A twin, wine and jazz lover, writer from #Ireland.
1st May 2020
I have stopped drinking at noon. I promised my therapist I would. You know what they say, self-isolation is a writer's dream. There are times when I believe that I asked for this. That I whispered it to the trees and the muddy banks and the malnourished heron bird that I see on my way to work every morning. That I used to see. There are times I believe I started this. But believing so would feel quite self-obsessive. I have been asking for quiet. I have been asking for peace. And now that it is here, I don't quite know what to do with it. I have gone through stages like I'm sure many of you have. I must preface this with the fact that I am one of the lucky ones. I am one of the privileged. I am able to work from home. And the home where I am working and now permanently existing is a safe one. The fridge is so full that rotting meat will be thrown out to make way for a fresher cut. If it is cold, there is central heating, there are sentimental blankets, there is a bundle of freshly-washed cozy socks. The house resides next to a beach. Indeed, the estate itself is named after the sand dunes that it was built upon. Try and tell a person that they are in lockdown as they look at the vastness of the ocean. This town's consistent metronome. My one and only constant. Within this house, my most vulnerable memories live. My first ever lie was told by the bench that has since rusted outside in the garden. The first creature I ever killed - a ladybird, its blush red wings remaining carved into the wooden floors, the first time I learned to pee. I remember it was in a potty in the middle of the kitchen floor. My parents took me out for ice-cream afterwards. They were glad. In the dining room, where I now hold unimportant important business calls, was where my parents printed off Slipknot lyrics and showed me and my siblings, in writing, what we were listening to. 'Have you any idea what those lyrics mean?! How they could influence you?' It was the home for our first family PC. The place we'd creep downstairs to have msn conversations with boys that wouldn't acknowledge us in school. But online! Online, we could talk for hours. I never went through a panic phase. My sister did. She spent days painting the doors and skirting boards, muttering about DIY warehouses being 'essential' for the public's wellbeing. But mostly, I think I have come out of this unscathed. I see freedom in the birds that grace the grass as if they own it. I find friendship in my piano that beforehand, made my fingers filthy with dust. I see progress. Movement. Time-shifting in the buds of curled-up leaves that I have watched grow and spread all around my wintered tree. The very tree I would climb, up to the very top with my brother, and think that I had conquered all there was to conquer in the world at five years old. And here I still am. And here it still is. I find comfort in this home. In returning. In the gift of living where we have always lived. In being where we have always been. With those I cherish most. The purest of love. The fights with my mother about when to defrost the freezer, the children of my sister playing basketball and talking about all that we will do after 'the sickness'. The buzz of television heard from my floorboards. And then the silence. As my parents shift up to bed. And I am there. And I am safe. And I have stopped drinking at noon. My #therapist will be glad to hear.