Operation Oysterhood: Day Ninety

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks


All in all, another productive day, but it started with a certain kind of adrenaline rush that I could do without, but that I will have to get used to now, it seems. I’d prepared the latest issue of New Contrast for posting on Monday and Tuesday. I was at the post office early this morning to send it all out into the world when in the middle of all the stamps and transactions, my cell phone rang. My heart sank when I saw who was calling: ADT. Again.

Every third or fourth time I leave the house now, someone attempts to get inside it, triggering the alarm. The system works and deters the would-be-thieves, but I find it more and more freaky to be monitored like this for weak spots. It is telling that the alarm goes off every time about twenty minutes after I leave the house. The day before I saw a glob of fresh spit next to the pool and I knew that someone had been on the property, checking it out probably. If only they knew that I have nearly nothing left to steal for casual thieves. And the stuff I have of value to me has no value at all to others. It is just this constant threat and the possible damage and the reporting and claims that follow that I just don’t have the strength to deal with right now.


The people at my local post office know me well, so I could rush off and promise them to return without having to explain much. ADT arrived immediately. The would-be-thief was already gone. I drove home with ‘my soul over my shoulder’ – a Polish saying – and afterwards, when all was okay, and I finalised the posting of New Contrast no. 190, I crashed emotionally and physically. It must have been the adrenaline.


The solution: a long walk, a long shower, coffee and hair drying in the sun. I felt human again and could resume my day’s work, but I felt grey and tired.


In the evening, I spoke with my brother and my friend in Vienna on Skype for a long time. Krystian sent me a few pictures from the place he is visiting with his partner now. They were meant to be in France for this holiday but had to change their plans to a local spot – and, they are loving it. Who wouldn’t?

Austria again

Second day in a row that over one hundred people died of Covid-19 in South Africa. Over five thousand new infections. I heard of another person I know, a very dear family friend of my dear friends, who is fighting for his life in a hospital because of Covid-19.

Even when there are magical things happening right now, it is nearly impossible to simply delight in them, but they are happening and I keep them close to my heart and try to draw of their energy to keep going and to keep safe.

Ninety days of lockdown. I listened to the adjusted budget speech today and the comments that followed, and it really hit me that whatever we are dealing with right now is only the beginning of something bigger, tougher. The road ahead is signposted with a multitude of warning signs.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Stay at home.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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