There’s a shaken can of Diet Coke that’s trapped somewhere underneath my rib cage. It feels like it’s in that gap between the lungs, which is not an actual gap obviously, it only looks that way in all the illustrations of ‘human body lungs’ that I Googled one sentence ago. It is anatomically impossible that the Diet Coke can exists in a real real way, but I feel it all the same in the metaphorical real way; like it’s just violently fizzing away and I can’t get rid of it.
I’ve seen videos of Diet Coke being used as a cleaning agent, because it is made up of the kind of chemicals that can strip cemented debris from surfaces. It’s got a fantastically synthetic taste, and I used to drink more of it than anything else. I could drink one right now, especially with lemon and ice (which is the posh way to drink it, obvs). But this one here, the metaphorical one that’s lodged in the made up gap between my lungs, is not ok. It could, for example, explode in my chest and soak my respiratory system in aspartame. It’s tin shards could travel through my blood stream and tear apart my insides. I feel it close to my heart. I wake up to its threatening fizzing every morning and everyone keeps telling me to forget about it because it’s only a metaphor, after all; and I know it’s not real real but I can feel it there, all the same.
I’m supposed to be reading (anything) and writing (anything) and being at least moderately productive, which I was for March May June because I was very much high on adrenaline, workout videos, the big unknown and antibac gel. But that’s settled into a shaky inertia; like I realise now that if I were in a real real real apocalypse (unlike the real real one of now) that I would probably be immobile under 17 blankets just breathing very heavily, waiting for the end. I know I’m not the only one that feels like they’re reading back over the past few months like a sentence that just won’t stick. Like what have we missed? How did we get here?
Anyway, I was thinking the other day about this bar in Leeds that’s more like a drinking corridor, and how fogged up its windows always get with condensation. When you’re standing on the street, it is so inviting, these warm shapes through the glass. It looks how a happy Christmas feels. I mentioned this once to a friend, who said: That’s so gross, it’s just the build up of sweat and breath. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it seems like it is — and it really ruined the romance of it for me. Now that we’re living in a world where the daily aim is not to breathe on one another (unless you are Noel Gallagher and you are obsessed with breathing on everyone), it is strange to think back on this close proximity and the shared condensation we shared as strangers. Not that I was out there chewing five pound notes or anything, but what the hell, we were all just breathing on one another and kissing faces and screaming bad songs at each other and sharing glassware without a care in the world.
Of minor note in what is a moon shattering of daily headlines was the story of possible life on Venus. Which I don’t think anyone cares too much about right now, sorry NASA, but the sky is on fire and the gravitational force here on earth is evidently getting weightier by the day, I am writing this from bed.
The thing about the new space story is that the ‘life’ (which is actually a gas called phosphine made up of one phosphorus and three hydrogen atoms that is ‘associated’ with life) is not on Venus but floating 50KM above it. Because as it turns out it’s pretty tough to live on surface Venus, which is something like 400C and described by a BBC science correspondent as a “hellhole”.
50KM above though? Life is GRAND. It is peachy Pina Colada weather. It is the setting of a French seaside from a novel where everyone is just living and fucking and eating languidly, because they have money and it’s the 1950s. I am feeling v jeal of the four atoms floating breezily along the circumference of hell fire without a care in the world. That’s where I’m at right now, psychologically, spiritually. TTFN.
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