I’ve never used them, but seen them on TV. Or in someone I know’s closet. The perfect solution to storing and compacting your clothing neatly and out of the way when you aren’t using them. Vacuum sealed bags hold clothing in dark places, waiting for when it can be used again. Some are placed away just for the season, saying to the world, “I’ll see you again when its warm , I don’t do the cold”. Others have no certain date they will be filled with oxygen again, but put away to protect from moths. Or mould. Or light.
Thats how I feel a lot of us feel right now. We were out and about, feeling the everyday around us. But now we are inside a vacuum. In a closed off space and we don’t know when this will change. I don’t usually do this but I imagine being able to tell my 2019 self, this time next year you can never guess where we will be. But guess anyway. I would have told myself, I would be in NYC and renewed my visa and in a job in theatre again. Fighting the humidity and stink of the city, escaping for weekend adventures with my buddy Joe.
But surprise, you are in Melbourne. Running a venue that cannot open because of this pandemic. Inside an apartment solo. Oh but you have a cat and you dress him up in sweaters. And talk him a lot. You struggle to exercise or have a routine, outside of sitting at your desk to work. People ask what could people working in theatre be possibly doing, working at home. You ignore them, they don’t get it. You make yourself walk in the cold along the sea, because you never could really do that like this in Brookyn. And you imagined doing just that back here. And now you are here. So you do it.
Family are nearby, but not close enough. Cannot travel, cannot head north to Sydney. Its been made illegal. You cannot leave your house without a signed official permit that you are an essential service. Oh and there is a curfew, no-one can leave unless caring for someone or working, between the hours of 8pm and 5am. You turn on another episode of a show you swear you have seen before, but you haven’t. It just feels the same.
And that, my past self, is your future. Its all for the good, we hope all this will help us get back on our feet sooner. Other places are operating like normal and we get messages of well wishes. And unsaid wishes that they do not become like us. But it will all be over soon. But who said?