Andrea 29 – I lost my instinct for some gestures. Tomorrow I’m going to collect some grocery shopping. On day 30 I will go out for the first time, thanks to some online shopping I did a few days ago. So this morning I decided to start the car: I get in, start the engine, and I can’t remember anymore which pedal is the break, the left one or the right one. I must be honest, I was never a Schumacher, but in that moment, I realized that four weeks at home make you lose the automation of some things. I’ve lost the rhythm of some exercises I did in the gym, my eyes have lost the habit of seeing people go around without a mask. Those who do it make me think of a nudist on a family beach. I’ve lost the habit of making a normal phone call, without the need of seeing each other, I’ve lost the habit of buttoning, fastening, opening and closing my bag and packing first on excel and then in a suitcase. I’ve lost the habit of scrolling the website of Napoli SSC and Gazzetta dello Sport, which I don’t read anymore. I’ve lost respect for runners, that I admired so much before. I felt like one of them. Not today. Today I feel betrayed by my former mates. Those who, acting instinctively, put on their shoes and go outside. An instinct that today should get lost, not because it’s dangerous, but to give an example of sacrifice instead of carelessness. The same sacrifice we have always made on every street of the world, until the last kilometre. An instinct that should get lost. Like those I have lost.
Miriam 29 – I’ve lost so many usual gestures, dear Andre, that I can’t even list them anymore. I’ve always bragged of being miss “in the meantime”, capable of doing three, four things all at the same time, but now I have so much time to do everything, that it doesn’t make sense to wear myself out by doing it all together.
I have less fun, it’s true, but I get less tired and I’m getting used to this management mode.
Besides, I’ve always been an emotionally very physical person. I’ve always felt the need to hold on tight, to grab hands, to caress, hug. The need to express with my body what sometimes – in fact, often – I am not able to express with words, legacy of an ancient shyness I had to overcome, but which is evidently still lurking. But those gestures that I no longer have, that I no longer find in my daily life, are not lost or forgotten, at least not for me. As in the best of Darwinian evolutions, lost gestures are slowly replaced, and other senses make up for touch or for the memory of automation. My eyes, for instance, have learnt a great deal of new things: smiling, for example. Now when I go grocery shopping with my medical mask and I cross someone I know, to whom I would have smiled, I smile with my eyes, and I’m sure that they get it anyway. Tears of empathy have replaced hugs and kisses, that I cannot give though a screen. My eyes are learning to make up for human touch.
So many beautiful gazes, when we will be able to meet again. So many words we will speak with our eyes, without saying anything. I’m not losing my gestures, I’m sure of it, they’re just changing, evolving.
They become something else, but they will always be mine.
Your gestures, Andre, your instincts, I’m sure they are still there, under other guises, but they continue to tell more about yourself than you think.