This morning I find myself sitting square in the centre of a Newtown Trap. I should have gone to bed early to make rising at 6am less painful, but I didn't. I stayed up late performing a series of stupid tasks, reading a short story, watching the last hour of a film, piling jumpers onto an armchair, designing a hovering cat basket, deciding which pantone represented my favourite kind of winter sky. When I turned towards bed something small flipped in my stomach and I became determined to rebel.
Here's how it went this morning; my alarm sounded, I woke and lay there wondering which clothes to wear now, and then nothing. Nothing until Grizelda poked her head in the door at 8am because on a suspicion that I was still asleep instead of at work. She was right. First I got up out of bed and then I got angry, with myself, if there's one place I don't want to be it's here, right now, with a whole day off. This day right here is a beginning symptom of The Newtown Trap.
Yesterday I was talking to a friend about a mutual friend. He said 'we're thinking about extricating him from the Newtown Trap'. I knew exactly what he meant, ever since this guy moved to Newtown he's gone from being witty and slyly rebellious to full-out slacker with little to show for all his 'hard work'.
This is how it begins. Unintentional late nights, accidental sleep-ins, next week's wages are reduced because of the day missed, resentment increases, rebellion intensifies until suddenly all discipline falls out of life and art and all that is left is the talking about or the buried but silent delusion that they are working hard to earn money and working productively on their art when it is obvious to everyone else that they are not. They are free-ranging but broke, full of talk and wonder and anecdote but this is all they consist of. This is the commonest form of the Newtown trap, lack of self-discipline and a failure to manage the basic aspects of life, earning vs spending, sleep/wake cycle and eating vegetables, masquerades as true freedom. It's a bit shit really.
I bounce in and out of my own personal Newtown Trap, the odd late late one, the odd set of unexpected days off. It's more than a person should but less than your standard permanent Newtown-Trap-dwelling citizen does. Tomorrow is my scheduled day off but come Thursday morning I'll be leaving The Peach at an ungodly hour with combed hair, clean clothes on and lunch in my handbag. Not because I want to, not because I like going to work but to stay well clear of The Newtown Trap where all is not what it seems.