We live, for now, in a dystopic state. We have to justify our presence abroad in the world, utilising our small allowance of time time outside each day to exercise, or to purchase of essential goods. That is it – the rest of life is frozen in place. Perceived transgressions are the subject of screeching on the local data feeds as we, remarkably, police each other more effectively than any number of enforcement officers ever could.
My hab feels very lived-in right now. It is, I think, fairly clean, but it is not tidy. A forlorn instrument leans against a storage box. A mobile terminal that I have bought back into circulation rests on a stand. A collapsible table has been pulled out from under the couch and is covered in craft materials. There are no less than five unfinished projects scattered around me.
In these ways, and through the stims and the gaming terminal, I spend the time that I am not working. Work has descended into electronic simulacrum in support of a frozen physical trade. If the lockdown doesn’t lift, that trade may soon cease to exist. That worries me. But I remain hopeful.
And that is perhaps the most interesting thing in these times, for me; that I find myself hopeful. I have been through despair, and I have been through loneliness, worry and loss. I have had moments of frantic activity, and days of lethargic frustration. I have lost full weeks to emotionless static. And now, unexpectedly, I find hope.
Lockdown won’t end soon. It can’t. The virus still rages through our society and though the daily death counts no longer rise, they are still far too high. There is no cure, there is no treatment. The virus will, probably, come back the moment lockdown lifts. Our choices are, therefore, from what level will it come, and to what level will it go? We will have to lock down once again, when we finds ourselves again in the situation that caused the current lockdown… or we will have to find an intermittent solution, easing the financial pressures, the social pressures, and giving work back to those that need it.
It is for this that I find hope. I find hope in thinking of things I wish to do when the measures loosen up. I dream of meeting people, of exploring wild lands, and of finding a new lease on life. I dream of stolen kisses in the shade of a summer woodland. I dream of new beginnings, and a new approach. If I’m honest, I dream of tasting the warm caress of alcohol, imbibed in the company of friends and in dark, cosy bars. I dream of a balance, re-found. And it helps.
For now, though, I watch the bright world as it taunts me from from without the hab, and I sip on ever-strengthening doses of caf. I make promises to exercise and to tidy, and I break them daily.
But I’m still shaving, most days, and I’m still getting dressed. For now, I realise, that will do.