2020 began just like any other year. The first steps of what would soon turn into an all-encompassing desperation were slow, boring even. First, it was just news from somewhere far. Then it suddenly penetrated our neighbors’ lives. Then, it came for us. People were defiant to the change. They tried keeping their heads and hopes up. We heard many songs sung from balconies; we read many supportive messages. Yet, a person living next door lost their job. A relative fell sick. Someone else couldn’t take another day in conjugal confinement. We all realized that our life plans were going bust. We lost vacations, family visits, family members… Then came evictions and furloughs. At some point, we all found ourselves balancing on the brink of a vast abyss that was insecurity, depression, hopelessness. We are still all standing there together and alone at the same time.
I remember how in the 2000’s I used to go for walks at night. Living in a large metropolitan city back then, on many nights I would light a cigarette, put on my headphones, turn on Radiohead on a massive CD-player, and walk along the river. Listening to the same song over and over again, passing by the omnipresent people in the city that never slept. Now, in the midst of 2020, it feels like listening to that same song on repeat—but in complete isolation. You already mentally connected each word of that song to every single object around you. There are no more connections to make. The associative array has exhausted itself. You are going mad—you are mad, already. Holding on to this one song. This song is all that’s left. It’s sucking you into itself and you are going… going… going… And then, before you know it... You are it.