2020: the year relaxation became impossible | Joel Golby

Since March I’ve felt like a tensed cat ready to pounce. It’s a side-effect of Covid – and this government

My dreams have become quite frantic lately. Normally I don’t remember my dreams, so I assume that if I have them they are incredibly ordinary. But I have been waking with the vivid glow of them in the front of my brain for the past few weeks, and they are all vibrantly strange.

There was the one where I had to very politely go to Jamie’s Italian with my exe’s parents and they, bereft of anything to say to me, just repeatedly asked me how work was going (“Fine,” Dream Me said, a lie). There was one where I somehow landed a lucky punch to knock out Tyson Fury in the first round and, in the aftermath, every single pundit on the planet lined up on Sky News to say mean things about me, about how useless I was, not just as a boxer but as a person. There’s one where I sprinted through woods to escape the licking tendrils of flames, and then have failed tense job interviews with sweat beading on my forehead. I wake up exhausted at the horror my dormant mind has invented for no reason but to torture me. I wake up, frankly, afraid of the things I have created to be afraid of. I do not wake up relaxed.

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