#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 93

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 93

Day 93

The echoing feet of a runner can be heard. I turn my head and instinctively say ‘runner’ even though my partner can hear them just as well as I can. We move our bodies to the edge of the path and look at the river below, our backs turned to the oncoming body.

‘Thank you,’ they say in one short exhale, their words lingering behind them.

We wait a moment before joining the path again. The river is murky brown by our side, filled with silt. An inflatable boat journeys along it, the rower unsure of its path. On the other side, groups of cyclists have gathered to shed their clothes and jump into the water. I shiver at the thought of it, the river undoubtedly cold still. I envy them too.

We walk on, the woods above the path sheltering us from the early evening sunshine. It feels like dusk where we are, our eyes tricked by shadows. Another couple pass us by and for a moment, we all walk single file trying to give the others as much space as possible.

We nod and greet one another in this now familiar dance.

‘Let’s turn around,’ my partner says after a while.


‘We’ve been walking a good while.’

‘No we haven’t,’ I argue, but when I check the time on my phone, I can see we have already been out for more than half an hour. We still have to retrace our steps. ‘Okay,’ I admit, defeated.

I would have liked to carry on, follow the river past a small row of houses, past the pubs where we used to enjoyed summer pints in the heat of the day, past the weir and out of the urban area, next to fields, past another pub we have never stopped at, and into Bath. We don’t have time for this journey, not today.

We turn around, let another runner go past, and retrace our steps. I stop by the boathouse, coloured lines of rowing boat brightening the darkening greens of the tree. I frame a shot but don’t press the shutter. The light is too low for the film loaded inside the camera.

Back home, I receive a text from my brother. He is ready to chat. I text back, telling him I’ll call after dinner. It has been weeks since we last chatted, my brother not replying to my many messages. I knew he was fine, got news via our mother, but still. I cannot shove a certain resentment at him for not communicating more. We catch up on his life, the changes happening since taking actions against his unlawful boss, the new role he has found working for a friend of a friend, the project ideas swimming in his head. My life is unchanged, the same as it has been since the beginning of lockdown. Only now, it is life, a routine I know and have relaxed into.

It is dark outside by the time we finish our conversation. Street lights glow orange and white outside of my window, accompanied by the warmth of house lights filtering through blinds and curtains. There are still clouds in the sky.

I close the laptop, brush my teeth, and get into bed where my partner is still reading her book.

‘He’s okay,’ I say. There is more to be said but I am tired and for now, it is all that matters.

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