Lost Time

Nicholas Quirke was surprised by how he had reacted to his vaccination when he woke on 16 May 2021. He had experienced a minor manifestation of all the symptoms of Covid and especially the fatigue which, overwhelmed him. He was wiped out by the jab and both 14 and 15 May passed in a semi somnambulistic state. He did not leave the apartment, which bothered him as he had set a record 58 days of completing all facets of his ‘apple workout’ and had hoped to make it to over 60 days. The positive aspect of this was that even though he was coughing and had an appalling headache, he finally spent two days doing absolutely nothing. He did watch the claustrophobic `Oxygene’ on Friday evening but whether it was the effect of the sudden malaise he was experiencing or the pain of watching an amnesiac woman trapped in a  cryogenic chamber battle for her life it felt too along and he lost interest. It was a difficult nights sleep for him and the resulting lassitude bought on another day of inertia. He manage to find the energy to eat Jian Bing for breakfast and populate the day watching films. Including ‘The Eleventh Chapter’ which he had tried to see in the cinema but with no subtitles had walked out. He enjoyed the ‘off the wall’ film though in his state it felt too self consciously arch and enigmatic. There were some funny and lovely observations about life and he suspected the ‘Chinese’ character but in his mood was ultimately leftfeeling dissatisfied. He also watched ‘The Woman in the Window’ which, he liked the  premise of its Hitchcock,’ Rear Window’ Inspired plot and there were some jumps and surprises but he found some of the acting from the stellar cast was OTT and it was all a little too predictable. He lost interest in the outcome as he began to question its veracity. Julianne Moore never disappointed him but her mysterious appearance was too fleeting to save the mediocre thriller. Another day had disappeared down the rabbit hole and although he had experienced a slightly better sleep waking on the 16 May 2021 with the knowledge that he would have to work gave him the impetus and energy to make a little more of his days, even though he felt physically averse to it. He was not going to cycle to the school, it was windy and had been raining and when he reached the subway to his alarm he found a man collapsed in the entrance to Xuanwhuman Station at the top top of the stairs with his pink suitcases, steadfastly erect beside him. To his concern, he had seen people enter the station from a distance and was mystified as to why no one had raised the alarm. He spoke to the man and elicited some unfortunate twitching response. he bolted down the stairs and let the guards know. He felt he should stay but unable to communicate satisfactorily he went on his way. Coincidentally , his lesson included a section on helping people and his students informed him that their teachers had taught them not help as it may be too dangerous. There was some truth for the children in this, built helping a person in need was more desirable than walking on by. He had expected to teach only Michael and Apple but Jenny had forgotten to hell him that his teenage student Chloe was resuming her studies and instead of two hours pedagogy he expounded for four. When he had finished teaching the day had turned from the grey into a glorious blue sky and he had definitely perked up. When Peng asked if he would go out of his way to pick up a salad from APM for their lunch, meaning he would have to cycle the 9km back he readily complied. It was however a ride too far, the heat was blistering and he was utterly enervated by the time he got back. The late lunch was accompanied by another film ‘Those who Wish me Dead.’ Too much of the film was preposterous for him to enjoy it. It had no heart and he couldn’t care less about what happens to the protagonists but once he had showered and enjoyed a session in the massage chair he was refreshed and ready for ‘The dance of the 41’ an Intense costume drama of forbidden love and the cost of excess in a turn of the century tale set in Mexico. The love was passionate, physical and destructive and the film showed what can happen when we hide our true nature, particularly when pursuing ambitious goals There were no winners in the the story and it is good to see an LGBTQ piece from this period that wasn’t about Oscar Wilde but his heart did out to all those who have suffered from the bigotry towards Socratic and sapphic love in the past and still do in some communities. He felt he had lost a lot of time to the side effects of the inoculation and as he laid his head on the pillow he hoped for a better nights sleep and a more productive week.

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