I leaf through a little pile of writings and drawings: one of my closest friends sent them some weeks ago, and I never got around to sending a reply. It’s strange, very strange, that although public life has ground to a halt, I still feel busy and even stressed sometimes. You’d say that, given that we cannot really physically do much, one would have time to reply to a single letter. I bet that people twenty years from now will look back at now thinking, “Wow, that must have been nice, such pure boredom, I bet they did loads of poetry and fine arts, read all the books and meditated their way to Nirvana. [Oh wow, and look how low the sea levels were!]”. To these future speculators: no, no, we did not enlighten ourselves. I don’t know why, but we managed to waste our time behind computer screens going through the same meaningless gestures, but then less convincing. Maybe we got a little bit too comfortable with constantly being stressed, being afraid of… of what actually?
I bet that people twenty years from now will look back at now thinking, “Wow, that must have been nice, such pure boredom
But I was writing a letter, so, let’s move on. I haven’t seen this friend in over a year, she is far off, telling me of her life and her trippy reflections, and I recognise her in those words. But I guess I also misrecognise her.
It is hard not to reply with the assumption that I still know her, even to assume that she is still the same person who wrote that letter some weeks ago. And so do I, in my own writing, recognise my own make-believe; me playing the role of myself as she knew me, hell, even playing the role of myself as I tell myself I am. Am I telling her about my life so she knows what I am doing? Or to make myself believe it makes sense that I am doing these things? Am I just testing the narrative of my life on her?
They say that in order to conceive of the world, we cannot already be something ourselves. So I guess that when I truly become something sensible, then there is little left to become, to change. Given that she likes these reflections, I just write all of this down rather than trying to send a normal human letter.
Later, while making lunch together, I take a small glass of wine; such a rebel, go crazy Luuk
As I write, the thoughts keep accelerating and resonating. I finally put down my pen and let them slip by unwritten; they’ll be back. And I float away, over my sad little corona life, looking down upon myself and my housemates all living our little innocent lies, like some God.
My girlfriend comes in; lunchtime, what do we eat?
I probably looked at her funny because she kisses me and leaves me to my own devices. Later, while making lunch together, I take a small glass of wine; such a rebel, go crazy Luuk. Chatting with my housemates I start to remember who I think I am, and how much work I have to do. So many emails to reply to, so many texts to read!
It is all so very important, or so I let myself believe for now, and I quickly crawl back into my cave.
Luuk Slegers is masterstudent Internationale Ontwikkeling, richting Sociologie, en woont in Wageningen op Droevendaal met zijn vijf huisgenoten. Hij gaat graag ’s morgens een stuk wandelen in het Bennekomse bos.