#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 80

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 80

Day 80

‘Come have a look,’ I yell towards the house.

‘What,’ my partner answers from the first floor.

‘Come have a look,’ I shout again.

I hear the reluctant steps of my partner as she comes down the stairs. ‘The plants are coming out,’ I tell her, a wide smile on my face. ‘Look,’ I point at the pot at my feet.

‘They must have liked the rain,’ she comments less enthused than I am.

‘It sure looks like it.’

We look at the young shoots for a moment longer as if our gaze could do anything to them.

‘The parsley has been loving the rain too. We should remember to keep it well hydrated,’ I add remembering how sad it was looking during the dry days. Next to it, the basil is decimated, eaten away by slugs. I sympathise with them. Basil is good. The tomato plant we picked up weeks ago is growing too. From a small shout it is now growing tall, toppling into the parsley. I grab the remains of a bamboo stick in the grass and tie the tomato plant to it. ‘I’ll be amazed if we actually get to eat tomatoes,’ I tell my partner. ‘My sister used to have loads of issues with her tomato plants.’

I do not add but think that we do not have any idea what we are doing. I delight at seeing the mint spread, the parsley thrive, the tomato plant (that we thought for a while was fat hen) grow, and the basil decay. I am observing, learning. I am reluctant to read too much about gardening. There is a wealth knowledge out there but it always feel too theoretical. I want to see what happens when you wing it for a while, learn from killing off plants and maybe get lucky once or twice. We will not have a bounty in our garden for a while and this is okay.

My partner returns inside and I take some weeds out of the raised beds before following her in. I head for the study and open my computer to write before the evening settles in. I am behind on this lockdown diary, the days passing by without me making any effort to record them any longer. I know this diary is losing its purpose. I am still housebound and on furlough but not in the same ways. My emotions are not as raw, my thoughts not as immediate. Adrift for a week, I am slowly emerging back into my routine, reminding myself to work on my projects instead of wasting too much time killing time, avoiding work, avoiding too much scrutiny into myself. This scrutiny though is different than the one from the early days of lockdown. Back then, my entire being was raw. Everything was different, scary, and unknown. It was easy to keep track of my emotions and actions because they were loud. Three months later, they are not. My thoughts and emotions trickle over days as my mind fills itself with editing Queer Out Here, with thinking of the future and the world I want to see, with considering my personal projects and the direction I want them to go, with concerns of returning to work and the fear of being caught into the whirlwind of it again. In the midst of this, I forget to pause and write. I get caught up in the tornado of a life dulled by routine, too many thoughts all at once, and a tempest of noise too easily accessible from my laptop and phone.

I write for a while, forgetting about all these concerns, letting the words spill out of my brain even if I’m not happy with them, even if I know I am mingling days and thoughts, even if the diary entries I have to catch up with are losing the immediacy I liked about them. They too will represent a stage I went through during this lockdown. This diary was never meant to be pretty I remind myself. Only a reflection of what I lived and an outlet for me to cope with anxiety, fear, doubt, and the unknown.

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