I’m here

We have to be careful with each other. We really do. I never thought I’d say it, but thank God I lost all that time to depression and grieving back in the early 2000’s. It’s given me tools for this madhouse.

It’s dark. It’s cold. We are constantly fed division and fear. Our leaders are so narcissistic they don’t think they need to hide the fact they only care about themselves. Many of us are completely uncertain about the future of things we worked incredibly hard to build. Institutions are crumbling, character is fading. Horrible unimaginative people are cornering even more of the capital. And we all have to stay at home.

You remember somebody saying “God it’s so good to see you,” and touching your arm? Group hugs? Jumping in water together? Sharing a cake? Glastonbury is already cancelled this coming summer now. Another avalanche to come. Footballers earn a higher percentage of their wage by isolating so they can sweat and barge and bleed at each other. We can’t sit in the huge stadiums, but at least there’s a show. Not like most of the empty stages – huge wonderful historic buildings that might well end up being turned into pubs or flats by neutral faced clay men with collars, clipboards and contacts.

The only shot we seem to have at togetherness is rioting. Maybe the queue at the supermarket, but there’s no endorphin rush there. It’s why people seem to have started making up shit just so they can have a good riot.

Outside of riots we can’t be with friends – with strangers – with humanity. We haven’t been able to for ages now. In summer at least the outdoors was appealing. It’s the dark days of the year and we are stuck in a bubble with our heads and maybe Zoom which doesn’t do the invisible things. It’s like we’re being stretched from our daemons. Please be kind to yourself in this all. Please.

Another school friend jumped off Beachy Head. They found her this morning.

We were at the boarding school I was sent to when I was eight. I knew her as an adult too. There’s a bit of contact between the few of us. A little bit. A pleasant bit. She was great. I haven’t seen her for ages, but the call came nonetheless. She had kids. A partner. Like with one more old friend I find myself wondering how many of us she drove near to. How many of us would have wanted to welcome her, to listen to her, accept her, allow her to just be.

All the patterns are different at the moment and people are flooded with unfamiliar stimulus. We go to the internet for refuge from the world but everybody else is doing it too and lots of them are screaming into it. And I find myself honestly wondering, with my brittle history, how I seem to be perfectly okay and with enough headspace to sponge up anything you might need to offload.

Call me if it’s dark in there. I’m not sure how good at it I am but I’m very good at being distracted by shiny things and that appears to be a pretty useful trait right now. Shiny things combat the darkness and they’re everywhere. Plus I’m good at accepting. Not as good at it as Lou, but good in a kind of distracted way. Shiny distraction. And yes, I’m feeling it too. We all are. It’s just not an easy time.

A friend sent this picture. I used to go to church with the artist so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me putting it up for you. He’s a huge heart, and a great talent. Like she was. Like you are.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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