easing myself into it gently. Besides, I have to do a talk tomorrow at Tomatoes about how it all went, so I need to find out what I’ve missed. A lost plane, the death of bananas and the greed of Maria Miller, seems to sum it up. And today, the sad news that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died, aged 87. Frankly, I was surprised he was still alive, so it didn’t affect me as much as you might think, but I fell in love with Marquez when I was in Spain. Everybody was reading him then; especially ‘Cien Anos de Soledad’ (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and Love in the Time of Cholera; and I absolutely adored him. There are very few people who can do magic realism well – you have to have it in the blood, I think – and Marquez is one of them. I shall dig out my old copies of his work and re-read them.
Adios, Gabriel. We’ll miss you.
So I’m slowly coming round and back to the world again – and I’m determined it isn’t going to have the same effect on me as it did before. I will not get paranoid, anxious, angry and fearful; I will take the news in but not let it dictate my mood.
I find Lenten fasts can be quite life-changing. For example, we used to give up TV for Lent every year and then one year we just thought; Oh, why bother? Let’s give it up for good. And we did. That was around 1999 I think; and we haven’t looked back. We didn’t even have the iplayer in those days, just videos to keep us going. Many’s the video I learnt by heart. Seriously, what do you need TV for? It’s mostly ‘reality’ rubbish.
Read a book instead. Read Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Go on, read him now.
PS Oh, and I’m writing a new story based on Mark’s weirdness. If anybody knows any magazines that publish trans stuff, let me know.