Yesterday we agreed, the man and I, that it’s probably best if I move this whole ‘writing operation’ into the barn.

That’s not as bad as it sounds. He hasn’t banished me to work with the cows and the chickens.

In fact, it’s really rather nice. We converted the old barn at our new-old house on the hill into an actually quite nice guest space. Such is the luxury of selling a house in London and replacing it with a spread in north Wales. . . .

It is nice, this barn. There’s heating. There’s a kettle. There’s a tellie.

Even so, such is his caring nature that the man has just brought me a cup of tea. And, in doing so, he has discovered that I am working with the tellie on.

Of this style, he does not approve.

He tells me that Sartre worked in a completely white room, facing the wall.

I feel it’s a bit insulting to me and to Sartre for me to have to explain that Sartre I am not.

It’s fair, though, I suppose, for the man to be perplexed. How on earth could I work with the tellie on? Why on earth would I choose to do that? Clearly, I am not focusing.

The funny is, though, this is one of my little tricks for focusing.

I create this distraction so that the bits of my brain that usually irritate me with this thought or that thought or just the buzz, buzz, buzz of being are redirected. It works. These annoying little brainy bits get distracted themselves.

Nuts, right?

Yes. Nuts. That’s me.

I’m okay with that.

Because, you know, there are lots of little things for those distracting brainy bits to get caught up with.

Like the fact that all of this is more than a little soul baring. Like I’m getting emotionally naked.

I’m not good at getting naked. I used to be pretty good at it. But that was a long time ago and that was a very different kind of naked, if you know what I mean. And I know you know what I mean.

This kind of naked is much, much worse.

Much, much more intimate.

Much, much more terrifying.

So, I like knowing you’re there. Whoever you are.

But I wonder if you know that you are staring into the depths of my soul. That you are seeing what’s there. Beneath the façade. Behind the bravado. Without the politeness. Or the bitchiness.

I trust you. Clearly. Whoever you are.

But, for now, I’ll distract myself a bit rather than contemplate what it all means.

Sartre can have his white room. I prefer my white noise.