Lockdown collage 01

30 October 2020 ● 3 mins read ● 0 images

With a strand of hair in front of my glasses, I couldn’t see a thing. I could actually see everything, but I couldn’t concentrate. It lay there like a line in front of my eyes, and blurred my vision. My patents were due, and I was supposed to write and read profusely, assemble all the references, the data, the articles. But, I couldn’t.
I took off my glasses, pulled my hair back and tied it into a tight ponytail. I cleaned my glasses out and put them back on. Five seconds, it was as if I had got a new pair of eyes, and then again, it seemed like some stray strand of hair was back into my vision, through the corner of my eyes. I tried to push away the bits of small hair to the back of my ear, it just wouldn’t budge.
Three hours passed, and my deadline was ticking like a time bomb. I had read one line over a hundred times, and couldn’t go past it. The letters would rearrange and mock me, the hair would come between words, and my helpful brain tried to guess-fill the blanks. I had stopped counting what day of lockdown it was.
My head couldn’t move past the story of a soul collecting monster, a monster who exists between loves, who prophecies us to live without touch, without care, without want. A monster who lulls sixteen migrant workers to follow the rail lines down to their ideas of home. May be, one of them was returning to a location he remotely remembers as home, he has been out for thirty years; one has a pregnant wife at home; but here’s a monster that comes in the form of an early morning train, and runs them over.
My balcony overlooks a cleanly mowed square piece of green, and this morning I tried gazing out at the train tracks on it and tried picturing what would happen to a body after the collision. I tried to grasp the feel of the tracks-were they cold?-and how the body hardens and how the flies come around. And then there was a huge blank, I jump cut to the foolish gold fishes in my aquarium back at home, they always seemed so pointless to me. I had the same feeling today as I had as a child, I tried to come up with a story for a character that had no body and no personality, like gold fish, like the dead. This story picks up in a place where there is just one character, and everything else is conjured, it is a story of trying to turn inside out of going through a long gestation and losing the self. Truth is, there is no story.
Some days at home we don’t know how to look after each other. We get it wrong. We start again. The news becomes too awful to listen to. We tune out. It’s difficult to take in the enormity of the loss, the failures, our failures, the failures of science, of morale. We’ve become immune to the numbers now.
Another cold day stretched ahead of me. Everyday has to be lived separately, like bricks stacked one after the other slowly encompassing our lives in a fortress of void. I line my face flush against the mirror, Leaned against the cool surface and saw my twin face join wherever I desired, the cheek or at the nose or at the tip of my tongue. Madame Bovary is what my father had gifted to me, on my thirteenth birthday. And yours’ truly could never be this one-man-woman since then. A character so dynamic, so passionate and sensitive, I never wished for a Charles, but was always looking out for Leon.
It started off as a distant episode of blackmirror in a Chinese village. Now I know, we cannot, should not have plans. We have created monsters in the past, sometimes monsters as blatant as Frankenstein, sometimes more subtle as the shape shifting Ryujin bringing them to life through art, projection dreaming and madness, now we did it through science. We’re drawn to them, fascinated by them, yet loath them, we blame and after a point, it doesn’t matter anymore, we are human beings, we learn to adapt, to accept.
Raphunzel and the witch are one and the same. Her fear of going out is the witch, her desire, the princess. In isolation, I have named my plants.

There are no comments on this creation yet.

You can log in to post a comment.

About Fiona

Fiona Mukherjee

I'm an artist in Tokyo, Japan

Would love to interact with like minded people, collaborators or just connect over art, poetry, food or wine.

See full profile

Welcome to Canvas Tokyo

Canvas is an online network for Tokyo's creative community. It's a place for professional and amateur creatives to show their skills, make new connections and find work.

Sign up to Canvas