The Wokingham Paper

Lockdown fiction: One Day

Knitting
Picture: Nelly Karina López from Pixabay

Our series of lockdown fiction based in the theme of isolation continues, courtesy of Linda Fawke from the Wokingham Writers Group, based at Wokingham Library. For more information, email heather.dyson@wokingham.gov.uk

A day in May. My Mayday. Not a distress signal. Quite the opposite. It’s an important date. It gives me a thrill when I think of it, like the joy of waking to sunshine peeping round the bedroom curtains. The Government will start to lift the restrictions on 25 May.

I’m a rational person. I understand we must isolate, why two metres is no longer a measurement but a barrier.

I accept waiting in a queue outside the supermarket for half an hour. I know there will be no flour. But it’s messing with my head. I sleep badly. I panic over silly things. I burnt the toast yesterday and it felt like a catastrophe.

Tears well up when my little grandson blows me a video kiss. I trace his name in the dust on the table. I think about driving to see him. An hour’s drive. But I don’t.

I have projects; everyone has projects. It’s a competition for the most exciting, the most original. I feel the inadequacy of knitting a sweater when someone else is building a boat.

Hours of gardening have given my skin a glow and I’m fit from my daily walk. When I raise my glass on Zoom, my friends they say how well I look. I smile. I nod. I swallow hard.

I focus on that day in May.

Then the death rate rises. Infections are not dropping as expected. The date in May is moved forward to June. Or maybe July.

I look at the vase of flowers in my hallway and debate smashing it on the floor. The mess and destruction would match my mood; it would help me. But it would be temporary. Mayday, mayday!

It will be better one day.

© Linda Fawke 2020

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