The apocalypse came to Londres yesterday. The sky grew dark and red, and a mischievous wind followed it. Smoke and dust covered the city and people scurried around with glances upward as though in fear. Meanwhile I found myself caught up in the errors of others and the paperwork of groups I have aligned myself with. The apocalypse, for me, seemed like a never-ending avalanche of documents and forms and messages. In the last two days I have sent 26 emails from my personal account, and yet more in my role at the Tree Service. In addition I have edited four very significant documents, sent texts, messages, made phone calls. It was the written words that took up time.
I found myself thinking about why so much time goes into documents. It is as though they have a magical power. At the end of the world yesterday, it felt as though that power were sinister, overwhelming, trying to bury me. I thought about it again today going into work on my velocipede, the sky returned to its normal hues. Why do I do it? To my surprise, there was an answer, of sorts. A child, peering out from beneath a huge pile of papers, trying to establish relationships with people.
It is an odd feature of our culture that we would choose this method. I suppose it is something to do with the scale of our society. But not everyone does it, so there’s more to it than that. Here in Londres at the end of the world I appear to be in a section of society very keen on documents.