My life as it is now, resembles, in many ways, a bygone dream. The more I try to arrest it in my mind, the more I try to tame and defang it, the more viciously it thrashes away from my grasp until it’s suddenly gone. Sometimes fragments of its ghost stain my hands, dissipating slowly until what remains is so menial I’m entirely unable to recall what it had been. Like a dream, moments before being recalled, my life rests precariously on a precipice of uncertainty. At any moment it may tumble and be violently eviscerated by the sharp rocks below, but as it stands, in the tense moments before it’s recalled, my life is still whole, as the dream is not yet disarticulated. For an infinitesimally brief period of time dreams border on non-existence and existence, for they have not yet been animated through the process of mental recollection and they have not yet been destroyed by the unfortunate process in which fighting to recall a dream, causes it to disappear more aggressively. My life is frozen in time, just as the dream is momentarily petrified.
The physical realm in which I carry out my day-to-day activities feels heterotopic. My apartment, where I now live alone (as I am separated by borders from my partner) isn’t a place, nor are the fields where I take lonely walks every morning. My body is here because my person is physically occupying in this location, however, the completeness of my Geist is elsewhere. My spirit is with my partner, on another continent; my love sleeps with my family on yet another continent; my sadness echoes brazenly throughout the hallways of every location I’ve ever called home, begging to be comforted by the familiar. Like Foucault’s heterotopia, time also stops here. Days, weeks, months, seasons, deadlines, holidays are all caricatures of the object called ‘time’ that I used to enjoy before Corona. I wake up every day, I lie in my bed, half-awake all night, and still nothing changes. The case numbers rise, menacingly devouring the headlines of online newspapers. In one week my city is doing better, another week we have more cases, another week more people die, another week we are doing better, another week we have more cases… Other headlines don’t ease my emotional aggravation, for they are a far bleaker tangled knot of hideous politics.
The shock of moving to a new continent, learning a new language, navigating a new culture, and being segregated by land, sea, and the shared hallucinations that we call ‘borders’ is matched only by the shock of my arrival in this purgatory. In every way, I am out of my element. My emotions rage and then die down, they wither and burgeon erratically, my mind tries to sail through these emotional seas but they’re uncharted. It’s lost. I’m lost. I have lost. There are very few times in my life when I am unable to orient myself towards a solution, towards a comfortable way out. Through this crisis, the deaths, the fear, the unemployment, the separation, I have gained the unique feeling of being entirely lost. Still, I maintain a kernel of hope. I am no isolated victim, clinging to her stillborn dream; I’m surrounded by others navigating these dark waters as well. It is for you others out there in the world that I won’t give up!