I told you about a mechanical insect that had invaded my head and that was draining all the colour out of my life.
It was a metaphor, of course, although metaphors do have an uncanny knack of becoming true.
If I was to be less poetic I might describe it as "depression", although that word is entirely inadequate in describing its effects.
The word covers a multitude of states, from just being down in the dumps, to full-scale clinical depression, the kind my friend John came down with, which meant that he thought about suicide all the time, and couldn't even be bothered to get out of his chair to go to the toilet. That's some depression. He had to wear nappies.
My depression was not like either of these. A palm reader once told me that I have been losing heart. That's a good expression, and I will adopt it, even though everything else he told me was entirely untrue. But it really was as if some outside force had entered my head and was sucking the life out of me. So that mechanical insect with bug-claws will suffice as a description..
Maybe I'd been losing heart ever since I'd left home, some five years before.
I was still a child really.
Maybe it was just one long sulk.
The way I came to live in that obscure, windy city on the North East coast: well that too was an accident, just like everything else in my life.
I just ended up there.
I had a friend who was living there. I came to visit him for a few days, and ended up staying in the area for the next five years. Both of us were working on that archeological site. At lunchtime we would go across to the pub for a drink. It made the afternoons go faster. Often we would go for a drink in the evenings too. I did a lot of drinking in those days.
Some things never change.