Barbeque and Buddhism

The day started with a zoom meeting in bed. I’m past the stage now where I put a green screen up and make it look like I’m in a jungle or a disco or on a beach. That was 2020 zoom. Now I’m happy to show the cracks. Great big coffee mug, visible duvet, lump of ormolu behind me, talking about Buddhism.

It was a little connection with the local Buddhists, only one of whom I’ve actually seen in person for over a year now. It’s always good to know people in your neighbourhood, especially considering I don’t have many friends in my geographical area. This practice that I’ve adopted when I remember does encourage people to reach out to those around us. There are no temples – we use each others homes. Perhaps if I’d been more diligent in attending meetings like the one I went to this morning, I’d have found somebody to pop over to mine and feed Hex once a week. That has been my worry. Feeding him can be reasonably involved, with all the puppetry. But I found an angel. Flavia is going to take him on, God bless her. The only shit bit is that she lives inside the Congestion Charge area so I’ll have to stump up to get him there. But I’m glad he’s going to a safe home.

Buddhism completed and a long day of nothing was looming large when the phone rang.

Tristan has a garden. He got one of those sexy American gas barbeques for his fortieth. I’ve had sausages in my fridge from a trip to the butcher. An impulse led to the perfect Spring day as four of us sat at opposite ends of a little back garden in Richmond shoving down meat as the cherry blossom blew in the breeze. It made me realise how thoroughly I’ve decoupled myself from what little social ability I once had. I felt weird, sometimes a bit panicky, even. I’m sure all sorts of rubbish came out of my mouth unguarded. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert by preference, this pandemic has pushed us all to a kind of introversion. I seem to spend large portions of my days stroking a cat and mumbling to myself. Jersey will do me good, once I’ve worked through the quarantine period which might be horrible. Great to see some old friends though and do something traditionally sociable for a change. A barbeque. Who knew it would be so unusual.

It’ll take us years to get good at big groups again, I fear. I’m home, recharging and running myself a bath. I’ll book the ferry tomorrow…

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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