Yesterday I was looking at the edges of the box. Today I’ve been closing the lid. I guess we go in cycles. Days like today serve a useful purpose in a week more ordinary. I plugged in my battery by switching off my communication. I’ve barely spoken to a soul, and even the messages I’ve sent have been terse and for communication purposes only. Even Hex only got a little bit of hands on time. He’s spent most of his day literally under a rock. My rock is more figurative. But I’ve been under it.
In the normal scheme of things this would be the winding back before the springing forth. There’s the concern. I’ve been instinctively preparing myself all day for some leap into another unfamiliar social or work situation. A temporary office or a rehearsal room or a film set or the party of a company where I’m the entertainment, or I’m the award ceremony or I’m running an exam with 150 people or I’m going to a party with people I don’t know or a date or an audition… None of these. I’m winding back in order to wind back. It feels fine today but tomorrow I’ll have a load of pent up social energy and nothing to spend it on. I’m in my bath again with a glass of red wine again winding down again after another day at home.
I’m not a creature of habit. My habit is basically the absence of habit. Home is a recharging station for the many different shapes of world out there. I’m fully recharged now. No world is possible. So I’m at home again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day.
And so are we all, the world over. Winding back but unable to spring. Problem is, like my old clockwork mice, if you wind back too hard they stop working altogether. I need to spring.
There’s stuff in the diary tomorrow. That’s something at least. Online teaching, information to learn, a rehearsal. It feels like an ordinary weekday of sorts but for the fact that the three different points of focus will all take place in the same physical location, in front of my sedentary laptop in my living room. That’s the thing I’m sure many of us are beginning to struggle with.
I can’t work more than a few days in an office without going mental, but that’s mostly to do with insincerity and unnecessary miniature demonstrations of power. It also doesn’t help that if I can’t move while I’m thinking I say things out loud instead. In zoom meetings I frequently have to mute my microphone, or switch off my screen as I get up and walk around the room and mumble things to myself. Innocuous things as often as not. But out loud and to nobody in particular.
But I’ll be banging around my living room like a pinball tomorrow. I think we are still allowed exercise outside, in London. Perhaps I should hit the streets in the morning and have an actual run. But I literally haven’t opened my door for two days. If I hold out then eventually I’ll know I’m clear…
I’ve been avoiding Battersea Park. The one time I went there it was like going to Oxford Street in the January sales. In terms of maintaining distance between people it was harder in the park than on any road between my flat and the park. Oh how I wish they’d kept Chelsea Physic Garden open. A members’ only garden would be just the ticket right now in the absence of a garden of my own…
I should get more plants. But how?