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DAY 50 OF LOCKDOWN  ।  12 may

Published : Saturday, 11 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 667



It's 10 a.m. as I write this. I haven't slept. I believe I'm running on pure caffeine and the will of God. I have also consumed an overly generous serving of whipped cream. I didn't even know we had whipped cream, and I feel like if my sister finds out how much I ate, she'd kill me. It's to have with strawberries, she'd say, despite us not having any strawberries for months. My mum hates buying fruit online because she doesn't get to check it herself and all the strawberries arrive looking deformed and no one wants to eat them.

I could argue that the whipped cream was going to go out of date by the time we eat strawberries again, but I've discovered that they actually went out of date in 2018, so really, my sister would probably be more horrified than annoyed. In my defence, I didn't actually know it had gone off, but it's the principle of the matter. If I want to eat out of date whipped cream, I should be allowed to. And if I spend the rest of the morning/day/week feeling like I want to throw up? Well, it was an autonomous decision and I refuse to regret anything. I do miss strawberries, though. It doesn't feel like summer without them. Which makes sense, because it's May and not summer. It should be February, and it feels like June, but no. It's May. The world is upside down and my shirt is on back to front. Excuse me.

This feels like it will never stop. Every day stretches into the next and all I can do is sit and watch and wait for good news that never arrives. No one really knows what's going on right now which is absolutely fair enough. These are strange and unprecedented times, as every email I have received since the 23rd of March has aggressively and unnecessarily reminded me. Every time I read that phrase, I forget how to feel anything that isn't pure, infernal rage. But, there's still a person behind those aggravating cookie cutter greetings and I think that's important to remember. When everyone starts to exist in your life as a collection of pixels through a screen, it's easy to forget that they also exist in the same warped reality that you are. Maybe not in the same way. Suffice to say, not everyone will be drinking homemade 'chocolate milk' at 3 a.m. and then deciding that putting three squares of Cadbury's Dairy Milk in a glass of semi-skimmed will not give you the same satisfaction of the chocolate YAZOO you had the day after you finished your final mock exam. Not everyone will start talking to the cracks in their walls and pretend they're in an episode of Doctor Who. Not everyone will empty out nearly half a can of whipped cream directly into their mouth and call it breakfast. The point is: we're all going crazy, in our own neat little ways.

But that knowledge really isn't enough. What more do you want? You want this to end? I get it. I wish these problems could be defeated as easily as the freak thunderstorm that is raging outside right now is defeating a child's pavement chalk drawing. But life isn't that simple. Life is a playlist of every song you've never heard and it only plays on shuffle and you can never skip or go back. Life is a broken vending machine pretending to work. There'd no cheap sheet of printer paper taped to the front stating 'OUT OF ORDER', but you still know it's broken. Life is a working vending machine with dim lights that claims to sell 4 types of colas, one type of mango juice and cloudy lemonade in glass bottles, when it really only sells spring water from your least favourite brand.

So you press some buttons, feed it your change, and wait for it to spit something out. You squat down in front of the opening and wait for a familiar thud. It doesn't come. You stand up again, annoyed, and who wouldn't be? You kick it, and regret that immediately because you aren't wearing shoes for some reason and, in accordance with popular belief and common sense, kicking metal boxes hurts. And just when you had given up hope, just when you were about to turn away, you hear it: the thump behind that plastic flap. You reach down and pull out something heavy, turning it over in your hands. Study it a little longer. Are you disappointed? It's not what you expected; you were expecting off-brand cola #2-

-but somehow, it's exactly what you need right now.

The writer is a school student and writes from the UK

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