Now school is back, I quietly resume my quest for self

Over lockdown I became particularly aware of the skills and patience of teachers

I’m typing today in a muffled pocket of unholy peace. Far below me there’s the clink of the washing machine spinning, a sound that always makes me shiver with superiority, and outside of course quiet sirens and birds, but in this room only the thick sound of nobody here.

Since school started again I have been padding through the rooms of my house in a sort of terrified wonder. I find myself touching things lightly, and naming them in my head as though meeting for the first time – light switch, photograph, soap dish, cat. When I sit down I feel nauseous, as if beginning to digest a very large meal that’s been stretched out over a year – tripe appetisers, rare pork, fear, many underdone potatoes. It will take some time, I think, to get used to this new little freedom.

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