- 25 Apr 20
In the new Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue, Irish stars and cultural figures pen 'Letters From Home' – offering their personal takes on the COVID-19 crisis.
Dear lovely peruser,
What the fuck is going on?
It appears spring has taken a new form, of winter dispatches from the bed to the couch, the sound of drum and bass on the canal and full spec ice-cream vans now become distant vibrations from a past year, or worse, questionings of my own presence.
I writhe at the utterance of social-distancing as being “the new normal” in this perverse unknown. Far from normal it is and far from normal it will be recalled upon.
I’d physically kill for a hug if homicide weren’t illegal and, again, with tongue most likely touching inner face, I wish for a world where hearing the word “lockdown” was more synonymous with encountering a pseudo fan of Skepta’s (see me in the magazine hi mum).
Our asymmetry has now been exposed, and the quarrels with which we attached ourselves internally been crushed callously by forward thinking microbes. Our bathrobes and CDs of old no longer extras on our set, but highly paid stars in our everyday regret of having not known how good things were.
Reheating last night’s meal you stir and stir and stir*, lost in the completely original thought that it “definitely tastes better the next day”.
Bowie’s The Next Day has a song on it called ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’: there’s beautiful humour in that now.
I customarily reminisce deeply on fleeting nothings and the art of lost romance, even moments minnow as a glance. It’s easy to romanticise the idea of connecting with anyone on what is now Day 24 of remembering what it’s like to dance. (I would meticulously commit arson and get away with it for a dance in Workman’s right now, if arson weren’t illegal and or understandably frowned upon, of course).
“Bob Dylan’s discography chronologically!” I exclaimed to fucking no one on day 13. This was the great fourth-wall-break between James and his audience of... James. A paramount idea to fill time and become even further acquainted with the not-so-bad guy and his dry wit. Dry it was, and dry it still is. ‘All I Really Want to Do’ on ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’ from 1964 has been a personal favourite thus far on my endeavour - sharp and clever as ever.
*Stir, stir, stir... “Fuck that really does taste better the next day” - Original Thought #2 on day 17, shortly preceded by Original Thought #1, “Maybe a piss in the back garden would spice things up today?”
If all we have is time to kill, but time is also a killer, then time is the enemy my friend. But worry not, time is a wilted concept now for those of us at home. ‘The great purge of the inner voice’s ability to reassure’ (2020 edition!) is in full flow, and I’ve become semi-unwillingly reliant on watching Stewart Lee clips on YouTube. I regularly bask in his logically and creatively formed bleakness served cold through comedy gold.
Look up ‘Give it to me straight, like pear cider that’s made from 100% pears’ for a two-part-pirated masterpiece. Though be warned, there is triggering imagery of a semi-large crowd enjoying themselves in a theatre... (At this stage I would diligently forge large sums of multiple currencies across several decades for one pint outside Grogan’s, day or night. Of course only if producing counterfeit money weren’t illegal and/or looked down upon by the man, man).
The only certainty now is uncertainty, and that is not “the new normal”, because humans are resilient bastards. So fear not, you semi-detached wholly reshaped peruser in kind, the third summer of love is fast approaching. Let’s just hope it arrives this year and not the next.
• The Murder Capital’s debut album When I Have Fears is out now.
Read more Letters From Home in the new Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue – available to buy in shops and order online now.