• Eric Rushton

Concentration

Updated: Jan 9

I’ve got no concentration at the moment. I keep starting things and then a few seconds later I’m… what was I saying? I think I have a lump on my neck. My phone just said Covid is getting worse again. Could the lump be a tumour? Does Covid cause tumours? Maybe I will be alone forever. How do you cook a casserole? I wish I knew how to cook more things. I’m getting to the age where my piss-poor culinary skills are unacceptable. What happened to Undercover Boss? That was a great show. I wonder why it got cancelled. Maybe the boss of Channel 4 turned up to the production offices undercover as a cleaner and realised what a shoddy job everyone was doing and fired them all. Irony is a bitch. Or possibly a male dog.

My mind is all over the shop. And if my mind is gonna be all over the shop, it should at least be wearing a facemask. I don’t know what that means.

The point is, I can’t focus. During Lockdown One, I had loads of focus. I was exercising every day, writing every day, making schedules. I saw it as an opportunity to better myself while the world was on pause. Sure, there were dips, and it was shit, but it felt like we were all in it together. And it also felt like it was gonna be a few months and then back to normal. I’ve just come up with this phrase all by myself, so apologies if you’re so taken aback by its originality that you start to convulse uncontrollably, but it’s starting to dawn on me that what we’re dealing with now is the “New Normal”.

There’s no end in sight. There’s no future anymore, just an endless present. I don’t know what next year will look like – I don’t even know what next week will look like…. Actually, I don’t even know what the next hour will look like! Nah, come on I’m being silly, I have actually got some pretty strong predictions about what I’ll do in the next hour. It will mostly involve me glaring at this geezer in Caffé Nero who’s sat by a plug socket and isn’t even using it, while I’m sat rocking less than 20% battery on my laptop silently begging to be on a table where I can juice this bad-boy up. It well annoys me when people sit by a plug socket when they don’t need it, especially when there’s so much battery-power poverty in the world. It should be illegal. They should slip that in with the new covid guidelines – “No household mixing, wear a facemask at all times, oh, and also you’re not allowed to sit by a plug socket at a café if you’re not gonna charge something.”

I’ve lost my train of thought again. Before I get back on that train, I need to make sure I have my facemask on. I don’t know what that means.

Oh yeah, the future. That’s what I was talking about. It doesn’t exist anymore. I think my brain needs to be able to slot itself into a narrative, then it calms itself down a bit and feels less stressed. We all do it. We think about where we’ll be in our jobs and our relationships and our FIFA career modes in the next six months, the next twelve months, the next five years, the next millenia. No one knows where they’re gonna be anymore. The Borussia Dortmund lads I’m managing at the moment can’t even plan their lives and they’re just bits of computer code. Jadon Sancho keeps asking me if the new lockdown changes apply to simulated football players, and the messaging from Number 10 is so confusing that I don’t know what to tell him.

It’s not even been that long really. Coronavirus has been around for less than a year – I don’t know how people use to cope with wars that went on for like five years. At the start of this, people were calling for the spirit of the Blitz. Now I’m reminiscing about the spirit of Lockdown One, the olden days where we all stuck together and did yoga to try and defeat the fascist Coronavirus.

My plan for the future was to become a national treasure as a comedian and writer before surprising everyone by following it up with a semi-successful career in mixed martial arts. That has been snatched away from me – gigs are getting cancelled and you aren’t allowed to get people in arm locks anymore.

And I don’t like this piece of writing I’m creating. It’s scattershot, lacking focus, doesn’t know where it’s going. Each paragraph isn’t a necessary consequence of the last. There’s something really unsatisfying about structure breaking down.

I can’t write my story anymore.

Something about coronavirus. Insert joke. Insert relatable point. Search for an ending. Maybe bring back the bit about charging my phone. We all need a re-charge?

No ending.

Doesn’t matter.

Cya x




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