The twenty-third story in my collection, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, ‘Diary Extracts of a Lockdown Addict’ is a series of snippets from my imaginary diary. None of them – except perhaps the last which memorialises a friend – is particularly significant. It was my life during lockdown! The first showed the state of my writer’s mind! There are six more!
Looking back at what he had just written, it occurred to him that in naming two of his characters he had somehow evoked that stage cowboy of his childhood years, Roy Rogers. Wondering if it was just chance—is there ever ‘just chance’—or whether something deeper had moved him to name Roy’s alter ego as Roger. Wondering if this was just his poet’s ear finding the logical, the apparently right word at the right time. Wondering if modern and all too real coronavirus masks had somehow resonated with the cowboy bandana. Was his subconscious really that shallow? He had, after all, been trying to buy a mask online and had given up after finding that nearly all failed to specify anything other than protection against dust. Even when he specifically searched for ‘medical protection masks’! Wondering if this was a case of retailers jumping on the bandwagon. Wondering… doubting that Roy, Roger and certainly not Roy Rogers had ever had that problem!