It’s becoming easier to resist thinking that all this won’t end. With the vaccine rollout and the joy of sitting in a café failing to get any work done, the tiny luxuries have brought some normalcy and I’m totally grateful I don’t have to manic-book flights to Portugal to feel it. With stand-up gigs starting up again, it’s been so lovely forgetting all the things that made me anxious living in lockdown and rediscovering all the things that made me anxious in pre-lockdown London.
It’s seemingly a sentiment shared by the other residents of my road as we’ve received a much-coveted invite to a street party, received as I imagine 1920s people received an invite to a Gatsby party. I’m typically anti-blitz spirit regarding Covid but, what can I say, I’m a sucker for having lemonade and cake outside. At this point, you’re probably thinking two things. 1. How sad are you that a party on your street is this exciting, and 2. Why is any of this a problem?
My main concern is that I feel I was extremely weird the last time we all ‘hung out’. For a brief period in my road, we had a coffee morning around 11am on Sundays. Typically, that would be about half an hour before I’d wake up. In the early days, I was drinking a lot, typically pouring cans out into pint glasses, and blasting Arcade Fire by myself. Next thing I knew, I’d roll outside, coffee in hand, hair still wet, with just no spirit to engage what people call ‘good faith’.
In a word, I was in a rut, struggling hopelessly with anxiety, and feeling the weight of being 23 and living at home. So, my chat was bottom-of-the-barrel one-word responses to well-meaning neighbours whilst I dreamed I was back in the big city and spending too much on Ubers (in retrospect the ‘I Heart London’ T shirt was a bit much).
I don’t think this’ll happen again but I feel embarrassed and weird, besides my social skills with even good friends feels like a bad job interview.
So, because I’m not actually in the street WhatsApp group, consider this a heads-up to all Radnor residents: I do genuinely want to chat with you but more than likely I’ll be spacing out in between destroying three slices of Victoria sponge.
Dan has written for Objectively Funny and is the author of Country Bumpkin Blog. You can listen to his podcast, That’s Rich! wherever you get podcasts.