(In the spirit of procrastination.)
I couldn’t resist. After all, sitting at a desk for fifty hours a week is almost as novel to me as being a cycle courier is to you lot. (And yes yes, I know some of my readers are actual couriers. But I’m pretty sure they’re not the ones who account for the massive spike in views I get during office hours.)
It’s strange concentrating on the same activity for so long. If you get into a good groove, there are fewer distractions, and the time passes far more quickly. If your concentration lapses and you start to daydream and procrastinate (like I’m doing now), then it suddenly starts to drag intolerably.
I get hungrier sitting still than I do riding around. Or maybe I just notice the hunger more, because there’s less physical exertion to distract me from it. I remember this from desk jobs long past – the impossible-to-ignore tummy rumbles at 11.30, only four hours after breakfast, and far too early for lunch.
In fact, I think the lack of distractions will prove both a blessing and a curse. I’ll probably be more productive with a whole day to devote to writing, rather than snatched hours here and there, when there are half a dozen other things screaming for my attention. But it’ll also be much harder if I end up trying to do this with a hangover, or period pain, or if I have something big preoccupying me. I won’t be able to calm my mind down with traffic.
There’s no one to talk to. I quite like the solitary nature of couriering, but at the same time, I have the whole of London to keep me company, and if I need to vent my spleen, or complain about the weather, or talk about the hilarious thing that’s just happened to me, it’s usually pretty easy to find someone who’ll nod and smile. Just now a particularly beautiful cat walked through the garden and for a moment I really wanted to phone or email or text someone to tell them – then I realized that would be completely pointless and no one would care. It’s not the cat that’s the important bit. I think I just feel cut off from the entire world. It’s very quiet here.
I’ve just realized that the last time I spoke to another human being – in fact, the last time I spoke – was when I paid for my early morning swim at 6.30. If I hadn’t gone swimming, it would have been my housemate, at 10pm last night.
You get surprisingly cold when you don’t move.
Every hour or so I stand up, to make a cup of tea or go to the loo, and my legs and hips feel terribly stiff. They will probably stop working altogether if this continues.
It’s boring! Sitting in the same position, with the same view, doing the same thing, for eight hours a day – and probably more, now that I’ve wasted half an hour writing this. How does anyone manage to do this for an entire career?