We have been told that in a few weeks, or a few months, things will start to get back to normal. You can believe them; the government, the newspapers, the scientists; or disbelieve them, it doesn’t really matter. Things will either get back to normal, or we will change what we call normal, either way it won’t affect me.
No one has ever called me normal, at least I cannot remember anyone doing so. If that’s really the case, and not just a trick of my memory, then returning to normal is returning to pretending to be someone else. Someone who wants to see friends, to chat over coffee, to go for a drink after work. I’m not that person. Staying in has been a treat. Not having visitors has been a blessing and I cannot begin to describe how happy I am to have lived in ‘lounge-wear’ for the past two months. No make-up, no bad hair days, no smiling when you don’t feel like it and no pretending to be happy to see people who you would rather avoid.
I have missed some things, of course I have. Sitting in the sun with a cool book and an even cooler ice cream; listening to the cricket on the radio, and smelling the spring flowers in the park. But there are other things, more things; that I haven’t missed at all. The traffic, it hasn’t stopped, but there is less of it, so less black soot settles on the window sill and less diesel fumes are in the air, which means less coughing if I leave the windows open. The sky is clearer and the birds seem louder and the spring seems more, how shall I put it – spring like.
I don’t expect other people to feel like this, I understand that this abnormal is more than just inconvenient for many, it’s devastating. But for me, and for others like me, those of us who don’t quite measure up to the world’s idea of what normal ought to be, abnormal has been just fine.
Bridget is a post- graduate student who is currently writing a collection of short stories set in West Africa during the 1950s. She Tweets @bridgetblankley.