by Olivia de Vos
pint of warm lager with nothing
I’m not allowed to have a beer here in the park, it’s a public space, but seriously, I’ve just had enough of rules. Lockdown after lockdown after lockdown. Nothing kept the virus in check and in fact we fared worse than Sweden and the US and the UK combined.
I had to choose between a beer and an apple, so sick of those old soft apples, I went for the beer. At least beer has nutritional value, probably can’t make you sick and if anything, it could make me forget some stuff. Everyone has stuff to forget, from the grandmother who died and passed the virus onto a caregiver, to a caregiver who went home to her family and spread it around there. Eventually after months and months, people just gave up and started meeting up in parks and at their homes. The police couldn’t keep tabs on everyone, there was widespread looting until nothing was left. Pop-ups ran by a kind of mafia had alcohol and if you were lucky, marijuana, anything to get through the day. Water is an issue, hence the beer, food is an issue, so it’s endless potatoes, or endless pumpkins, or apples, endless anything that survives all the disinfectant and soap.
I see a cop making his way to my bench, I’m going to get an earful, but seriously, who cares.
‘Where did you get the beer kid?’
‘Dunno,’ I say.
We stare at each other, and just stare.