Floating through the Lockdown Pattern

The sun continues to beat gently onto my vitamin D generating face as I drink coffee on the balcony. The unfathomably blue sky is punctuated by a cliché of ducks flying overhead, thankfully, as otherwise I’d just dwell on the floaters in my eyes. I dwell on them anyway, pondering whether I would have them removed (can you even do that?) if I ever became filthy rich. I conclude a holiday in Greece would be a preferable alternative.

Third floor dad continues to bring junior out onto the balcony, laptop neighbour pops out occasionally with laptop, of course. There’s fifth floor opposite bloke who sits on his perch with a book on his lap. This seems better to me but I don’t know why. There’s Syrian dad and his two young ones who will play with a football in the courtyard, I expect they’ll be out to play today. I don’t actually know if he’s Syrian. There’s the young couple in one of the apartments on the left, he doesn’t seem to be able to keep his hands off her, she appears not to mind as she hangs the washing out on their balcony. And then there’s the cat in the window in the corner sitting coolly and no doubt contemplating murder as it watches the crows chasing the magpies around the courtyard.

The Thursday ‘Clap for the NHS’ is still being observed by quite a few of the rest of the neighbours. Some of whom come out into the courtyard because they don’t have a balcony I presume. The smiling hijabi sisters and the smiling grey-haired lady led in their applause by the enthusiastic concierge on duty who claps with gusto as if his very life depends upon it. Perhaps it does. No one is ever sure when to end the clapping though.

A pattern has emerged for the homeschooling sessions. An uncomfortable one though because I’m not a teacher, I’m just a dad and my junior isn’t a student he’s just my son. The dynamics are obviously different. We both welcome grudgingly the structure that it provides but the playful bonhomie of pre-homeschooling days has had to give way somewhat to a formality, during home-school hours at least, that is as novel as the virus. But at 12.00 we’ll take his bike out to the adjacent park, circle around the familiar pathways and, on our way back, say a warm hello to the lady who is part of the apartments’ maintenance crew as she has her fag break outside the entrance to the block.

Boy on a bike in a park
Junior on his bike in the park

I finish my coffee and prepare to go back inside but before doing so I close my eyes and track the sun with my face. The earlier blue of the sky is replaced in my eyes with the warm, blood inspired red of the sun shining through my eyelids. The floaters are still there. I go back inside.