Join Hafta-Ichi to Research the article “I can see chinks of light at the end of my lockdown tunnel | Coronavirus”
They’ve … wait, just let me check no one’s coming back for a forgotten coat or bus pass or … no. No, all is well. They’ve, they’ve gone. It’s 8 March, a date forever to be inscribed on parental hearts. My husband has taken our child to school. School-school. No creeping like a snail (I know it’s really “creeping like snail” – I went to school-school on the non-pandemic regular and was taught it there, but it sounds wrong and stupid and you know it does, so don’t write in) unwillingly. After eleventy billion days of locked down home schooling, the nine-year-old and his father went like lightning. The only thing faster was me shutting the door behind them.
Back pressed firmly against it, I gazed about me in disbelief. A strange roaring filled my ears. It took me a moment to identify. It was actually the sound of silence. There was no shouting. No groans of boredom or despair. No exhortations to “Concentrate!” or “Just do it!” There was no weeping, child or adult. Just silence.
I had a coffee. Quietly. I went up the stairs to my office, unencumbered. I did six hours’ work uninterrupted. Nobody asked me how to divide a fraction by a decimal, by what means river deltas or headlands are formed or how the gibbering feck 28 phases of the moon should be labelled.
Social media filled with people saying how unexpectedly and how much they missed their absent children. Either I’m an even worse mother than I suspected or every one of them was lying through their teeth. I’m too relaxed now to care either way.
But if you are missing your ankle-biters, manbaby Piers Morgan filled the void by storming off the set of Good Morning Britain – instantly making it a Better Morning Britain – after being calmly taken to task by his co-host Alex Beresford over his repeated diatribes against Meghan (fuelled, many have speculated, by the fact that Morgan once had a drink with her, yet this somehow failed to secure him an invitation to the wedding). “OK, I’m done with this,” huffed Morgan, waddling his way furiously out of the studio. “Sorry, can’t do this.”
It would have taken a heart of stone not to laugh. The two-minute segment should be exhibited on a loop, entitled The Fragility of Narcissists and entered for the Turner prize. Maybe with a plaque underneath engraved with the tweet Morgan sent shortly afterwards giving Churchill’s quote – I’m sorry, just give me a second to compose myself – “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.” Actually, forget The Fragility of Narcissists. Call it Irony is Dead But I Assure You These are Tears of Extravagant Mirth.
We live in a block of flats owned by the council. Every six months or so the communal pipes block and water (though not waste, thank the occasionally benevolent gods) backs up and comes flooding, via washing machine and sink, into our kitchen. It’s good times.
Now it’s happened again, so I must pick up the phone and call the housing/plumbing/It’s Happened Again Why Can’t You Address the Root Cause of an Issue departments. This wipes out every emotional resource I have for at least 24 hours. I don’t know why, at the age of 46, ringing any kind of authority to make any kind of request or complaint fills me with apprehension, stress and tearful anxiety, but it does. I have tried to unpack my own root issue here in the hope of addressing it, but whatever psychological blockage there is remains unyielding.
All I can say is that I know I am not alone. My mother, sister and several friends suffer the same handicap. There’s a fear of being told off mixed in there somewhere, a feeling that we’re transgressing some unspoken law that we don’t deserve help and should be able to manage without it. I haven’t been able to plumb it further than that. If anyone can, please let me know. I would love my psychological life to flow freely one day.
The palace statement released on Tuesday in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s “we want to be alone” interview has now been stripped and sold for parts. As ever there is ample subtext to be read and enjoyed by the light of a flickering, evanescent flame, and a loose transcription might run: “You want a passive-aggressive showdown, babes? This – this is how it’s done,” but of the text itself the nation has decided there was only one phrase worth keeping, namely: “Some recollections may vary.”
Sure, in its original context it’s an ignoble attempt to muddy the waters around accusations of racism within The Firm but lift it out of that and its applications, domestic, professional, personal, public, become almost infinite. “Whose turn is it to do the dishwasher?” “Some recollections may vary.” “Who should have sent the vital email?” “Some recollections may vary.” Randy Andy could note its value in even a legal setting, should we ever turn our attention away from the would-be Garbos. “Did you have sex with the 17-year-old girl you’re seen holding in the company of the suspected procurer Ghislaine Maxwell for the known paedophile Jeffrey Epstein?” “Some recollections may vary.” Perfect.
Just before Christmas I dislocated my goddamn ankle and smashed my cuboid bone, like a twit. Today my physio gave me permission to walk (in my big airboot thingy) without crutches indoors and just use the one – one! –outdoors. It’s incredible. I feel like I’m dancing, like I’m floating, even though in fact I’m still hobbling like a recent guest at Kathy Bates’s B&B. Four legs were good and necessary, but three or two is so, so much better. My own mini-lockdown within a lockdown is over and I feel like I could burst with happiness.
When the real thing lifts, I realise, we are all going to go absolutely bonkers. The powers that be need to start considering additional vaccination programmes for STIs and/or filling us all with that stuff that makes you sick if you drink alcohol, rolling out rehydration stalls on every street corner and providing all parents with lassoes to recapture their children as, bedazzled by freedom, they light out for the hills.
It’s going to be great, is what I’m saying. I know we’re all barely limping along now, but we’ll get there. And it’s going to be great.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: I can see chinks of light at the end of my lockdown tunnel | Coronavirus