I came to Phuket with the intention of writing. I will get to that fact in a moment. Last night I walked down the hill to the local town. The sun was setting as I commenced my stroll. As twilight emerged, the fairy light bars illuminated into life. Then the resonance of the enveloping darkness known from my days of living in Hong Kong. Asia was almost tempting once again, but the lure of the night time life lasted for no more than a flickering moment. My time of night time abandonment is behind me, so much so that with dinner over I sat in a bar and sipped two Sprites. Surveying the night time scene, I could recall with next to no effort the days that had been and will likely be no more. No more. Never say never. Statistically there is a reasonable chance of my having a relapse. But for now all is well. Well. Well, in truth, I have omitted to mention a part of the evening, a harmless and not consummated experiment that served to let me know that I am no longer desirous of the supposed delights of my previous life. Thus, the past is, shall we say, in abeyance and the present is a limbo land where I know not what I want. No, that is not entirely true. I know that I want to write.
My writing. I recently self-published my third book. A strange enough work as is the case with my previous two books. That point aside, there was a constant literary refrain in the finalized version. The refrain. That I would carve out a space of creative fecundity. Empty out my life so that I might “concentrate” on my words. And so it is. Details aside, for they do not merit mention, I am alone in my life. I have defined the nature of my days. No partner. No friends. No one in my immediate ambit. And as for the social element of my days. I interact with people whom I keep at a distance. They exist on the fringes of my days. People who serve a purpose. For it remains the case that one cannot exist in a totally isolated state. Or at least, I cannot exist in a totally isolated state. And so I have established my days such that there is minimal and managed contact with the outside world. Someone in the gym for the occasional conversation. Café girls for moments of banter. A massage once a month for the physicality of touch.
Some would speak of the illusion of control. Saying that it is delusion to believe that one might manage one’s life in that way. But are we not capable of thinking ahead of acting? Can we not make decisions and see out the consequences. Certainly we cannot control everything. That idea is absurd. But we can exercise our will in a certain direction. And we can make judgements concerning whether the direction that we intended was realized. It is another and entirely different question whether the controlled life is one worth living, whether such a life has value. More exactly it is a different question whether such a life is “ultimately” worth living. After all, there are other ways of being in the world and perhaps these alternatives would lead to greater . . . greater what? Happiness, fulfilment, meaning, purpose? I know not for I continue to live in my mind. I occupy a mental space.
The previous musing have been somewhat abstract but it strikes me now that I will not have to adapt my life in any way to reduce my threat of contracting the Covid-19 virus. The reason for this is quite simple. I lead an almost completely isolated life and such a life means that I will very likely not be in contact with anyone who might have the virus. This fact is true even as I holiday in Phuket because, on balance, I am spending the vast majority of my time on my own. When I do venture out, I am careful to maintain my distance from people and I have an alcohol based hand sanitizer which I use just about every time that I have to touch something. My risk factor will reduce significantly when I return to Australia because I will be out in the world to a much lesser degree and I will follow the same distancing practices and the same hygiene practices. So, overall, I find that I am simply not concerned about the virus.
First Published February 29th, 2020