Walking with ghosts

Attractive building in Swansea

I walked slowly through the centre of Swansea this morning after listening to Marc Maron on his podcast talk about Sweaty Marc, the version of himself in New York from the eighties that he remembers as he walks there today. In the nineties, I was mostly lonely and lost, and Swansea was my stomping ground, but Lonely Mike doesn’t haunt me in the same way Sweaty Marc does Maron. It’s an apt image though, because I’m a little lost now, twenty-five years on. The novel isn’t coming on its own, and I’m not doing the right things to help it along.

I made the decision to concentrate on my software career this year. I started a new job in September, and I’ve passed my probation, but there are redundancies happening all over the technology sector. I don’t feel particularly safe yet. At the end of March I started on a hectic, high profile account, so it’s been vital I get to grips with everything quickly. I’ve been waking up at five am thinking about work problems. I haven’t been in a job where I’ve felt so challenged in a long time. It’s taking all my energy.

But I had a dream the other night. An elegantly dressed woman is with me and a man on a balcony in a nightclub. The man is very drunk. She whispers to him that they should go on somewhere else. She’s sober and taking care of him. I want to go home, and I think the man’s had enough too, but if I don’t go with them they’ll be alone without me, and that feels wrong in some important way.

Perhaps I need to readdress the balance after a month that’s demanded everything I have. The man in the dream is a bit of a battered shell, and the woman is trying to look after him, but I need to step in and suggest… other options.