Clicked-away identities

What happens when you find out that your role model of academic excellence has been consumed by an illness as old as time itself? What can happen from now on that you know that an absence of a point of reference will lower your ideal standards of academic pursuance? 

You are now more ready than ever to bring to the world your own theory about identity. Yours is not about confirming your deep-rooted sense of intersected identities. Your proposal has everything to do with clicked-away identities imposed by the new coronavirus reality. Or, put differently, identities that have been thrust upon you leaving you with no other choice but to be rewound every time you find yourself transfixed by the interpretive glances of those surrounding you. 

For the time being my identity seems to be consistent with my daughter’s pursuit of the appropriate bookshop atmosphere to do her shopping. Yesterday, it was the local bookshop with its limited availability of products but good enough to sustain our memory of what we used to shop. Today, it is the franchised bookstore opening its doors to our illusions. The Harry Potter corner is the first to visit. From wands and glasses to tea mugs and cutlery, the tedious idea of buying yet another book seems to have grown out of the question. Maybe a jigsaw puzzle sounds like a good idea to exorcize tediousness.

You do not expect to find anything of palpable interest to you. Not that it makes any difference. You are here for your daughter’s sake. Watching her wander in the store’s aisles in search of lost time you cannot help wondering whether you should be making up for lost time as well. Not that you are likely to find anything remotely close to your current reading concerns. Well, as always you are getting ahead of yourself letting your pessimism take over. The academic corner seems to have something in store for you. It is her book. In memoriam. There, before your eyes, inviting you into a new frenzy of academic excitement. The choice is yours. You either take it or leave it.

The decision has been finalized. It is the new Harry Potter t-shirt. And the new Harry Potter schoolbag. As well as Harry’s lucky wand. And the list goes on. Endless in number and in craving. Never mind the immeasurable value. 

But what about you? Should you or should you not? Indulge in a little nostalgia or move on? You choose to remove your gaze from the shelf in question. You have your own academic worries to think about. No matter whether you intend to let them occupy the best of your mind or not, it is time to go to the cashier and make your daughter’s dreams come true.

Angela Ypsilanti