Is it really Friday? The first of May? A quarter to 9 in the evening?
The pub, which puts bread and butter on our kitchen table, will not open until the 10th of August, if then. If. So many ifs. Thrumming through our lives, Ireland, the entire world.
Cut adrift from the pursuits, strivings, and goals of a pre-pandemic past, I am becoming like Hans Castorp, that willing inmate of an alpine sanatorium in The Magic Mountain, for whom time becomes strange: “But what should one think of a son of this earth—at an age, moreover, when a day, a week, a month, a semester, should play an important role in life and bring a great many changes and much progress—who one day acquires the disgraceful habit, or at least yields occasionally to the pleasure, of saying ‘yesterday’ for ‘a year ago’ and tomorrow’ for ‘a year from now’? There is no doubt that it would be appropriate to judge him as ‘lost and confused’ and worthy of our gravest concern.” It is, however, probably true that this habit was mine before the pandemic, especially after it was clear that we would not have children or 9-to-5 schedules, and that our lives would remain assymmetrical with the lives of our peers.