2020 - 2022: Rediscovering Friends, Toronto CA
ATTENTION: THESE ARE PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS, NOT ADVICE. THERE IS MENTION OF SUICIDE, DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO THIS TOPIC.
I found myself trapped in two types of hell at the same time during the lockdowns:
(1) A digital quagmire, where it’s easier for job applications and any inquiries to be ignored.
(2) A living abyss of forced-feed misery.
Similar to living in a war-zone where food rationing was necessary, since I didn’t qualify for government emergency funding, I had to depend on charity of family and stretching my savings ($40/week became $20/week then $10/week) during one of the longest lockdowns in the world.
And to answer the question, why I didn’t open shop and sell stuff like everyone else: I tried twice. The first time I spent more than 30 hours to dump the entire thing for many reasons, the main one being lack of product knowledge; the second time I spent over 10 hours to drop it again because of production issues. Maybe print-on-demand, automatic dropshipping, is not the best fit for me and I need to find another to-market strategy, not that this would make a difference since earnings will be minimal.
Anyway, back to damnation. It was like being transported back to Guyana (minus the lovely weather and delicious food) while living in Canada. Except, instead of living with the constant fear of another violent invasion, the misery continued with constant construction noise (not sure how this can be allowed for years in a residential unit) and sounds that could be mistaken for explosives.
Added to that, fire trucks parading the street every few minutes, every day, blaring their sirens and laying on the horn even when nothing was in the way. Are there really that many incidents requiring their services? Police and ambulance vehicles also pass by, but not as often and not as loud. After talking about this, the noisy parade was coincidentally reduced.
Silence has become a luxury commodity.
With nowhere to go besides the grocery store (aka theatre of the absurd) and short walks through the park, along with not being able to work from home (because of the noise and lack of a “home office”) to get the money needed to escape pandora’s box, I regretted being here.
Every time I tried to relax and think everything would be alright, another unprovoked provocation was made to show me I am an inconvenience. So I vacillated between slowly being suffocated (disguised as living), or die now instead of later. One or two traumatic events are almost easier to deal with than this constant dripping of water on the head. Why is maintaining an environment from which the only escape would be to take one’s own life not considered manslaughter?
Believing death is a kinder fate, I often considered going outside to sit on a bench and freeze/starve to death. Although, a well-meaning person would probably find and drag me back to hell. I purposely got the moderna vaccine in the hopes of having a fatal reaction - no luck the first, second or third time.
I had to remind myself, I’ll die one day but it will not be because of remote-controlled puppets.
I don’t think I’m suicidal. If I were, I wouldn’t have quickly dodged out of the way when a random woman charged at me (I don’t like it either when people cut in front of me but I don’t take revenge by storming at someone else) from the other side of a subway platform.
Without the crutch of psychological denial, the only way I was able to snap out of this despair was upon hearing the sparrows announce their daily visits.
After a while, I understood, caring about these birds makes life bearable; photography makes it enjoyable, when I'm not being interrupted.
In bone-chilling cold and sweltering heat, squirrelly squirrels and sweet sparrows were around to comfort; they were always around but I finally noticed their parkour-like maneuvers, sharing food, sibling bickerings and coordinated chirps to each other.
I saw more humanity in these ignored animals than in so-called humans. They welcomed me into their humble world and I’ll be forever grateful.
I’ve always been partial to nature, being born and raised in a tropical country, I spent most of my childhood outdoors amongst insects, animals and plants. I had forgotten about all of this after moving to Canada. The lockdown brought this back into focus.
Deciding which conservation area I should contribute to was difficult; writing this made it clear, it has to be support for the birds - they'll share with the squirrels. I am astonished how something so delicate can survive in such harsh conditions.
Thank you for the camera, invention of earphones, the sparrows and squirrels,