In my defence (and defense, for that matter), I've been busy watching Werner Herzog films. That takes up a lot of time. I've also started to watch Twin Peaks for the first time, and have its incidental music in my head right now. I'm sane.
Oh, and I went to see Southampton beat Sunderland 8-0 on Saturday. That was rather bonkers.
I should write about those things in more detail, but I can barely bring myself to string even these few meagre sentences together. I'm out of writing practice (and practise, for that matter), and I don't want to pull a muscle.
So I'll just have a brisk walk around the block to stretch my writing-legs (fingers). What form should this walk take? It's nearly Halloween, so how about a spooooooky short story?
The train was full of vampires. A vampire in every seat. In every window seat: a vampire. In every aisle seat: a vampire. In the overhead storage spaces: three dozen collapsed coffins. And a vampire.
Vampires standing all the way up the aisle, blocking the refreshment trolley. Each vestibule chock-a-block. With vampires.
The train doors opened at Ealing Broadway. One vampire got off, and Naomi got on.
Though she was a feminist (and a vampire), Naomi was half-hoping that there would be enough chivalry in the carriage for the occupants to make space for her. She hoped they'd squeeze out of her way. Maybe even offer her a seat.
But there was no room for chivalry. Not with all the vampires.
Naomi's seat reservation held no water, holy or otherwise. So she resigned herself to an hour of discomfort.
The conductor hadn't even tried to check tickets.
"I'm not going out there," he'd said to a colleague. "It's packed tighter than a Welshman's leeksatchel."
The conductor's idioms were legendary.
In the vestibule, Naomi pressed her bosom against a safety poster to avoid the sharp collar-end poking her in the back of the neck.
"Sorry about this," said the collar-owner. "I've just had it starched."
Somewhere down the carriage, someone caused a commotion by opening a packet of cheese and onion crisps.
"Some people..." said the collar-owner, shaking his head and spearing the eyeball of the man next to him.
"That's IT!" shouted Naomi.
There was silence.
"I can't travel like this," she said. "Why don't we just all turn ourselves into bats?"
They assented, and all of the passengers enjoyed a peaceful, roomy rest-of-journey.
Everyone arrived at the convention centre as fresh as a daisy.
I hope you weren't reading that alone at night.
Don't worry: it was only a story.
Or was it...