I am reading a book from the top of a pile The Boy who Followed his father into Auschwitz A True Story,
it is harrowing and painful, riveting and inconceivable. The horrors of humanity laid bare.
Shockingly, it is taking my mind off things as I witness the story it tells.
I have turned off the news for now and am in a strange vacuum of silence.
The news speaks of spreading sickness, closure of all things and job losses.
I have poured a glass of wine- I’ve not drunk wine for a very long time.
I have painted today and found myself laughing frequently.
I have gained much pleasure from WhatsApp conversations and the use of GIF’s
I have also sat for lengths of time. Staring. Something I do not do much.
This morning I left the house in a hurry to follow my daughter on her plight to Decathlon to buy a skateboard for when and if she is trapped at home- she has a list of things to learn.
I was worried she would be prey to lone lunatics on the lonely walk so dashed out forgetting the front door key.
We were locked out of our own lock down.
It was cold on the doorstep with a a biting wind and try as we might we could not find a safe way back in. I was not dressed very well. My daughter wondered at my choice of outfit. Ha.
So we drove around. We passed snaking queues of people waiting for supermarkets to open.
In Deptford the market was trading and we bought makeshift masks- bandanas.
I tied mine around my face and felt like a free woman. I always do when things are not normal.
We passed masked faces fighting the wind and carrying bogroll but avoiding oneanother and contagion.
Some people looked quite normal as if they were on their way to find a café to have a vegan coffee in. The cafes were all shut of course.
Lots of cyclists pedaled freely with yellow clothes. This was a nice sight. As was seeing joggers jogging. Very normal I thought. Comforting. Some people on social media are getting cross that people are not staying inside. They are risking others lives. I was careful to strike a balance. Being out but keeping a distance from others. The interim normal.
Deptford was busy, but also quiet if you know what I mean, and the burger van was in big business selling hot sweaty meaty burgers with fried onions to a small devoted queue. Like before! I felt cosy, like I could pop into the Albany and maybe meet my friend for a chat and a coffee.
Oustide Iceland the queue looked crumpled and it encroached hungrily around the door.
I wonder if I would join a queue. I have never liked them. I also dislike competition and rushing to gather things. Perhaps I would not be one of the fittest survivors.
I sometimes think if faced by a zombie i’d rush towards it with my neck exposed
or if on the titanic i’d jump straight away into the icy waters.
I worry about that part of me sometimes. I never liked Sports Day. You’re too sensitive. My dad would say.
Would I push and shove for food if my children were hungry? I hope so, I suppose. Or would I insist we starve with dignity.
But it was a bit frenzied in Deptford. Like the last days of freedom.
I wanted to buy stuff like thermals from the stalls to support them but we don’t need them as Spring is here and we may be inside for some time, plus I am scared of running out of money. Besides, My daughter bought five bandannas because I think she plans to become a vigilante. I went on to buy two. One for me and one for my littlest son. He chose a red one. He remembered coming here before to buy thermals. Some time ago, before my winds and snow, and when this weird new reality would have been but a strange seer’s predictions in the Birdsnest after five too many.
The children are happy as if it all the Christmas holidays have arrived at once. Their ultimate wish has been granted. An end to school. Halle-sodding-leujah Their voices are high with freedom and planning.
‘Christmas morning voices’ my sister used to say.
You know, high, innocent, hopeful….. so excited.
On the news people are dying.
across the globe.
some people think it’s just a cold
or a big consipacy.
In Italy things are very bad. Things are falling apart.
We are told we are some weeks behind.
People are still roaming about.
But people are scared. That the NHS will falter. That more people will die. That they may die.
Or that people they love will die. Their mum, or dad.
No one really seems to know what is going on.
My jobs have dissolved into thin air and I am not sure how the bills will be paid.
Soon I will turn back on the radio.
Tomorrow is Mothers Day and I will leave a card I have painted on my mothers doorstep.
Next Wednesday is my son’s Birthday.
He is in a room in Brighton.
I will send him a card with my love.