So Boris has released the government’s road map back to normality and it’s with mixed feelings that I contemplate what it means. If all goes according to plan, all social restrictions will be lifted by 21 June. That’s four months away. Which seems like ages but is also not that long at all. Could the light at the end be poking through?
While I am definitely going to take things at my own pace, I am feeling hopeful about the future. It’s nice to be looking forward, even if it is with a tentative head out the door. I can see it all blowing up in our faces as soon as we loosen our grips too much – but for now I choose optimism. It’s actually hard to imagine going back to the way we were last year. Imagining having to push my way through a crowded bar brings me out in hives.
I keep thinking about the first things I’ll do and the places I’ll go when we’re allowed out again and honestly, I’m happy to stay close to home. Most of my friends are itching to get as far away as possible but I’m just looking forward to filling my time with small adventures, friends and family. I really want to sit outside a good cafe and watch people going about their days – with the sun on my face and a light breeze in my hair.
I’m thinking about Autumn already, brown leaves and those dreamy dry but crisp days. I want to wander around looking for new graffiti, treat myself to lunch – and explore all the little nooks and crannies of Brighton I haven’t visited for so long. The nooks and crannies that are just mine.
I can’t wait for my first tattoo out of lockdown. I have big plans (and no money but I won’t let that small detail stop the fantasy). I want to do my chest and back next, and I’m thinking something witchy and mystic. I miss the pain and the sweat of sitting for a proper tattoo and I miss my tattooist. I’m going to hug everyone I love as soon as I can but more than that I’m going to enjoy eye contact again. What will it feel like to look my friends in the eyes – and not through a screen?
And the cinema. The beautiful, sweaty cinema. You, my love, may be the thing I miss most, besides people. Maybe I’ll take a few days off and cram as many films as I can into them, move into the Odeon with a pillow and hope in my heart and just breath in all I’ve gone without for so long. Feel the crunch of dropped popcorn beneath my feet, savour the kick in the back of my chair by a fellow patron. Treat myself to a stale £8 hotdog that tastes like air. Oh I just can’t wait.
These seems like pipe dreams now but they really might be just within reach. And maybe it’s foolish to pile those hopes up but I think it’s time to invest something in the future. One day at a time has been all most of us have been able to muster for nearly a year so looking further forward might take some getting used to but I’m ready I think.