#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 67

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 67

Day 67

The water cascades down from the tap, exploding into a loud cacophony of white noise against the ceramic of the bath. In the kitchen, the kettles strains itself to boiling point, its racket growing with the temperature.

It has been a while since I last soaked into a bath. My bath oils are almost empty but there is enough left for this one.

Door closed, the bathroom quickly turns into a sauna, the temperature of the water too hot for most. I slide into it with a groan of pleasure. My skin turns prickly red. It is a tad too hot. I let the cold water tap run until I reach perfect temperature.

I recline under the water, eyes closed, respiration stopped, and wait. The world around has disappeared. If I focus hard enough I can just about hear the faint echo of the conference my partner is listening to on her laptop in the living room. I emerge with a gulp, my lungs demanding air. There is no need to brush my hair away from my face, it is still much too short for that.

I grab the towel on the floor and arrange it behind my head to form a soft pillow. I stare at La Bête Humaine resting on the toilet lid. I have not read it for a few days. I move to grab it but stop halfway. Tales of murder, desire, and engineering are not what I need right now.

I close my eyes and rest, letting my thought drift away from me. It has been a long week filled with turmoil and doubts, unaided by my body getting ready for my period. I think of all that has happened, of racism and Brexit, of the trip to Berrow sands and the tears I cried, of the stress on my shoulders and the restlessness of my mind, of the walk in Westonbirt Arboretum and the release I found, of Queer Out Here and the voices of people in the outdoors, of… I stop my thoughts there and breathe. In and out, slowly, mindfully. I try to remember the little I know about meditation but give up to simply focus on breathing and quieting my mind.

The world if changing. My world is changing and there is not much else I can do but be carried along. In and out, I breathe, chasing the quiet of stillness. My shoulders drop below the water, my face gently rocking in the cradle of the bath. In and out. One last long breath before I pinch my nose and tilt under the water, my knees rising above.

Moments later, I am out of the bath. I refresh my haircut, keeping my hair short and shaved at the side. I have not yet shaved it all. I am growing quite fond of my current style. I put on the first clothes I find hanging on the door and walk downstairs.

My partner is finishing a film.

‘Want to watch another one with me?’

‘Sure. What do you have in mind?’

‘I don’t know. An old one.’

We browse the selection of older films on the BBC iPlayer and settle on one neither of us has seen before.

‘Scrabble,’ I ask.


I grab the board from under the coffee table and set it up, ready to play. Soon wine and nuts appear as the film plays on. Dinner is a light affair of leftover vegetables in the fridge, soft and sad looking after more than two weeks since the last shop.

We retreat to the sofa where our glasses of wine await. We play another film, the game of Scrabble long finished, and ease into the night.

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