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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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