The wind blows over me, and I am asleep. I lay under the shade of one of two grassy behemoths, casting their emminent domain over all its subjecates. Most other people call these trees. The ancient guardians of this land have been here since time immerormum, or more actuarely, as far back as I can remember moving into this house. Upon my birth, my parents moved out of their tiny one-family townhouse shared by three families, and instead opted to move to a tiny one-family home with just one other family. Eventually the other family moved away to seek their fortunues elsewhere: my family stayed behind as they had already decided to plant roots. The bark of the trees look weathered and grizzened by the changing seasons, standing upright despite all that. The tree even demanded its own growth, snaking its way around the back of the house to the side where the driveway laid, the sun being the prize for the tree making it this far. Despite all the tree had down, the lifetime of memories it had witnessed, and the ample shade it gave during days like today, there were talks by my parents to starte truncating the grand tree. We needed to make room for a new house extension, and the snaking treet would only serve to get in the way of contstuction. I shudder at the thought of cuttitng off what I consider to be my decidicous descendarnts, and did something only I could do to stop this atrocity from being committed: move out closer to work. Also the lack of capital to create a house extension served to be a fine deterrant in the meantime.
After 25 years of living under my parent’s roof, I decided enough was enough for cowering. Though reaping the economic benefits of not living close to my base of business, I paid a steep price on my time and my sanity. I had almost completed by two year anniversay working for the financial underdog of mainstreet credit card customers, and just paid off my hefty student loans the winter prior. But commuting amost 2 hours each way served to only wittle away at my own stability. Everyday I would scream internally, asking myself what this was all for. I was working a job I had no interest in, performing duties that I could care less about, for a company that was… suprising alright culture-wise. But every night I would go to bed lamenting that I had to awaken the next day, and every morning I would dread the unfilling existence I had contracted myself to. Why did I allow my own personal development to halt? Money, of course.
But I was tired of watching the digits slowly rise up with little benefit to my own sanctimoniam. What I wanted was a change, a new tale, a new heroic arc to unfold, so to take the first step, I moved out. I found lovely roomates who I had inadventurely burned the last time this proposal was made, but they had forgiven past greivancaes and welcomed me with open arms. And for a while, it was beaitfuo. All of 1 week, anyway. My roommates were still lovely, but the daily grind was only marginally better. The battle against traffic was only reduced from 2 hours to 40 minutes, but inside I was screaming regardless.
Then, soemthing hpapened. Something no one would ever expect. An event of cosmic calamity that would upturn the very way we lived. Gone were the traditions of old oh hustling and bustling for the sake of being busy. A new pandemic raged across the land, stemming from who knows where, and honestly who cares. It was only a matter of time before something like this COULD happen: anything can really. Instead of blaming the origin for happy, we only have ourselves to blame for not being prepared. And not being prepared was very evident in this pandemic’s wake.
It all seemed so distant and nonconsiquentual when I heard about this diseases spreading like wildfire in the country of origin. Sucks to be those guys, I have my own issues to worry about. Then news of the virus appearing started happening in my own country. Then in my aneighboring cities. Then in my own city. And finally, my own workplace. My company has decided that enough was enough, and sent us home in the second week of March. We didn’t know what we were doing, but we knew that what we were doign now wasn’t enough.
I went back to my apartment, still in a daze of the events unfolding. The apartment is lavishjed and fill to the brim with knicknacks and other doo-dads that give it perosnality and life. Knickknacks and doo-dads beloging to my roomates. The only thing out in the open that I brought was a router, can’t have those sleezy Internet providers leech $12 a month off us for free. I open the room to my own bedroom, and am greeted with a vast array of nothing. There were only some barbells and a shikufuton on the floor. I also though beds and bed frames were a big scam from big mattress, so I opted to purchase the Japanese’s equivalent. My shikifuton was like an enchanced sleeping bag: thichker, portable, and big enough for two. When it wasn’t in use, it could be folded and tucked away to make room for guest activites. When my lease eventually ended, it would make moving quick and easy. I was always thinking of the future, but sometimes the future doesn’t turn out the way we think. There would be no guest activites taking place in this room, other people were a liabity for carrying the virus that had no identiy. There would be no working from home, because this apartment was only rented to live closer to work. There were no reserve stocks of food, toiletries, and the like, because we thought we could just drive down the street to the local grocer just to buy enougjh for today. Not tomorrow.
Panic quickly ensued in my mind. I had never committed to staying at this apartment for more than returning at night to slumber, so now I was taking with trying to make some sort of comfortable work configuration given no tools availble. The whole world paniced at the same time, and soon toilets, desks, and comfortable office chairs flew off the shelves. But I was a resourceful guy, my craftiness had saved me in many pinches prior to this. This was just another challenge for me to overcome. But I failed epicly. Thorough some old packaagaing I found througout the apartment, I made make-shift standing disk. The stack boxes were just another house of cards waiting to fall, with every failure bringing down my own internal security. Soon I ran out of toiletires, with the first causualy being…. toilet paper. I couldn’t dare ask my roomates for toilet paper, or for anything really. My entire persona stemmed from being self-sufficient, without the need for ever relying on others. To commit such an infraction was like asking to rob my psyche blind. There was no place I could turn without my own ego judging my insecurity, so I did what any self-respecting emerging adult would do.
I went back home crying to mama.
– Some time passes, and a semblance of stablity makes it way to the foreront of my life. 2 months have passed since my mental fractures, and somehow I managed to pick up the pieces enough to pass off as a functioning indivudal. Luckily for my entire family, my mom was a conspiratcy theorist prepping for a doomsday that would probalby not happen. Well it almost did happen, so we were abundant with toilet paper.
I lay under the grand watchers of time, enjoying my afternoon air during my lunch break. I could never take a nap in the workplace, it was deemed unprofessional to take care of your personal health when numbers needed to be crunched. Appearances, anyway. Here in my own home, I was free to do as I please with the contract stating I do my work by their expected deadlines. There was no stress to wake up early, dress appropriatley, sit in traffic for hours to and from work, eat a unsatisying lunch in front of my desk for fear of not hitting my deadlines, and asking myself yet again if this was all worth it. The only fear was wondering what the virus would do to me should it be my time. The mortality rate trended to favor reaping the elderly, so if I would ever to contract it, I would probably make it ot the other side. But this virus was special: it lingered even beyond affliction. The virus would permanantely damage your lungs, and as an already unhealthy and obeses indivudual, cripping the breath of life would only serve to cement this state of being. And even if you contract the virus once, you would not develope an immunity to it. The virus could come back again, finshing off the job it had not done properply the first time. I winced at the idea of struggling to breathe any further, the glass share equivelant to slicing my lungs as I desperately try to take the next step forward. I pushed away the though for now, and appreciated that I could lay here and breathe easy.
The advent of summer was upon us. It argubably my favorite time of year, where I could be one with nature for as long as possible. I remember staring out those glasss windows in that giant steel behemoth of a corporate buildigm, sighing that I was spending my time in there, and not out here. Summer only comes once a year, and it was of upmost important that I take it in as much as possible. But this summer, would be different than the other summers. With all this abundance of time gifted back to me instead of being sacrified for the daily grind, I now had time to ask myself questios. Important questions. To finally fpull in the question of “what is this all worth?” instead of pushing it away and pretending that everything was alright. Next to my personal computer was aheadset, a conduit to experience a new world in the making. A virtual world, created by humans, and these humans were wilcdly creative in their. I wanted to join them, to become part of a momvement bigger than myself, and create worlds that wold ellict joy, empathy, and self-efficiary, all things tremedmously lacking i nthe world we call “real”. Phsyical world might be a more apt description, what happen in VR can be just as real as anything you experience physically.
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ
My cheap bluetooth watch goes off, signaling that my time in the sun was over. I was eager to get into the summer, and start battling for the future, to pave a way where I could be free. But for right now, I had to battle in the present. I had to crunch some more numbers, and get through today.