Still life

Couldn’t stay one minute longer indoors, after a long day of working remotely and seeing the hours pass, one after the other, on a grey Tuesday afternoon. I hopped on my bike and headed to the lakes. Hooked up a Chilean podcast on my phone and pedaled away into the dying daylight.
Not too far into my ride, an abrupt change of mood came out of nowhere. “Oh, shit… Here come the tears!” I thought, as I rushed to the darkest, emptiest street I could find. Not too hard on a Copenhagen in the midst of a lockdown, as coronavirus rapidly spreads nationwide.
Sadness had suddenly hit me, hard as a fucking rock. It wasn’t a single thing in my mind. It was everything, coming together as a big, heavy mass of sorrow. Loneliness, intensified by the quarantine; all my failure, all the memories and the loss. It was just too much, bottled up. Needed an outlet.
I walked down Fælledparken, by the stadium. A long path of nothing. Flashbacks hit me whenever the crying would stop, and then more weeping would come. Bitter drops of defeat and salty tears of pain. But then, unexpectedly, there was some relief. “I’m walking!” I realized. My bike to the side, supporting me as wheeled crutches; though walking, nonetheless. But my next thought put me off completely. “Who gives a fuck?”
I’ve progressed so much in my life. I have built a good, promising career. I’ve saved up some money and am applying for a loan to buy my apartment in Frederiksberg. Seen from the outside, I’m pretty fucking successful, making it Europe. A desirable bachelor, on paper. But no matter how far I’ve come, there’s a fundamental fact that remains unchanged: I’m alone. Not only romantically. I’m far from my family and closest friends too. In a foreign country that’s never been quite friendly nor welcoming to me. Has it been worth it? Truly worth it?
“Who gives a fuck?”
I of course appreciate recovering from this invalidating ankle injury. It’s been slow and painful, but I can see that it is improving. So yes, I do give a fuck. Plenty of fucks. And I’m sure my friends and relatives like to hear that I’m finally getting better. But I miss the closeness of a lover, this intimate complicity inherent to them. The genuine support and company of this one another who silences the deafening echo of solitude. Just a word of encouragement, a simple text on my phone screen, a tender pat on the back. A… something. Whatever. Just a fuck given that doesn’t come entirely from myself.
I guess this sadness doesn’t simply come from longing or the sense of loss. This lockdown has forced all of us to look within, now that it’s quiet out there in the city and nothing is happening around us, besides this lingering feeling of uncertainty. It’s in these times of still life when you hold on to the good memories, because you are not creating any new ones and days go by slowly, uneventful and plain. And excruciatingly lonely, if you are single. So it comes naturally, maybe even as a form of survival, to dwell on the mementos of the last things that made our life better, worthwhile.
The last conversation over a coffee. The last lame joke and childish laugher. The last drink with friends. The last jog. The last morning in bed, sun coming in through the blinds, naked bodies warming each other up in an embrace. The last smile at a lover’s gaze; the smell of her hair, the softness of her skin as you caress her face. The last passionate kiss. All those beautiful recollections, cleansed of every trace of negative thoughts or judgement by the sheer force of longing; fueled by the suffocating days of isolation and lack of human touch.
Beautiful recollections, anyway.

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