‘Dreams of Futures Past’ : Michael James’s reflects on lockdown life

April 29, 2020

15.21pm Friday 17 April 2020

I’m breathing heavily for a couple of reasons.  A sigh of relief for having finally successfully negotiated signing into my Co-op online banking account.  Will have to do that three or four times before I get used to doing it.  AND, and, and I’ve also cracked the Halifax blockage that prevented me from signing in initially last week with the help of one of their customer services employees, Malcolm.  It has not been at all without some screaming at the computer but most of the histrionics on my part have been calmed by my having to go up and down in the lift to look after my laundry.  That gave me the space to dissipate energies that would have otherwise been used unproductively. Namely screaming at the web page.  The other source of the breathlessness is of course the very journey of going up and down to attend to the laundry.

It is on its first dry program.  My wonderful timer on the phone keeps me up to time and date.  When it goes off soon I will go down to reprogram it for a final 25 minutes which should see everything bone dry when I take it out.  Without wishing to curse myself in advance I have gotten most of my weekly usual laundry done.  All I have to do next week is wash the woolies and several zipped hoodies.  Then that is all done for free thanks to the council.  Bless your little cotton sox whoever signed that off.

The gulls still have not settled down to nest.  I think the severe lack of available, stealable food, has triggered off something within him or her or both.  The genetic starvation gene has been triggered perhaps.  They might well surprise me yet.  Gimpy himself is looking more unable to use both legs.  His limp is pronounced and looks as if he might be in pain. This could be his last season as a dad. The day the rains have come.  Our first April shower.  All my gardening friends must be praying for more.  We do need more rain.  We have had an unusually dry March.  So rain, rain come again.

Another 3 weeks I’m hearing. Three weeks of gross incompetence.  That is only for this country.  The Americans are reaping what they sewed 3 years ago and judging by some of the support still for this mad man they might even vote him in for another term. Unless a very brave leading Republican calls him out  publicly.  There is always that slim chance.  Laundry calls.


Last dry program on perhaps it is time to think of some breakfast.  Cheese on toast?  MMMM.

01.29am Tuesday 21 April 2020

The days bleed into each other seamlessly.  I wish my mind had the same quality.  I do not know what happened from one day to the next.  The events I think happened on say Friday, I now come to believe really happened on Sunday.  Or Saturday even.  I do not know where I am on the universal time scale.  I’m going to have to rethink what happened on Saturday and Sunday.  I know that I have not been out all over the week end despite it being sunny  The wind was too cold.  I have stayed in until it warmed up out there.  I’ve been in for two days what did I do during that time?  I know, or think I know, that on Saturday between 11am and 1pm I was due a delivery from Waitrose.  It never happened.  Yes my memory is beginning to release the events.  I waited until 2pm and decided not to throw a wobbly, which is unusual for me in these circumstances.

I held it all together and went online to the Waitrose webpage.  Not expecting to find anything there which might help me.  I was wrong.  I spotted a freephone number.  I called and went through the usual routine of listening for a choice I thought might be applicable.  I actually found one which connected me to a human being.  Someone else on the other end.  A man with a rich West Indian voice answered.  He was quietly, wonderfully helpful.  He got all the details of my delivery up and informed me that it was a collect spot I had signed onto. My shopping was still at the shop waiting for me to collect.  In one of my rare moments of clarity I asked him to stay online while I called Art on my mobile.  Two people on two different lines trying to solve a problem.  Multi tasking.  I thought I had lost the ability to do that.  Obviously not. Between the three of us on two phones I managed to get Art to agree to drive to Waitrose and pick up the shopping.  The lovely man had another two surprises for me he gave me the telephone number of the store and told me to press 8 as soon as the recorded voice came on.  I followed his instructions and as soon as I pressed 8 the phone went directly to another human being in the store.  I told her my story.  She checked out and said my shopping was ready to be collected.  Art went off and returned here within the hour with my shopping.

It was my fault. The mix up.  Obviously when I unexpectedly got a delivery slot last week I was so excited that I did not see it was a collection not a delivery slot.  Lesson learnt there then for the next time.  I do not have to leave the house to get involved in some kind of drama. Nothing peaceful about this household.  Problem solved without me going into one. As soon as the shopping was delivered I physically felt a huge invisible weight fall off my mind and body  It was so strong.  I had no idea I was carrying that around with me.

During this whole lockdown period I have been aware of my dreams.  I’ve always been dream conscious but these past few weeks the dreams have been very graphic.  Not only that but they have been conscious dreams.   I have been aware that I am dreaming and aware that I can alter the context of the dream whilst it was ongoing.  This is a relatively new experience for me.  It is an important development but I do not yet know in what way how important.

Some of the recent dreams have been violent.  A violent series returned on Sunday night.   All to do with me being under attack and having to get away and worse than that, seek revenge.  I lay there revelling in various types of revenge all the while knowing it was wrong.  It was a dilemma I did not resolve before I woke  It has something to do with my increasing awareness of my mortality  At 79 I am fully aware that I’m sliding down the final slope. I’m happy with that knowledge.  The whole virus atmosphere has ramped this awareness up.  It is adding another dimension altogether to what is already a potentially scary time.  I know I am seeing the beginning of the end but will not be around to see where it is going.  The global mindset is being overturned.  There will be national and international violence. I fear the USA is on the verge of a civil war.  The old racial and political tensions were never resolved by the first civil war.  There are yet more issues building up within that vast country.  The white evangelical right wing of the Republican party want to continue to dominate as they have done in the past.  They are gearing up for war.  No point in having all that weaponry if they do not intend to use it.

Use it they will against each other until either Russia or China butts in.  That might put the brakes on.  These are my fears for the not too distant future.  Where we stand in all this I do not know.  Our road will also be a violent one.  Prescience or paranoia?   Both I fear.