Tales of the confinement Part 1: the one where I have been questioning myself about banana bread instead of going through a deep assessment of my life.

Prologue :

One year ago, pangolins were starting to access to a brand new international fame. Though, they were ignoring that soon, they would transform into the super stars of the animal kingdom. They were already starting to survive to an impending extinction when the public started to scowl at them with distrust (note however the high potential of cuteness of this small being with scales):

One year ago, I ignored that Treat (my office aloe vera), Pedro (my good old tea cup, with its best piece of modern Spanglish poetry on it, « Let’s fiesta hasta mañana », I’ll spare you the translation), and myself would embark in the space of few weeks for a new type of work experience: the one where work meetings would be operated while wearing pyjama buttons and greasy hair hidden in artistically wrapped headbands.

One year ago, « The world before » evoked in me a timeline somewhere between Myspace and the quest of fire.

In the context of « The world before », I would have immediately understood what was not matching in the extract of this newspaper, shot by Neil Gaiman, in New-Zealand.

Except that in this world, my brain got hypnotised by two words: « Community Picnic » and « live music ». Pictures of people dancing barefoot in the grass, eating crisps, started to take shape in my mind. And I felt this familiar little twinge in the pit of my stomach: the one reminding you how fragile our current situation is. The one that gives you hope that, one day or the other, there will be again these moments full of dancing, joy, half dehydration due to an orgy of crisps, full of outdoor live music.

Because this mix of hope and uncertainty coexists more than ever, I had the desire to dig into my archives of 2020, to see these pieces of writing and raw thinking I never thought I would publish before.

P.S: The version of myself of March 2020 did not have the soul of a poet. No more than the one of 2021. You have been warned.

Barcelona, 30th of March 2020

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

The world is clearly on the verge of something big. And believe me, if “big’’ is clearly good news when it comes to the porn industry, it’s usually not that well received when applied to pandemic.

Now that the tone of this publication is all set on high level subtlety, I will tell you more about what the people around me have been up to (Not that this a topic of supreme importance. But let’s not ruin our brand new relation of reader-writer from the start.).

There are the ones who seem really eager to remind me each day that we are going through a fucking complete mess, that the economy will be a fucking complete mess, that even the chocolate cake crumbs I left on the table are living in a fucking complete mess, that you are a fucking complete mess (N.B: Old leggings and dirty hair are not problematic these days. We can still hide behind a rabbit filter. Or just a keeping the camera turned off. Except if your dignity is not calculated on the base of a greasy scalp).

The interactions I can have with them could give birth to a best seller of a new type:  “The WhatsApp conversation that made me land in a foetal position for ten minutes, asking for my mum” (I’m not dramatic. I’m just French.) :

“ – Hey, did you know that the rate of contamination in your district hour per hour is comparable to the time it required for masks to be out of stock in Paris?

– …

– And have you checked this website called coronavirustracker.org?

– Nope. But I can tell you about the last recipe of three layered peanut butter cookies from my flatmate. I’m working to reinforce my immune system by ingesting enough sugar to be strong enough to erase this conversation from my mind”. 

And there are the ones embracing this fucking complete mess of a worldwide crisis. Not having a clue about what’s going to happen. About what to do. About what to think. But at least trying to live through it as much as they can (And generally with the huge help of the God of Streaming).

And there is my brain that decided to find how to grow an avocado tree, to put flowers on the terrace, or wonders if guitar can be played with the nose.

Please note that I do not have an answer to this question, but thanks to this, I have discovered this excellent opera of Shostakovich where people are doing tap dancing, with costumes of giant noses :

Talking about noses, my mind refuses to see the big sign ‘’It sucks’’ waved in front of its own.

It’s just that it reacts in an unusual way when confronted with facts and an unknown situation.

If I have to say something about someone or something, I will never go for the obvious thing. Not on purpose, but just because my mind is made to focus on THE insignificant detail (This brain can deploy a lot of creative resources when it comes to protect me from the roughness of this world).

Let’s take the example of Martin Luther King.

So of course, there is the obviousness of « I have a dream ».

But when I’m thinking about Martin Luther King, BOUM. Pecan pie (I know, I know). And that’s with emotion that I remember that this was is favourite dessert (And you could live happily ever after without having access to this revelation).

This could sound as a pure fact of insignificance but which is not, considering the amount of skill  and technique it requires to balance the use of pecan and sweetness in this recipe. And people able to recognise and appreciate this piece of pure bakery art are generally exceptional persons in my eyes (the day a dictator will declare that pecan pie is his favourite dish will be a day of eternal grief in my world).

I am too distracted by the large variety of meaningful  insignificant details this world has to offer. So much so that I keep on bumping into walls (real ones), getting tangled in my own legs, or missing the metro station. Because the world of insignificance reassures me and distracts my brain from the big picture.

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

Because when I am going for my food shopping of the week (Which has become a delightful moment of freedom, singing to the cheese in the stands ‘’I miss you’’), I feel like if we were at the premisses of a bad episode of Walking dead. Bad, because people are dying for real. Because I am still trying to figure out why toilet paper has become such an obsession for the human kind.

Dogs are hiding bones. Squirrels are storing acorns, and humans are considering that having a clean butt is a matter of great significance in a context of crisis.

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

Because on Sunday, I had the chance to enjoy a full afternoon of blue sky, chasing the vision of a cloud having the shapes of toilet paper, the face of Vladimir Putin, a dragon. And I had the chance to share it with people I like living with (and eating peanut butter cookies with as well).

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

Because my friends and family are healthy. Because my mum discovered the joy of the rabbit ears filters. Because people on the internet are organising live sessions of cookie preparations. Because I have time to dedicate to the list of all the podcasts of This is America I never had time for.

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

Because I am fully aware about how wrong things are turning. How scary it is for everybody. How hard is it to go through a confinement like through a living hell of loneliness. Or having to combine your work life, your time with your kids, your own thoughts about what is the fucking deal about the toilet paper. And because I don’t have at least to worry about being in one of these situations.

I am dealing with a case of perfect life nonsense.

And I am okay with it. Because the things inside of useless brackets, the song you discover through a random playlist, these useless facts about pecan pie, these lines drawing your attention trough a movie or a book, these songs invented with my flatmates about pizza, the name given to an avocado tree, all these details are helping to guide my mind where it needs to be at the moment. And if they are helping me to apprehend this brutal world in the best way possible, I don’t see why they should be called insignificant.

Because, who knows… Maybe, the last shield protecting humans from their own insanity could be their ability to create compilation of cute fluffy dogs on Internet named “Cutest Fluffy Pets Ever 2018”.

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