But when, at Chatham, I’ve to relocate for a fourth time, I accomplish that petulantly. The little steel tray desk in entrance of me bleats tinnily as I jab it again into place. I hasten from the scene muttering failed epigrams. When I plonk myself down once more, two carriages alongside, I notice I’ve misplaced my glasses, with out which I can not learn a phrase, and I really feel too embarrassed to return and search for them. This is a fugue of my favourite factor.

Most discussions of whether or not it’s higher to journey or to reach fail to keep in mind a 3rd choice, which is that maybe it will have been higher to remain at house. In frequent with many individuals, I’ve discovered it tougher to return to the world than I had thought I’d within the doldrums of 2021. Was every thing all the time this tiring? Another epigram bubbles up: “What’s the point of going out? We’re just going to wind up back here anyway.” Thank you, Homer Simpson.

I’ll not have the ability to learn my guide, however I can nonetheless gaze out of the window. Rochester Castle, with its Twelfth-century preserve, glides previous, and already there are kids taking part in on the grounds. We cross Rainham Marshes and I spot scattered teams of bird-watchers who’ve been at it since daybreak. Coronavirus stays rife; the economic system is lurching uncontrolled; the planet is on fireplace; there may be battle in Europe. As extra vacationers be a part of the London service, some sure for the soccer, others to buy groceries at Westfield Stratford, it happens to me that nobody on this prepare is ever going to return to regular, as a result of normality isn’t the place we left it. But who would blame us for attempting?

As if to substantiate this sudden epiphany of fellow feeling, a faucet comes on my shoulder. I search for. Holding out my glasses to me is a person in an Arsenal shirt.

Later, protected at nighttime of the Crouch End Picturehouse, there will likely be a screening of “Quatermass and the Pit” (1967), the movie adaptation of Kneale’s 1958 teleplay. The authentic model concludes with phrases from Professor Bernard Quatermass delivered amid the smoking ruins of the capital metropolis: “Every war crisis, witch hunt, race riot and purge is a reminder and a warning. We are the Martians. If we cannot control the inheritance within us, this will be their second dead planet.”

I’ve seen this movie earlier than. I am going to the pub as a substitute.

Andy Miller is the creator of “The Year of Reading Dangerously” and the co-host of the podcast “Backlisted.”