*Time does not exist in lockdown, the last ‘week’ has stretched on longer than others.
This week, while some of us are managing to find each other to sing in parks and under trees, Jo has given us a glimpse into her lockdown experience and the characters she’s met, and Charlotte has been making beautiful things with thread.
A portrait of a mid level imperialist couple
The Ns are your typical mid level imperialist couple. Follow orders because that’s just the way things are. They are community minded – expat community minded – and kind, in a chivalrous sort of way. By her own admission, T grew up in the Far East but who on earth uses the phrase Far East these days? It’s 2020, not 1920! D grew up poor and exploited hard to become rich. A confident, commercially successful man, D will punch a hole in the wall if a task eludes him. Easy to success, patience is not his virtue.
I became acquainted with the Ns by chance. Finding myself stranded in a random village in SW England during the 2020 – 2021 pandemic, I didn’t have much of a choice in people when it came to social contact. I didn’t want to be here but I couldn’t get off this god forsaken island. And here is where the Ns and their mid level ambitions were.
I found that the Ns are not very good listeners. Their way of relating to anyone is to parrot sexist and classist lines. Here’s a cookbook for you. Did you learn classical music? My son passed Grade 8 in singing. Well, said son is too scarred to sing anymore whereas amatuer me just happens to be in a joyous choir famous on both sides of the atlantic. Never mind that and my un-classical life.
I suppose they mean well, people like them always do. Those three decades they spent pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as managers in the airline industry – they meant well then, just as they mean well now. It’s not their fault that it was not the cultural wisdom to recognise that their line of work is a massive and direct contributor to climate change. Why should they be bothered with all that self reflection and critical thinking. They had much more important things to do. Like bring up a family, put food on the table, keep up with the Joneses, be kind to their well off neighbours, buy multiple properties.
Their house is gorgeous but the Ns did not put a creative touch on it. I am not sure they would know how. They bought a pretty off-the-shelf house for an easy retirement in a picture-esque elderly village. Where they can drive their electric car, be smug about their solar panels, and avoid the guilt, the facing up to the consequence of their lives. I barf silently everytime D says they aren’t bothered that they are the youngest in the village. Because they now have more varied conversations since escaping their peers and their common life stages. Their notion of spicing up their lives is truly ridiculous.
I think I detest them not because they destroyed my birthright but because they are so utterly uninspiring. Destroyed my birthright for what? Manicured lawns, ornamental flower gardens, hedges that hide the views, concrete veins in the countryside. Disciplined and controlled wilderness. They took away our right to roam, right to just be. They think they are superior but really their life and company is tedious – but I can’t say that aloud, lest I break everyone’s peace.
SO cool, just SO COOL