At six o’clock in the evening, I realized that I had not spoken out loud the entire day. My voice didn’t make an appearance until I had to start teaching English that night.
How strange, to not speak all day. That would be so hard to do on any normal given day, but now it almost went unnoticed. Buried in my quarantine apartment beneath a pile of books and scribbled notes, sending messages on my phone, I almost forgot what my voice sounded like.
As much as I enjoy my solidarity, I was desperate to escape for a breath of fresh air, even if only for a few minutes. Feeling as if I was getting kitted up for a movie scene to rob a bank, I grabbed my bag, put on my mask, and slid out the door.
I maneuvered my way down some smaller back alleys, trying to avoid running into other people. Just beyond the silhouetted trees I could see flashes of color luring my eyes: the sunset! Teaching English online every night makes it impossible to catch it in time, but this was my one evening off and I was determined to watch the sun go down.
There’s something enjoyable about this new quarantine lifestyle. If I were to go and watch the sunset alone before, people might have thought I was lonely, or that it was a bit sad to see a young girl by herself watching the sun go down, which is more of a romantic thing you do on a date.
This quarantine has given me a good excuse to enjoy time by myself. If I’m seen alone, people will think I’m just being careful! I’ve always really enjoyed my alone time, heck, I need it! Now, as I step from the hard cement to the soft sand, I can enjoy the peace that comes from having your own space.
Just slipping behind the horizon, the sky so clear you can see where the sun touches the water. The water is a turquoise blue I’ve never seen here and the sky a contrast of fiery orange. I can sit in silence with my thoughts, not having to entertain conversation. Just here with myself, enjoying the moment, noticing the sounds and the smells and the sights around me.
There are other people out on the beach, too, also desperate to soak up the last slivers of sunlight. Still, I can’t help but feel this is my own little secret. A treat for myself. Quarantine has helped me realize the things I like to do, and to actually act on those desires and do them. In a way, the sunsets are like a present to myself.
Now that we have nothing but time, think about it. What do you like doing? What makes you happy? If it’s possible, go and do it. Find your sneaky quarantine sunset.