My birthday was on June 20. I received several calls and participated in some video calls. In previous years the talks before, during, and after my birthday used to revolve around what I was going to do, what was new, or what plans I had to celebrate. This year, although some of those questions remained (and got laughter and an answer, what am I going to do, nothing, patch up my house for me), many of the conversations quickly reached the affections and thoughts around the quarantine: How do you feel about what’s going on? How are you doing the running of the bulls? What do you think will happen? What is your reflection on quarantine?
It is something that I had been thinking about and that my birthday talks crystallized: In quarantine, my conversations are migrating from the story of actions to the exploration of feelings, to contemplation. The movement of life before quarantine generated inertia that could drive conversations for several minutes without needing to reveal much about the mind or soul and its state in those days. It is not so common to ask what did you do over the weekend? Or what are we going to do tomorrow? Old jokers that gave life to many carefree chats. Without these known resources, we can only feel and think more.
Every night when I sit down with my parents and my siblings to eat, the resource of telling what was done on the day is no longer at hand. It is not that nothing happens, but it is a subject that runs out quickly. Now we have to develop ideas from the stillness, which can be reflections on the quarantine, thoughts on the world that arise in isolation, perhaps, comments on The Sopranos. I feel like Tony sitting in front of Doctor Melfi, forced to stop for a while and explore his anger and his problems with his mother; you can solve it by shouting, neither with willpower nor with money. He throws his tantrum while Doctor Melfi looks at him, sometimes in silence. Both sitting still, with only space for affective contemplation, one that is not easy to reach but that becomes prevalent as the series progresses.
I feel that we have lowered our collective guard, and we are ready to accept what bothers or worries us more easily.
These days, it is as if the quarantine was Doctor Melfi, who, undaunted, looks at me waiting for me to leave the superficial talk and dig further. I don’t feel like he has anger or mother issues, but I do share a bit of Tony’s discomfort when stopping to examine himself. It is difficult for me, but that possibility has come (also through the writing of texts like this one). There is no movement, as in the series when Tony goes to see Melfi, and that little by little leads me to a different thought process (even slightly) than there was before the quarantine.