A dispatch from my safe space

I hate all this bollocks about ‘safe spaces’, as if the very notion of having somewhere you can go to be content and happy, largely insulated from the hate, fear and bullshit of the world, is somehow indicative of weakness or timidity, or an unwillingness to engage. “Get back to your safe space, snowflake!” seems to be the insult du jour on social media at the moment – often, but not exclusively, used by emboldened right-wingers (let’s call them ‘red caps’) who just love snappy slogans (Take back control! MAGA!). However, it completely loses its impact if, like me, you think of it merely as a kind-hearted suggestion. “Get back to my safe space? Thanks, I will! It’s cosy there and we have Hobnobs.”

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I worry…a lot

I worry. I worry about lots of things. Only a couple of weeks ago, I cheerfully said “white rabbit!” to welcome in the new month, before blowing off loudly in the confines of my shower. I then started to overthink the consequences of my actions, speculating that the black squares of misery and misfortune on the Gods’ chess board might be reserved solely for the flatulent and disrespectful. Is that bad luck, I thought? Has my farty observance of this superstitious ritual now cursed November? Should I apologise and repeat the saying again…or will my repeating it only serve to amplify the bad luck that will likely befall me this month?

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I have a son…and I’m writing about it. Sorry.

You have to believe me: I never planned to write anything about becoming a father. I’ve obviously written the obligatory Facebook post, in which I efficiently announced my son’s arrival and immediate retirement from social media, but I didn’t want to dribble on about it too much. It was my brother-in-law’s recent admission that he can’t really remember anything about the very early months of his sons’ lives that prompted me to scribble down some thoughts. Both he and my sister claimed that these first few gruelling weeks of fatherhood will eventually be purged from my mind in order to make the thought of having a second child seem like a good idea. So I’m writing this now before the last few weeks of my life disappear down the memory hole.

So here’s the abridged version from the beginning.

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