You know, I think we are almost done here. The flood is almost over. The land is dry’ish. The dove has returned with the surgical mask carelessly hanging loosely from its neck. The gates of the ark will soon be opened. The surviving species allowed out in pairs for a breather. Maybe some shopping even. The elephants to the gym. The donkeys to the pub. The sea lions to the mall. The bats, they all died laughing. And good old Noah. He’s about to get s***faced Old Testament style the minute the gates are open. And I might just join him. Unless there’s yoga in zoom the next morning of course. Then I won’t. But otherwise.
And so now that we are almost allowed out, and we’re lining up by the gates with the rest of the survivors, (that’s you lot!) and I gotta say, I never really ever and I mean I really didn’t see any of this coming. Like seriously, apart from maybe Mr Gates, our modern age Cassandra, did anyone? Did you?
Not in my wildest dreams did I ever really believe that my occasional prayer to ‘stop the world, I wanna get out’ made quietly whispering during one of those miserable rush hour moments on the Northern Line, on the way to some meeting, whilst crammed under a crowd of wild half asleep groggy hangover grumpy never look you in the eye fellow Londoners, would this be suddenly granted to me by the gods.
And that it would be handed to me on a silver plate one sunny day just like that. Albeit with a new strain of a highly contagious virus from the lovely cuddly SARS Adams family, a pair of gloves and a surgical mask. And that the world truly would seize from spinning. And then shit got real. I got a new dry cough to play with. And zoom, wherever that came from. A toilet paper challenge. The fastest stock exchange crash in history. And a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s for comfort. And just when the world stopped, I also really just wanted to get out too. And I did. All the way to my garden. That’s as far as I was allowed. And wasn’t that a thrill.
And I’m gonna be honest with you I just kinda got used to this now. And I didn’t even run out of toilet paper. Although I got to the very last roll at first. But already the impatient world of ours is firing up the engines again. Shoving in that fuel tank that heart warming poisonous cocktail of our last river and fish. You know the one. Sprinkles of natural gas, two shots of crude oil, shaken not stirred, and for deco a couple of trees from the ancient forests of the Amazon basin spiced with some “renewables” and a hint of nuclear, and vrooom! Make way! The smokers are back and they’re about to unleash their world and it’s wife upon thee. And who knows, maybe for the best. Let’s get on with the program and get this thing over with.
But I gotta say, however glad I am this tragic episode is nearing its end, there will be some things I’ll actually miss a little when lockdown will be lifted and we’ll all be shoved back into our beloved smoking madhouse. However gradually. Like having breakfast with my wife every morning, calmly, with no rush. Knowing that we won’t be wasting hours of our lives this week, ironing shirts, putting on makeup in a hurry, rushing in the rain to the tube station with a thousand of other grumpy sleep walkers, commuting to city centre concrete jungles of soulless office buildings made of glass and steel, just to do stuff that we could have easier done in our homes on our laptops.
I’ll miss the car free roads and not having to beware of lunatic drivers or breath toxic congestion into my lungs when going out for a walk. Getting ever closer with long lost friends and family members. Saying hi to neighbours I forgot exist and staying for a chit chat. The incredibly calm and beautiful atmosphere in our park near by where everyone can suddenly spend some quality time instead of being stuck in pointless traffic jams or wasting their lives away at the mall trading awake hours with pointless stuff. Couples jogging together at sunset. Young families with their kids playing frisbee. Singles exercising, lifting weights, practicing yoga in the sun or just having a moment for themselves. Perhaps for the first time in forever. The children decorating the trees and leaving painted stones by their roots to cheer us all up. Rainbows in every window and clapping and cheering at 8pm.
Add some freedom of movement to all of the above and it’s almost how life should actually be like. But beware. It’s about to all go up in smoke!
And I wonder. Now that we are on the platform, by the the gap, momentarily trapped between lockdown and freedom. Which is truly normal and which abnormal. How much in a hurry are we really to trade all this quiet, cleanliness, friendliness, healthy, relationship focused existence with our forever hungry monstrous addiction to endlessly terribly rushing away absolutely nowhere. And what choices do we really have. Staying in the bunker ain’t one of them, that’s for sure. We must emerge and step into the sunshine once more. And I find myself whispering a little prayer again. That this time the gods will maybe just very slightly have us changed regardless of our natural disposition. Each of us if only for a moment slightly more aware. Personal goals a tiny bit more clear. Map re-drawn, compass fixed. And it’s pointing forward.
Kick start the world again! I’m ready. Just don’t forget to wrap your insights to go.