Here we are: it’s been several months since that diseased sparrow from Wuhan first spat in someone’s mouth and now the virus has swept across the globe, changing civilisation — at least temporarily — in ways that are ostensibly understandable and tangible, yet utterly bewildering.
I occasionally allow myself to think we might emerge from this as a better species, like billions of Noahs, Shems and Hams (and the wife and third son, whose names I don’t remember) alighting the ark onto an Earth washed clean of sin. Or perhaps a much sweeter fable where almost every living being isn’t killed by a malevolent god.
Anyway, my gut feeling is that we’ll go back to being our horrid, wasteful selves, only with an abstinence-fuelled zeal: we lost a few weeks of fucking the planet up, let’s get back in the saddle and whip this horse until it bellyflops exhausted into the dirt. Double holidays all-round.
Ah, the piano. Well, it’s become more important but less enjoyable: no longer a pastime, it’s now a survival aid. Alone for twenty-four hours a day, my mind occasionally unravels into a snakes’ wedding of writhing thoughts and reflections. The snakes are mostly harmless, but they can be relentless and annoying. Sometimes the only way to wrangle them is with supra-human levels of focus, and nothing focuses my mind like the piano because nothing I do is so difficult.
I miss many things already, mostly the pub and the gym; the antagonistic arenas that I long-ago strung a tightrope between, knowing that a misstep either way and I’d end up either extraordinarily boring or a fully-fledged drunkard. But I also miss playing the piano as a true amateur (in its original sense) and not for my mental health.