There is no ‘I’ (Part 1)

Image by Michael Paul

There is no ‘I’ in team, but there definitely is in isolation. So there are a lot of people spending a lot of time by themselves now. This suits some more than others. I am quite used to it really. I usually go round in my own bubble. It must be hardest for people who are used to having company… they are not getting the interactions they are used to… even I am
missing a lot of the nodding acquaintances I usually see when I wander around town… I am missing the wandering around itself, even though I do go out now and then.

Town is empty of crowds… there are only solitary people with shopping bags, the odd jogger (I saw a very odd one yesterday), and depleted gangs of beggars with stolen bicycles or bored rescue dogs.

There are no dog ends to speak of… at the empty bus station, in the pavement cafe or beer garden ashtrays… things are tight.

I sound like a homeless person, but I am actually vulnerably housed, or virtually housed. Some people (anyone with social services connections) are ‘housed’, other people, I find, just ‘live somewhere’. There is a whole class of people who are being housed, and sometimes it is not an entirely pleasant station to have in life….

Take my accommodation… I wish someone would… it is laughingly described as a shared house…I suppose the people here do share quite a bit of hostility and angst – nothing much else.

So now I have to be in the house more – I can’t escape to the pub from time to time as I would usually do, to join the throngs of others avoiding looking at their piles of dirty laundry, nicotine stained torn wallpaper and the moldy communal fridges… I have to try to get a few bottles of beer in, which I ration out during the duration, always trying to keep hold of the
remote control as I hog the living room. There are too many things that need doing in my own room to spend time there… re-arranging and cleaning and tidying it will be a last resort.

I don’t know why I am now so dependent on the tv and radio… I suppose the BBC has always been a bit of a surrogate family for me – it was sad to hear that Tim Brooke-Taylor died the other day, wasn’t it.

Yes, we try to divert ourselves, but there is a death toll every day, and more stern advice about keeping our distance and not going out… I do go out, as I have said, and it is strange to see face masks and people pausing at a distance to let me walk past… I wonder if it’s just a delusion of my own – it doesn’t seem real… It’s like that with a lot of things which only seem
to be happening somewhere else, somewhere remote…

… It’s like I am not involved, as if it’s not real, or as if I am the only survivor from a train crash…. Mixed feelings and emotions, and with me, delusion and psychosis.

I never realised how much bad television is being made, or maybe it’s just that I have got to an age where I have just about seen it all.

Oh, tragedy, the pubs are having to destroy out of date beer…. suddenly I see the seriousness of the crisis…

by ‘The Silver Machine

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