• Dan Cardwell

Heaven, I'm in heaven...

I’ve been busy lately, which is upsetting, as I’m no longer used to having to do…. Well, anything, other than layabout bemoaning about the slow collapse of society, the apocalyptic equivalent of a Roland Emmerich film being remade by Punchdrunk theatre as a televised endurance test for Sky (a niche reference to Sky’s ‘Third Day’, TV haters). People often accuse me of being overdramatic, but as fond as people are of saying Rome wasn’t built in a day, few seem aware that it didn’t burn in one either. Sure, you’ve all given up on taking the threat of the virus seriously, but I’m still taking an hour to wash down the groceries each week, with the sort unwavering dedication that seems to be largely absent from any other useful part of my life.

I have tried to make small concessions to the fact that lockdown is over. I’ve allowed the odd friend or family member to visit, but have to warn them to wrap up as if they are about to recreate the walks of Captain Scott, a man who’s strolls in the freezing temperature of the Antarctic made him a genuine hero; like most things, walking has been watered down over the years, and now we celebrate old men strolling round the garden on a warm summers day. Gawd Bless You, Sir Colonel Brigadier Captain Private Tom. But why do they have to dress up warm, Dan, I hear you ask. Well, like a reverse Queen of England, if you’re coming into my house, I insist you always have your back to me, breathing your rancid Rona ravaged breath away from my delicate immunosuppressed being; standing in front of the open doors and windows at the back of my house, you must only address my reflection in the cracked mirror I’ve hung from the ceiling, avoiding the shards of glass that are thrown at you by the wind howling in from outside. Seeing me for a cup of tea is really a true test of friendship, seeing as you have every chance of losing a toe through frostbite.

If this is the end of the world, then it’s my sort of Armageddon. Sure, meteors or bad John Cusack films may make for a more exciting final chapter, but if civilisation as we know it is about to take its final breath, I’d rather experience it from the sofa with a nice cup of tea and a bit of Netflix. And, hey, we’re still hitting some of the classic tropes, what with a buffoonish government barely paying attention to the scientists, but it’s almost enjoyable watching it from the comfort of my hermetically sealed pod. It’s like watching a show that had some grand ideas, but somehow lost the plot along the way. Boris, now with the look of a man finally fulfilling his dream as a children’s party clown, only to realise he really hates kids, is still hoping that one more heave-ho of bullshit and bluster will see him through. Dishy Rishi, a rich tory party shill who’s convinced everyone he’s the nice competent one, by virtue of speaking in full sentences, is now worried the sheen might start to wear off. And Matt Hancock, the little brother that wants to hang out and sound like he’s one of the older kids, is jumping around excitedly, saying things again. And, with the amount of poor people dying shooting up again, I imagine it’s difficult to navigate the small corridors of the House without having to constantly duck to avoid Ian Duncan Smith’s raging erection or the echoes of maniacal laughter from Priti Patel as she is told the latest figures for foreigners dying at sea.

But, like drinking in pubs or shopping in person, that all feels like it’s out there. In a world I’ve left behind. Like a budget Howard Hughes, without the cache of making films or building planes (but with better pruned nails), I’m staying in and letting you all argue about how life survives these difficult times; its like a repeat of the Brexit saga, with each side entrenched in views they shout in each other’s faces, often less than 2 metres apart. The other day someone suggested that life should go on as normal and the elderly or vulnerable, like me, should be left to die. But I think I might have already. With the occasional release of a vodka induced haze and the odd visit from relatives with increasingly blue lips, I’m pretty glad to be locked away from the rest of the world right now. It feels like heaven.




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