When so many of my fellow humans seem to think so differently to me, is it time to wonder if it is me who is wrong? As 2017 progresses, is it me who is destined to be legend?
If you’ve not read the Richard Matheson Novel, ‘I am Legend’, then stop reading this blog and treat yourself to that instead.
If you have read it you’ll be aware that at the crux of the tale is the hero who is trying to save the human race. Until, that is, it dawns upon both the reader and the protagonist that he is no longer the hero. He is now the bad guy.
It is he who has become the murderous freak. It is he who is the dangerous anomaly. It is he, not those who disease turned into vampires, who is the virus that the majority wish to quash.
The whole book reads like a metaphor for my relationship with 2016.
Brexit. Trump. Farage. For so long I have been convinced that they are symptoms of a disease that attacks human compassion. It’s a disease that has been slowly spreading for years. It’s Thatcher vs Unions. It’s Kinnock vs Major. It’s miners and steel workers vs those who want to wash their hands clean.
I’ve been fighting this war for decades. I’ve lost every battle. Always on the losing side, I’d be arrogant not to question this.
Perhaps it’s not others who have a problem. Perhaps it is me.
Perhaps I’m fighting a war that I am not meant to win.
Maybe it’s me that hosts the virus.
Last night, I spent New Years Eve with family at a party organised by my nieces and their millennial friends. They danced to Blur like I’d once danced to disco. I wondered what the future holds for them.
A 19 year old befriended me. He asked for advice on the big issues: life choices, jobs, his fears about the future. I did my best but my words felt empty. His hopes and dreams and the challenges that face him differed from mine at his age so subtly, yet so profoundly.
I realised I could never truly understand how he either perceived or wished to project himself onto the world around him. I realised I am not sure I understand anything anymore. I wondered if perhaps I have been wrong about so many things?
My new friend sourced me more Prosecco. It took the edge off my fears for the future. I drank more, and as the drug began to take effect I felt woozy, accepting and a little relieved.
I remained certain, when speaking to someone half my age, that hope always conquers hate. Beyond that I was sure of nothing.
After the final glass of fug inducing fizz, I collapsed on my bed. Just before I drifted off into a deep and much welcomed slumber, this beaten, philosophical, middle aged woman lay down without a fight and wondered:
Am I legend?