I am not okay. But not any worse than before. Not too much has actually changed for me since … then, only that I have come to realize my life has never been normal. Suddenly having to see everyone else living my life has taught me that. I don’t think the world has gone crazy over night, but the last weeks have only revealed the craziness that has been lurking around for a long time.
However, I have come see that I have already been living in quarantine for years. Hidden behind walls, wrapped in masks and gloves, unable to truly touch or be touched by anyone, because infection would be fatal. Some people are born with a pre-existing condition called introversion and an additional affliction named hypersensitivity. It compromises not your physical but in a way your mental and emotional immune system and thus sometimes requires distancing for you to survive, because the world and its people carry so many germs that could be fatal to you. Your brain cells do not recognize them as deadly intruders, as a lethal virus, they let it enter, let it multiply and change the DNA of your thought, let it drain and
exhaust your mind, your body, your emotions, your fantasy, your thought. everything. Until they turn against yourself and destroy you. I have so long been so careful to move around the world, for I am still so weak from my last serious infections.
When you’re like one of those people, like me, there are so many germs out there, so you resign to only going out when you have to, only visiting quiet places, watching through windows, talking amongst trees, feeling the wind, a touch you can bear, one which won’t harm you. You want to survive, but it seems that survival asks you to give up anything that counts for life. So, yes, quarantine sucks. Always and in every form. And no, I am not okay and I don’t know when will truly be. But the fact that at least we are all not okay together right now is somehow a bit comforting. I have found it is important to learn to embrace yourself within your own walls, even though that can be sad, but now I can’t remember the last time I felt so close to so many people. In a way it has been long since I have felt and given so many embraces. I didn’t know there was such a thing as being alone together.
And somehow the world continues even when it seems to have stopped spinning. And I am still here. Within my own walls. Looking out of the window, every day. Watching life. Breathing. Surviving. Every day.
What I see doesn’t scare me, not more than before. And I am not worried about my future. That is, not more than usual. Not afraid of what will be tomorrow, of the immediate effects of the disease, but nervous when I try to look into the distance, worried about the world on a day that still seems very far away. And in the labyrinth of my mind I try to make sense of it. Try to put my gravity it into words, these things that sometimes have magical powers to break down walls and bridge enormous distances.
So I say: Dear World, I think we ought to talk. I know that we usually don’t do that. We haven’t for quite a while, because of all the bad blood between us. But I think it is time. Take a walk with me, listen to me and I will try to listen to you. After all, the hour is late. Perhaps later than we think … it has been quite hard to find a properly working clock lately.
Because minutes just bleed into hours, and hours into days, days into weeks …. I can’t believe it has been two month now. And three years.
Dear world. You seem so very thirsty at the moment. And hungry. In fact you’re not looking good at all. Haven’t in quite a while. You’re still not rid of your bulimia, don’t think I haven’t noticed. I see how you eat, I see how you gorge, I see how you swig, I know about all the injections and how you keep on poisoning your blood. I know what you do to your brains, in order to avoid facing the truth. The truth can hurt sometimes. Most of the times. Believe me, I know …
I know what you do to your lungs even now that you’re so sick. I know you’ve been avoiding the doctor. You look bloated, but your bones are cracking. There is a sour taste in your mouth, I know. And your skin, it is so cracked and dry, does it hurt you? Is it infected, does it bleed a lot? And your sunburn – careful not to scratch it, the scars will remain forever! Yes, I know, I’m not your mother – in fact, I learned all of this from you. And I worry about you. A lot. About what you’re going to do when you awake from your nightmares.
I can see how they plague you, how you’re twisting and turning. I can see your grimaces and how you bare your teeth. Your teeth! They look horrendous. If only you could stop sticking the finger into your throat. Yes, I know you are sick. Me too.
I would love to tell you that everything is going to be okay, but that is really not for me to say. If you could just stop screaming. For once. If you could just stop believing the monsters under your bed. You don’t have to fight those who are trying to help you. It’s okay to be sick, to be weak, to need help. You don’t have to pretend. If you would stop fighting the paramedics, the nurses, the doctors, the friends, if you would not spit out the medication, or rip out the transfusion! Yes, it’s your life, but not yours alone. Yes, you are old, but still so young. You still have so much living to do. Don’t let go just now. There is still so much work for us to do. You are so good, you know. And so messed up. You’re so beautiful! And you still have so much to do, to create, to screw up and to correct.
Just … don’t do something stupid. Just breathe.
You are older than anyone and you have the most severe pre-existing condition. You should be careful of what you do to yourself. You are the patient most at risk these days – we ought to protect you. And I fear we are failing. And if we continue I’m afraid you will finally go crazy.
Yours Ann on E-Miss