Lockdown

 

I am in the kitchen.

Tapping at the screen of my ‘phone to write this.

Tears are pooling in my eyes.

I feel…uncertain, unsure, unstable, unable and unwilling.

Uncertain about what I am meant to be doing.

Unsure about the things I am doing.

Unstable on my feet and in my heart.

Unable to make choices, decisions or to focus.

Unwilling to do…anything.

Week two.

Not month two.

Week two.

When I can secret myself away in the boxroom where my computer lives I find myself looking at YouTube.  Staring at the recommended videos.  A clip from “Impractical Jokers”.  A political commentary on some left/right figure from someone with a bias in the opposite direction.  A bit of music.  A choice cut from “Dragon’s Den”.  A set of highlights from a classic football match.  A debate on the existence of God.  A terrifying glimpse into my likes and loves.

I hit play.

The video is, what, ten minutes long?

Fifteen?

Long before that I have clicked on some other recommended video on the side.

Then another.

Then I give up.

Twitter.

Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling…waiting for another video of someone being lovely and taking whatever brief joy I can from a street full of people applauding a nurse even though I know its not applause the health service needs.

A funny cat.

A silly dog.

#timstwitterlisteningparty

Into the sitting room to watch another dance routine from my daughter.  It’s pretty much the same dance routine she did an hour ago…and an hour before that…and an hour before that…and on and on and on and on and on.

A book.

A page.

But then I find I haven’t really read it so I go back to the start and try again.

Two pages…three…a chapter?

Music, I’ll listen to some music.

Skip.

Skip.

Skip.

I find some pain in the cupboard and pain the bathroom door.

Two coats.

There is some “Pink Stuff” under the sink and so I use it to scour the lino in the bathroom.

My wife has had a cup of tea.

I wash the mug.

As I put it on the draining board and I pause…

The tears.

I don’t cry.

I’m not crying.

But I feel like I might.

Like I want to.

Like I should?

I feel sick.

My stomach is turning.

YouTube.

No.

Work.

I start working.

Find a bit of focus.

Achieve something…nothing really, but still something more than nothing.

My daughter is back…another dance routine, a board game, football in the communal garden.  I’m not really meant to go outside but nobody else is there so I go, desperate to give her some sort of normality in this totally surreal situation.

We’ve run out of Diet Coke.

It’s not essential so I live without.

I really want a Diet Coke.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke so I feel like I “deserve” a Diet Coke.

There’s water in the tap.

I’ll do some exercise.

I find a YouTube video of an extraordinarily muscular man lifting impossibly heavy weights…he looks like he has been carved from stone.  I could look like that by the end of this.  I start the program.  One set.  Two sets.  I’m knackered.  Enough is enough.

A shower.

I’ll have a shower.

A few minutes alone.

In there, with the door locked, I do cry…the tears masked by the hot water cascading down my cheeks.  Nobody can see me.  Nobody can hear me.  My hands pressed against the tiles on the wall.  Head bowed.  A grown man crying in the shower.

I don’t actually know why.

Unstable.

Uncertain.

Unable.

Unsure.

Unwilling.

I wish I could have written a deliciously cynical and darkly comic take on all of this.

Called politican X a &*$^ and had you thrill at my profanity.

But that’s not it.

That’s not what I am feeling.

I feel worry and dismay, fear and self-loathing.

What do you feel?