Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Missive from Andalusia II

River Salado, Conil de la Frontera. Photo: Bryan Hemming

You wake up in the middle of a nightmare only to realise you’re living in one. Suddenly, you’re part of the crisis that’s been playing out on TV and social media for the past few months. Up to that point, you’ve been viewing it as little more than a disaster movie. However real the anxiety and concern you experienced, you were still just a member of the audience. Without anyone asking, now you’re a reluctant bit player in a film noir production that’s bound to end badly. One of those anonymous grey extras you’ve been watching on news bulletins each morning, hurrying across a deserted town square in desperate search of a mask, or the last toilet roll, as a flap of grey pigeons launch into the sky. When did my memory morph into monochrome? You’re wondering if you’ll be in the last reel. You want to be one the survivors. You need a look at tomorrow’s script in advance, to see if you reach home before the invisible zombies get you. It’s not nearly as thrilling as the Hollywood version. The fear is tangible but nowhere near overwhelming. The knowledge you can’t get out up from your seat and leave, gnaws at your intestines, rather than grabs you by the throat. All the time you tell yourself,  I have to get used to it.

Angelica and I didn’t panic when it was decreed that the art market would be closed till March 30th. When news of home confinement came, neither of us plunged into the depths of depression we easily might have. Even though it was on a completely different level, artists get used to masking their true feelings at hearing bad news. Your heart sliding to the pit of  your stomach is part of the job description. If anything, a sort of numbness took hold, an absence of real emotion, as our minds struggled to come to terms with things like the vastly increased possibility of dying before we won the lottery, and the reality of the nation having been transformed into virtual police state with the wave of a government truncheon.

Gradually, as we were made more and more aware of the strict measures that were being taken, a fluffy blanket of false security enveloped us in its warmth. Nevertheless, however nicely they tried to frame it, the stark reality soon dawned that our governments were leaving us to fend for ourselves. The bit they left out is why. Allow me to fill it in. What it boils down to is that they completely forgot to factor into account all too predictable crises. You have to understand that there are far more important considerations to prioritise than setting aside provisions for the great unwashed. After all, we’re talking about something that may never happen. Okay, in this case it did. But you have to stop thinking about yourself all the time and look at it from their point of view. For instance, who would prop up failed banks time and time again, or haemorrhage taxpayer’s cash into crashing global stock markets, if they didn’t do it? And does it ever occur to you who else would bomb poverty-stricken nations into the dirt to access their mineral resources if western governments didn’t help each other to do it? I can go on. It all costs money. To put it more simply, there’s no pie left, we thought you’d all eaten.

6 comments on “Missive from Andalusia II

  1. Nil
    March 23, 2020

    It’s happening all over the world… in more or less the same way… and most of all, it leaves me looking with wondering eyes how I came to wake up in one of the SF books I loved to read in my younger days… Reading was more fun than living it, I must say…


  2. eremophila
    March 17, 2020

    Thank you Bryan for your sane words. It’s madness over here, city rats invading country towns to buy up supermarket items from smaller outlets. Leaving nothing for locals.
    State of emergency declared in Victoria, unprecedented.
    And I’ll not be surprised if curfews come next, then martial law. Madness.
    My planned upgrade to my camper will be completed this week, then I’m off to the forest to enjoy HER company.


    • Bryan Hemming
      March 18, 2020

      Enjoying the company of the forest sounds like something I’d like to do right now. The regime of home confinement in Spain is virtually a curfew, as we are only allowed to go out shopping for necessities. Going to the forest should be regarded as necessity for good health, but too much time in the city clogs up the brains of the people that rule us. In fact, as the security forces get tougher, it is martial law in all but name.

      Liked by 1 person

      • eremophila
        March 19, 2020

        Yes, it hasn’t happened here yet, but yet…….
        I was horrified to hear a bloke on the radio this week saying he wants the government to bring in controls on shopping, ie, only every second day on a roster system…. etc. ASKING for more governmental control! Beware of what we ask for, even if it seems the right thing at the time…..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. eremophila
    March 17, 2020

    Reblogged this on Eremophila's Musings and commented:
    Bravo to Bryan for his eloquence!


  4. auntyuta
    March 17, 2020

    Reblogged this on AuntyUta.


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This entry was posted on March 17, 2020 by in Articles, Journalism, Satire.

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