Diary

The Hammock

05 July 2014 | Diary

Well that’s the end of me.

I have a hammock. Nothing will ever get done again.

I’m supposed to be writing a book (three books actually) but now there’s a hammock on the scene I can’t imagine how this is all going to work out.

No successful author could ever have had a hammock. You’d never get past the words “This book is fondly dedicated to my hammock, without whom…”

Actually, Somerset Maugham liked hammocks. His resolve must have been nothing short of extraordinary to clamber out of his softly rocking cradle every so often to shit out a few lines of Liza of Lambeth before waltzing, giddy with industry, back to the hammock and conking out again.

The thing is, when you’re in a hammock nothing else matters. The only thoughts that can occupy your drowsy mind when you’re in a hammock are things along the lines of aaah, hammock and aaah, hammocky-wammocky and I wonder how much longer I can stay in the hammock?

The answer to the latter question is inevitably “oh, a long while yet” because there’s always more time for a hammock. There is no higher state of being.

In my case, this is quite literally true. We live on the fourteenth floor and our hammock is out on the balcony.

Naturally, the view across the Montreal Plateau is spectacular but Samara is concerned that she might come home from work one day and find that her partner has Charlie Chaplined himself over the railings somehow and has found himself Harold Lloyding from somebody’s flagpole over L’avenue du Parc.

I keep assuring her that it’s probably fine.

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon rocking side to side in the hammock, eating honey directly from the pot with strawberries and toasty soldiers.

This is the life of a contracted writer, folks. A fucking disgrace.

Needless to say, the honey soon attracted hornets. They were extremely persistent but it’s hard to be angry with much of anything, let alone insects, when you’re in a hammock.

After convincing the hornets that they weren’t getting any honey, I spent the next half hour nonsensically singing “Bees, bees, the musical fruit.”

I think the summer heat is getting to me.

Luckily, you don’t have to work very hard when you have a hammock, even if you wanted to (which you don’t). There’s nothing to work for anymore. You have a hammock. You’ve made it.

You certainly don’t need vacations any more because the only place you want to be is in your hammock. The need to impress people by, say, dressing nicely or not being covered in honey seem like a pretty shallow suggestions from a hammock.

That’s why there’s that song, “If I had a Hammock”. Believe me, if I had a hammock (and I do), I’d hammock in the morning, I’d hammock in the evening. All over this land? Oh yes.

On Canada Day–the day on which the whole of Montreal uproots itself and, in a citywide Mad Hatter’s tea party, swaps houses–I had intended to help my brother-in-law move into his new apartment, but instead I stayed in the hammock, watching the clouds form and re-form, safe in the knowledge that industry was happening everywhere but here.

Horizontally, I wrote a few words of a letter to friend Fraser and had a bash at doing one of those sudokus. I don’t really understand what you’re supposed to do though, and the exercise was distracting me from enjoying the hammock properly so I just drew happy faces where the numbers are supposed to go before checking the answers page on the off change I’d cracked it with lateral thinking. (I hadn’t).

From a hammock, you can make believe that you’re a sailor, a Mayan, an explorer, a baby, or a ferret. But not if you don’t want to. You don’t have to do anything ever again.