text by Shristi Jaiswal
photography by Tamara Lichtenstein
A Tuesday like Many Others
Another Tuesday, another day alive in a redefined world.
It’s one pm and my paper thin curtains hangs still, a testimony to the warm windless weather outside. Golden rays like warm honey spill through my sheer white drapes and to my wooden floor as dusts like tiny flakes floats along the runway paved by the light shinning by.
My plant, Cher, sits on the floor beside my window, barely surviving. The beautiful leaves which once stood green and yellow now slowly brown and crumble right before my eyes. It was a housewarming gift by someone I knew a long time ago. Now it plays a stranger in my own home. Uncared and unchecked for, dying in a corner, taking up space of another.
The television is on but there’s no one sitting on the couch. The stories continue to play but there’s no one to listen and understand. It is a tactic you know, to fill up the mind numbing silence enveloping the apartment on a lonely weekday afternoon.
It’s as lazy a day as it can get.
I walk barefoot, wearing just a blue shirt belonging to a lover from ages ago. It’s still too big for me as it sneakily slips past my shoulders every five minutes or so. His smell is no longer there, rather replaced by those of limes and something acidic.
My brown hair in tangles, falls in looses curls past my bare shoulders. I haven’t showered today. Big deal? It’s been close to sixty days and there haven’t been many visitors. Well, except for the girl from the apartment below with the cherry mask for our occasional wine and dine sessions. Funny girl! Always stocked with little anecdotes and silly innuendos. Every so often she bakes her famous plum cakes and other times some warm chocolate chip cookies. She gets playfully nervous around me, I sometimes wonder why?
Working from home has been a treat so far, though I do miss bars and weekend trips to the trampoline park. Client meetings from bed and a glass or two of rosés during routine Skype calls has been a thing I’ve been following diligently since the beginning of lockdown. Why bother going out to offices at all when I can earn from the comforts of my one bedroom apartment?
The meeting for today is over. It was something about spreadsheets, yada, yada, budget, yada, yada, yada. I’d rather read the minutes later today. Why listen to someone talk when I can instead be caught up in gleeful daydreams?
Now, it’s time to eat and therefore, place across the table my lunch in pretty bowls and sparkling glasses. Maybe some Bach, pull down the windows, dim the lights and binge some good old fashioned episodes of Law and Order.
You ask why the elegant charade? Well, it’s part of something I read called self love. You see, I live alone and like doing what my heart desires without justifying my actions to an apparent authority. So, I whip up some cream and fresh berries, a chicken sandwich or two and lastly a glass of soda water to wash it all down. It’s a great lunch you know, fun and still containing the necessary proteins.
I scroll through Instagram and watch the same news uploaded in different graphics and colours which somehow motivates me to sign enough petitions and make the world just a tad bit better. Sometimes, I find a new trend picking up space or a post or a million of lip syncs which do not make sense. Still, they make me stick through for hours on end, so really who am I to judge?
It has started to get a little chilly. I look out the window and the sun has dipped way beyond the horizon, leaving a royal purple blanket across the sky in its place. Voices rise up in the air as evening walkers slowly make way filling the streets and nearby- till then deserted- parks.
Clad in colourful masks and gloves, they are out there being “one with nature” while I stay inside wrapped in a thin jacket, my bare feet lazily tracing circles over the floor.
I sit by the balcony and call my mom. We talk about my health, my job, my needs, my responsibilities and of course the epidemic surrounding us. Ten minutes and then a static noise, signifying the end of a long drawn call. I love her but the small talks are turning a little monotonous now. As if life isn’t droning enough.
I linger around, adding a few strokes here and there to my unfinished canvas resting in the middle of my living room. It was a project I started a few weeks ago and I don’t why, but I try to delay its end as much as possible. It is not procrastination I know, but maybe the impending thought of another end without the start of something new to fill its void.
I play a few rounds of Mario Kart, open my refrigerator a thousand times and occasionally pause the music playing to answers some emails and work calls and without knowing its closer to eleven pm now. A pre heated meal, an episode of ‘how I met your mother’ and then the sweet, sweet call of my cosy spring mattress. A few more hours of dreams and then off to the start of a semi new day tomorrow.