Manchester, UK

The Isolation Dairies – Slow Cold Autumn Days

Rachy Lewis
Rachy Lewis

Somewhere in my mind, I recall what it was like to wake up on buzz-filed mornings where the brightness of the day doesn’t hold back on a dramatic entrance as orange sunlight creeps through the blinds and the first thing that catches your senses are the sounds behind your bedroom door. It’s the familiar sound of heavy sleepy footsteps, the running shower and impatient slamming doors. Those days feel foreign now.

There is not much noise behind my door when I wake up these mornings. I lie under the duvet a little longer until I switch off the next snooze button grumpily. I look forward to a cup of tea almost instantly, but once I manage to get out of bed, I pull up the blinds unsure of what I’ll find. Clear blue skies or ashy clouds or perhaps a happy medium. At this point, the weather is like my mood detector, I don’t know what the day will be like until I look outside. Then the toothbrush and the shower and the moisturising skincare session sat in front of the mirror – that is the moment of calm I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Now, this is when I get to that cup of tea. Might catch up on the morning news, might opt for a new album release instead or a laughter-inducing podcast – nothing is decided till I do it. I watch as the electric kettle rumbles and I listen to the sound of my spoon against the cup as I pour the sugar in. I am awake now. The strong fruity taste in my mouth does that to me every single time.

The day has finally begun.

These days are colder, the kind that makes you want to run back under the warm duvet and call it a day, but my guilty conscience doesn’t let me – it’s a little too soon to give up on the day. Some days my guilty conscience takes a loss and I tell myself two hours will do. Funny, I don’t feel too bad about it.

On days like this, I am finding comfort in fictional characters who live in paperbacks and hardcovers. I grab the one by my bed once the day starts to look somewhere in the middle between fading blue and pitch dark, and I escape into a world that feels safer and a lot less unreal than the one we currently live in. Who knew reality could outdo fiction like that?

Sometimes I go out for an aimless walk. The autumn leaves on the ground no longer look fresh and picture-perfect, but they look like they have been there for a long time; stepped upon and crumpled up, however, the brown on the leaves still somehow gives off a warm cosy feeling lying there.

The days feel long now like I have been up for 26 hours and nights feel even longer at times, but it’s okay. I’m not losing my mind or spiralling in the depths of my own thoughts as I did before, I’m not thinking about tomorrow constantly like I used to, and even though my emotions are up and down the stability scale, I’m a lot better than I was the first time around.

I know it’s only been a week since the second lockdown began, but I’m a lot more hopeful, not entirely because I know what’s to come or because I’m sure everything will be okay once more but because things are fine for now and that’s all I can ask for right now.

There’s not much that excites me or a lot to look forward to when I wake again, but they aren’t the worst, these slow cold autumn days…

Your restless romantic roamer

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