A hard time to write. My head is a vacuum with only coping strategies to fill it. Ideas a one-way street. My once a week trip is to the grocery store, I find no muse among the cashiers or shelf stackers, although I do find grit and bravery. Just about everyone who’s allowed out for work is wearing a uniform, a necessary barrier between us. No creativity there but essential services. Looking after us, saving our lives.
I’ve never spent so much time at home. Although, to be honest I have, when mental illness was a cloak I wore. Cue the Walker Brothers. This is different. My constants; my husband, my sons, the dog. The tv remote, pages of a drawing book waiting to be filled. A blank page on my laptop. Constantly looking at my phone, for news, when there is only one story. Regurgitated through social media. I’ve done that many stupid Facebook quizzes. I’m Doris Day, my husband is Keanu Reeves. I’m an oblong, a sunset, a patch of gravel near the lawn.
Another constant is our homes. Mine is new. We moved in as the virus grounded us. It has lots of delights but no old treasures to find. No old pens or coin down the back of the sofa, or an ancient, rolled up magazine behind the heater. Everything in this house was chosen carefully by me.
A home like a huge eye that looks out, and no one looks in. I can see the sky, but can the sky see me? I’ve lived in 22 houses. Beachside units, a McMansion, a garden flat. Water views, acreage, green hills and a mountain that disappears in misty weather.
I marvel that the people in my psychological thrillers and dramas on the telly are still allowed out. Where is their social distancing? Where do they buy their toilet rolls from? Then I remember, my reality is now science fiction fact. What will our world look like in the future? Will we go back to normal, or will our stories change forever?
Will nature take back what we have ruined? Is this the in breath before a completely new outbreath? All questions, no answers.
I awake every morning and the virus is still not the first thing I think of. It’s the second. It takes a moment to form. I try not to think about it too much for it’s always been what we don’t know that frightens us. I get up and shower, sometimes I put makeup on. I exercise, I make tea, drink coffee. Eat three meals a day. I read, I watch. I wait. How about you? What colour is the sky in your world?