#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 85
The idea of a collection of daily words describing how you felt for 30 days of social distancing and isolation feels really meaningful to me and something that I think I’d really appreciate having in 10 years. Think outside the box of what you might typically write!— NaNoWriMo (@NaNoWriMo) March 31, 2020
I awake with a headache that I know has nothing to do with the heat already gathering in the air.
‘Too much to drink,’ I moan as I roll over to my partner.
‘Yeah,’ she whispers back at me.
‘I’m going to take it easy today,’ I add.
We hug for a moment until our bodies grow too hot. I get out of bed and prepare breakfast. We eat in bed. I finish a book and research how to sew shorts. I am growing tired of looking through too many shops to find nothing at all I like and have decided to make my own. It looks easy enough.
Breakfast over, I head downstairs and find the spare fabric I have left over from making a cover for my Nintendo Switch earlier in the year. It is too small for a pair of shorts but a sleeveless t-shirt might just be doable. I draw a pattern based on an existing garnment and cut it roughly. I leave it alone until the afternoon when I return to it and begin to sew by hand.
I slide a DVD of Hero Corp in the player and switch my focus from TV to thread every few minutes. Time tick on and I have a makeshift sleeveless t-shirt. The threading is weak and I have no doubt it will break but it doesn’t matter. I slide it on, my breasts catching on the fabric and making it almost impossible to put fully on.
I run up the stairs to the study where my partner is.
‘Tadam,’ I exclaim.
‘It’s…’ she begins to say trying to conceal her laughter.
‘Way too small,’ I finish her sentence, laughing fully.
‘Yeah, way too small.’
‘But it’s all the fabric I had,’ I add in defence of my work. ‘Can you help me take it off?’
We battle the fabric, the stitching holding much better than expected and I breath again out of the too tight top.
‘It wasn’t difficult to make but it’s a pain to do it by hand.’
‘I can imagine. Look, what do you think of this,’ my partner enquires pointing at the computer screen.
‘If it will do the job,’ I reply. On the screen is a photo of a simple small lawnmower. ‘I know nothing about this. I trust you on this.’ My partner doesn’t know much more than me on lawnmowers but she has used some and researched reviews more than I have.
‘I’ll order it then. We should be able to pick it up tomorrow.’
‘Super. Thanks for doing that.’ And with those words, I head back downstairs to tidy the mess I have created. Fabric and thread back in their storage, I open my laptop and type in ‘sewing machine’ in a search engine. Prices are higher than I would be happy paying. I look around second hand website and find a local one at a cheap enough price to my liking. I send a message and before I can turn my computer off, a replies come. Someone is due to collect their machine that very evening. If they don’t come, the sewing machine can be mine.
I slump on the sofa and rest, the heat of the day too much for me to bear. I think of my bicycle and how I could create breeze this way. The thought of riding one of them does not riddle me with anxiety. I stand up and uncover my daily commuter. The saddle doesn’t need oiling, the tyres are still full, and nothing squeaks too much. I check the clock. It is nearly five. I decide to wait until rush hour is gone. I do not know how much of it there is but I do not want to find out.
‘I’m going for a ride,’ I tell my partner half an hour later. ‘Do you want to join?’
‘I’m good. We’ve already exercised this morning.’
‘I know. But it’s just a little ride.’
‘Hangover,’ she adds.
I hop on the saddle and push the pedal forward. My hands rest easily on the handlebar, my grip steady and secure. Each movement is like a memory coming back to me, my body knowing it far better than my brain. I pedal on and on, the wind rushing against my body cooling me down as temperature soars well into the twenties. I look back as a pedestrian comes towards me on the pavement by the road. There are no cars. I swerve in the middle of the lane, creating distance between them and me. I switch back to the side of the lane. A car passes me by in the opposite lane. I raise my hands in thanks for the space given.
I reach the duck pond I had intended to be my destination but I do not want to stop. I keep pedalling through alleyways and empty streets until I reach the giant commercial centre at the edge of town. I know I could cross it and join cycle route 4. From there it is a short distance to the Servern bridge. I am itching to go, to sit by the estuary, watch the water flow below and vehicles go above. But time is ticking and I have no water. I take a turn into an unknown street, follow a sign I have never noticed and end up looping back on myself, freewheeling down the last incline before reaching my street.
I slide the bike with my squished body between the growing bush by our fence and our garden gate. I rest the bicycle agains the fence, the cover it lying on the ground, kept in place by a brick. Next time we go out for a day,’ I tell it without speaking. I remain rooted to the spot for a moment longer, my eyes fixed on the bicycle, a smile on my face.