…with tempting promises. Every time I turn on my computer I get offers. All I have to do, each advert assures me, is click on some flickering link and I’ll have a gift card for some class-appeal store.
I’ve checked in the Oxford English Dictionary, and the definition of gift is something ‘given willingly to someone without payment’. So this would be a present, not cash-back, easily forgotten, spent on mundane, sensible items. This is about self-indulgence.
It’s FREE money, isn’t it? That’s got to be better than working. Especially in this heat.
I know, us Brits are always wittering on about our weather. Here we are after a few days of sun and half of us are wilting. In Washington, a newly-returned friend tells me, most people just don’t go out in it. Although, eighty degrees, he says, is considered quite a moderate temperature for summer there, where air-conditioned cars transport people from air-conditioned homes to air-conditioned work.
I linger in the chilled aisles of the supermarket while my car turns into an oven. Yes, I did forget to get it’s environmental control system re-gassed, and now it’s too hot to face making an extra journey to sit in the garage waiting while they top it up.
Besides, teaching is pretty much finished for the summer, I won’t need to travel much until it’s cooler. Better to return home, open the windows and doors and hope for a passing breeze, as I refill my glass with ice and water.
I visualize myself, under the dappled shade of our tree, working through the heap of notes I’ve brought out from my desk. I’m comfortably cool, wearing a floppy hat and sunglasses. Effortless, about sums the picture up. Unhindered by a realistic recognition of my commitments to family, friends, dog,house or garden, in this idyll I will create a perfect first draft. Seems like I’ve neatly sidestepped the usual displacement activities, doesn’t it?
The danger of such fantasies though, is that I forget these are as much a fiction as the gifts that the double glazing, insurance and internet companies offer me. While I wait for the perfect conditions for writing, the long lazy weeks of summer dissolve and that heap of ideas remain on the side of my desk.