‘You look 12,’ someone tells you on twitter. You know you look twelve. You have always looked twelve. Maybe you will always look twelve. You blink at the screen, which glows condescendingly back at you in a vaguely Blairite fashion. You look twelve, and you cannot remember anything else. Wearily, you type out another sarcastic reply. Vive la revolution.
Every time is the same. ‘Tony Blair is a war criminal’ you type, slowly, jaw set, determined. This time you’ll do it. You will. You’ll publish it, this time.
Nameless horror chokes you, chills running down your spine, and the words vanish almost as soon as they’re typed. Your hands are shaking. Your mouth is dry.
You know what comes next.
‘…his motive throughout, it seems to me, lay somewhere between the patriotic and the noble,’ you write, and bury your face in your hands.
Maybe tomorrow, then.
Ukip have 12.6% of the vote, and you are running naked down Whitehall, and you wonder when you are going to wake up. You run, and run, and compose column titles in your head. WHY UKIP’S 12.6% IS BAD FOR ED MILIBAND. WHY ED MILIBAND SHOULD WORRY. WHY MY NAKED RUN THROUGH WHITEHALL WAS BAD NEWS FOR ED MILIB-
But there is no more Ed Miliband. Not any more.
It is cold. You keep running.
You had so many dreams. You were a compassionate Conservative. You’re not even a Conservative, these days. No matter. Britain must leave the EU. Britain must leave the EU. Britain must leave-
The Tory Government you longed for is falling apart, and you feel only hollow glee. Britain must leave the EU.
You are one of Britain’s foremost young political journalists, but Delia has a recipe for omelettes, and you try it, and you write it up. Delia has a recipe for boiled eggs, you try that, too, and you write it up. Delia, impossibly, has a recipe for toast, and you are so, so tired.
When you sleep, you dream of late-night council election result liveblogging.
Every day, new vegetables. You have opinions- on Tony Blair, on quantitive easing, on grammar schools and Liverpool Council in 1985. But it rained yesterday, and there are strawberries to blog about. Your opinions can wait for another day.
But every day, there are new vegetables.
She haunts your thoughts. She appears in your nightmares, eating Alex Salmond’s Solero. You search for her ceaselessly. And always, always, she eludes you.
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives feeds you a Solero, even throwing a jacket over one shoulder, but it’s not right. Nothing is right. Nothing has been right for the longest time. You go home and wonder, bleakly, if the Solero girl even exists.
Towards the end, you wonder if it would make any difference if she didn’t.
HSBC is embroiled in scandal after scandal, but the Telegraph is silent. The silence haunts you. You cannot sleep. You will have to resign. Or have you have already resigned? In the pubs, they mock Ed Miliband, and though you know they are wrong you are resigned to that, too.
So you close your eyes, and pray Thatcher will save you.
The graph does not say what your editorial piece needs it to say, but this is not the problem it once was.
You truncate y-axes, you livetweet Eurovision in Swedish, and if the statisticians’ screams keep you awake at night, maybe it’s a price worth paying.