11th Jan – eight years together
Husb just came in to wish me happy eight years together. We’d both forgotten. This isn’t our wedding anniversary, that is a bigger deal for us these days. This is the date of our first date. It’s just lovely to think about us going on our first date eight years ago. I mean we were both different people then, the world was completely different. I had a Blackberry, I’d only been living in London for about 8 months. I cannot believe how long it has been. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we’d never met, but I’ve always held the belief that we would have met eventually, we were just lucky it happened when it did.
Time between March 2020 and now has not been the same. Days have passed and we’ve continued and marked events passing, but from inside. Christmas felt like it was happening just out of reach, like it was a meal being eaten at the next table in a restaurant, we had what we had and enjoyed it, but it still felt like somewhere else it was happening as normal and we missed out. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed a more normal Christmas anyway, travelling and staying over in spare rooms, sleeping badly and having to deal with a different family’s timetable.
People are talking about the vaccine now. It’s out there in anecdotes, queues in the streets of old people, appointments in the future. It feels like it’s happening now, right as we’re going through the worst of it.
12th Jan – a truly sarcastic level of social distancing
Just as I am starting to write my berocca fizzes up dramatically. INSPIRATION! Husb realised we were going through 3 quarters of a pack a week between us, we had to do a rush bulk order on Amazon. People were pressed and stressed in the berocca reviews “they’ve taken away the foil and now I cannot be sure these are the genuine item and not dangerous fakes! … They’ve changed the design due to phony ‘environmental concerns’” People seemed to love that pointless foil? I’ve replaced my daily Vit D tablet with a morning berocca. The Vit D really worked so well in the run up to Christmas, but I felt like a needed a change after months and months of it every morning.
Now I have an idea of what I can do with this writing, maybe, I have to be careful I don’t change it or try too hard with it. I think I’ve always been a huge try hard. When I was a kid my relatively lack of money kept me from being truly insufferable. Sure, I wanted to be a goth, but could I afford any of the clothing? No. Cheap black t-shirts and Claire’s accessories came to my rescue and I think I’m all the better for it. I always found it so funny that to be a legit goth who wanted to smash the system you had to drop hundreds of quid on clothing. I remember once after school my friends and I were walking into town singing and I joined in and one of them said to me, with anger and disgust on his face “why do you always have to try so hard?” I was mortified that any attention could be drawn to me, but also, as I was an arrogant teen (there’s definitely something in those hormones) I thought maybe he’s jealous that I can sing so well? Could I really sing that well? I really don’t think so, but I tried like with everything. I tried hard, for a little bit anyway. Singing was one of the few career prospects at the time for a wayward gay, but I can’t say I truly dreamt of being a singer.
I decided on these things in the shower, about this ‘project’ the main tenet is: the ink shall remain fundamental. Write everything by hand first, type it up and make it look nice online and maybe tell people I’ve updated my website. Don’t use it as a backdoor excuse to get back onto twitter, that ship has sailed.
I aim for a truly sarcastic level of social distancing between me and strangers. I don’t want to take risks and I choose to pre-empt almost everyone I can now, arching into the road if it is safe to, especially when running, I loop around people with a bit of extra speed that keeps me going. I want to look back at this time with a smugness at the level of distance I’d keep. A ridiculous caution. I’m happy with that being the memory. Once we move onto the post-virus world and we have all stories about what we had to endure, we’ll laugh at the ridiculous measures we took. Right now we have no sense of when it’ll be possible to get out of this, we have never had that sense, all of last year was a mystery week to week.
13th Jan – little pixelated trails of rain
I’d say these weeks are usually grim and horrible and they are now, but in a very different way. We’ve been so crushed and burned and shaken to dust by all this but we’re in surprisingly good moods. What else can we do but try and laugh about other things at least a little during the day. The sky is blank white cloud and the trees out there are still and standing like upended brooms. Long-stripped of their leaves, standing, waiting the weeks out. There’s a fog in the distance. I think we’re lucky with the view out back across the roofs and gardens, we’re high enough to see across and feel the space. It starts to rain. Little pixelated trails of rain appear on the window all coming from the same diagonal direction, little leftover threads of rain. The blessing is also the difficulty, being able to remain at home safely is also tough because we miss the world outside. That’s how we all feel and we miss the world until it can be the world we’ve known again.