So here it is, merry 2020. Crushed Red Stripe cans carpet Peckham this morning. There’s a note on the door of my favourite cafe announcing its permanent shuttering. The banks are playing catch-up; overnight my balance has atrophied. I notice Well Spent has posted its last.
I don’t start back at work proper till the 6th. I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve got another couple of days to sit in different cafes, typing rot about menswear, further withering my remaining capital on lattes and exorbitant sausage rolls.
If I sound a bit down, it’s because I am. As the years tick on my brain seems to take longer and longer to right itself after being assaulted by White Russians — my daily Citalopram has its work cut out. With the spectre of work-work on the horizon and another year of different (but identical) BBC dramas, banging electronic music, plodding south west train journeys and hastily assembled M&S micro-meals to look forward to I’m finding it especially difficult to crack a smile.
That all said, I am of course a considerable twat. I can see from the window of this cafe a bloke lying on the pavement in a sleeping bag. I get asked for cigarettes every day. I get asked for change I never carry. My biggest dilemma at this moment is whether to buy another three quid coffee and whether anyone will care enough to read this narcissistic tripe. I spent a lot of money on a Comme des Garçons Homme Deux blazer on New Years Eve — principally to wear to a ‘rave in a pub’ later that evening. There’s something pretty disgusting about that.
Perhaps it’s just my post C-hole brain, but I’m feeling the hypocrisy of my life more acutely than before. I worry about the climate crisis. I worry about the NHS. I worry about homelessness, the global swing to the right, the rise of the authoritarian government. But I also do nothing. Nothing other than contribute to the digital marketing mix in my day job and drool over embroidered Engineered Garments workwear at night.
John Stuart Mill famously said, “bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” A statement that presumes there are at least some good men left. I’m not really sure if I number amongst them.