An entry from A Writer’s Diary by Toby Litt, published by Galley Beggar Press on 1 January 2023
Black fluff wft. Where does it come from? Those small smudges of darkness on the carpet? Our clothes are all old, and surely have finished moulting some time ago. I see half a dozen spots every time I walk up the stairs. This makes me feel they are sprouting, like lichen, rather than being shed, like dandelion clocks. Black fluff is another thing to bend down and pick up, and I resent bending down. Is my back readying itself to ‘go’? Until I’m halfway back up, and know there’s going to be pain when and if I stand straight – until I’m pranged, I don’t know a pranging is in the offing. If I gathered all the black fluff up, kept it in a small jamjar, examined it under the microscope (if we had a microscope), would I learn anything I don’t know already? I could take samples of the fibres of my black clothes – turtle neck jumpers, jeans, underpants – and make comparisons at thread level. This wouldn’t in any way help me to prevent the sprouting, which must occur due to friction. It is me, moving up and down the stairs, arms rubbing against ribs, leg sliding past leg, that conjures the lichens. They are responding to the quiet sounds of cloth-contact that corduroy exaggerates into vpp, vpp.
End of year thoughts.