I had a Covid-19 test today. I got a mild sore throat last night and have had a small cough as well as aching muscles. For all the world it feels like a very minor cold but off to the local hospital I trekked on the advice of the Covid line and was duly jabbed in every orifice of my face by someone in a hazmat suit.
I’m convinced it’ll be negative but until that comes through, I’m holed up in my bedroom away from my family – with a laptop giving me a dodgy wi-fi signal meaning my usual 47mb download speed has been reduced to 3mb due to having to hot spot from my phone. There’s also the added frustration of knowing that people have had to cancel plans due to my (expected) non-Covid which is not a nice thing to have as a burden but as usual, the bigger issues in the world over the last few days snap everything into focus.
Speaking of big things in the world I spoke to my oldest friend on Thursday night. We discussed his father’s health and the fact that he only has a few months to live due to the big C. This hit me hard. Not just for my friend and what this means for his family – especially in a Covid world – but I’d always been used to hearing this particular man and he was closely associated with my friendship.
To describe him, he’s very salt of the Earth. A genuinely nice and funny man that tells things as he sees them and does not pretend to be anything he is not – for anyone or anything. His home has always been welcoming to me and there was never a sense of anxiety about visiting. Whenever I catch up with my friend on the web or via the phone, I could hear his dad singing in the background and I’ll never forget the TV he bought that was bigger than the lounge room itself but absolutely a thing of beauty.
This stuff reminds me of one of the absolute negatives in living on the other side of the planet to the place I grew up. I have changed and I’m better where I am but I have links to that place, those people and so much of my psyche was developed within the fabric of that society. Even my anxiety and the things that I worry about were cut in those streets and my ambitions were limited due to the lens used to view people from those backgrounds.
Within that, I learnt from my friend’s dad that it was possible to be yourself and not feel the need to apologise nor bend to fit. I’ve struggled with it my entire life but it can be done and these days I’m finding that sweet spot – although considering I still prefer this blog to be anonymous, maybe not.
The stoicism which which the family seem to be dealing with such an impending situation is astonishing to me. I’m lucky enough that throughout my life I have been fortunate enough to avoid losing anyone I’d consider to be very close to me however through the extension of myself and this friendship, I think this one will leave a dent – an indelible mark that these people had an impact on me – and continue to do so – in a profound way.