Still(a)Life #22: Floating in Limbo

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy” said Tom Waits. I researched how to make genuine ginger beer today. The whisky is running out. It was a rough day. I had to trade with their mother, one son for the other. On his birthday! It feels like the kinds of choices you would only make in wartime. But, as I ventured out of the house for the first time in 22 days, it was alarming at how everything seemed so normal but not. More cars than I expected on the road. Everyone moving so seemingly freely. Half worn masks for their token value.

I wanted to roll down my car window and scream, don’t you get it, the world has changed forever. How can we all just go on like this? It’s changed for the better, in some respects? I want to change the way my children are educated. Reconsider the source of my food. Relocate humanity’s place on the planet. Appreciate the joy of travel.

As I walked into the shop a keeper shot me in the frontal lobe with a gauge, execution style. “33.5” he announced, almost disappointed. A bit too high I guess? Not the lobotomy I was hoping for. An elderly lady kept on looking at me suspiciously from behind her mask. When did we become so dangerous to one another?

The ships lie, increasingly, in waiting. A metaphor for the position we all find ourselves in. We are adrift from our everyday lives. Waiting to see what our future holds. When will we dock into a reality that is more recognisable to us all? Limbo is never a great place to spend too much time floating in.

I think we need to get on with it. Put on our masks and gloves. Buy what we need, support who we can. Socialise from a distance. Educate our children from home. There is no “back to normal”. And, do we even want that? Once we have found acceptance that we live in a changed world, the most important question could be: How do we go on from here?

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