There’s something strangely pleasant about it.
These days are always hot and stuffy; the sticky summer weather has come too early and it’ll probably be here to stay well into autumn. The humid nights can get very uncomfortable for me, so I like to take a cold shower very late to end my day. Once I’m done, I step outside onto my balcony and gaze into the dark abyss above.
The couple next door on the left are screaming their heads off again. The dog from the neighboring apartment complex is barking up a storm. My good neighbor on the right is smoking his life away.
But it doesn’t bother me too much anymore. It’s been this way for two months now. More heat, more yelling, more smoking, more discomfort. There’s something pleasant about it, which is strange, because it’s sad. There is nothing happy about the terrible climate change, fragile relationships, and breathing problems. There isn’t a single thing great about 2020.
While I lean on my balcony ledge and stare into outer space, I pull out my phone and decide to listen to some music before going to bed. The first song to come up after shuffling is Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, and I don’t know why, but my heart begins to sink.
It’s lonely out in space...
On such a timeless flight...
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time....
With my elbow on the ledge, and my chin resting on my palm, I start to feel tired and a little empty. As I let out a sigh, I turn around to get back into my home, and that’s when I notice the waning crescent Moon and its hopeless smile.
As the weeks go by, I carry on with my day to day routine. In the mornings, I sit on the toilet, slouched over for too long, thinking of shallow memories I didn’t know I remembered. Water drips from the bathtub spout continuously, so I have to put a bucket beneath it until I get it fixed someday.
Drip, drip, drip, drip, it tells me slowly. I don’t respond.
In the afternoons, I go to the small liquor store where I work as a cashier. There are people who don’t properly wear their masks, people who don’t wear masks at all, and occasionally, someone who is coughing, which all makes me paranoid. When things are quiet, I can hear the clock on the wall behind me.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, it warns me carefully. I don’t respond.
In the evenings, I may be taking my online night classes and studying. Sometimes lectures get dry, or my study sessions get stale, so my mind wanders a little. If it’s quiet at that moment, I often catch my tired heart beating.
Thump, thump, thump, thump, it whimpers to me softly. I don’t respond.
Almost everyday, I find myself hearing these sounds. Drip, tick, thump. I feel hollow.