Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.
Day One Hundred Seventeen
A restless night, filled with dreams. I wake up tired, wanting to sleep longer but unable to. That has been the way these last days. It feels as though I am on the edge of waking all through the night, my dreams so vivid that I can never quite relax to let them go and submerge deeper into the pools of sleep.
I imagined I was back at the academy. It was bustling with people, everyone on their way to some grand occasion. I went along, though I knew nothing about the celebration, hoping there would be some free food. The crowds grew thicker as we went, crowding in all around, and I turned away in terror.
They always say that when you graduate from the academy it is time to enter the real world. It is a strange conceit, as though you have spent the last four years at some frivolous task in some cosseted place where the hard reality of the world cannot intrude. Certainly there is frivolity, to say nothing of debauchery, but it isn’t as thought that all ceases after graduation, and the world always intrudes no matter how ethereal your concerns.
For me, entering the academy was an opportunity to experience a much wider world than the one I grew up in. At least the world others had that I did not living in small town in the Lost Quarter. I was able to travel far and wide and learned more than I ever realized.
The years before I left for the academy I spent imagining the day it would come, longing to set out on my journey to see the wider world and leave the Quarter behind. How much better it would be. I would meet people whose interests matched mine and see the world. There I would find my place. I did eventually, after many journeys.
The hard thing I learned in the academy though was that the wider world, and the people in it, were no different than they were in the Quarter. We were all dissatisfied, filled with longings we couldn’t express, given to vanity and anger, capable of terrible and great things all at once. The people of the Quarter were as good and kind as any I met, and I was certainly no better than them. No amount of wandering could change that.