I hear my elderly neighbours arguing. They never argue, and I think about the new pressures people are under.
Humans are adaptable, apparently, yet I’ve known expats to travel across Tokyo to buy baked beans. Rigid, resolute, recreating familiarity against all odds. Change takes time.
Time we don’t have. Rules that keep changing. A threat that’s all-consuming.
The voices next door stop. Initial relief that I’m trespassing on their lives, gives way to a different relief: hearing them means they are there, they are well, they are alive, and I shock myself at how quickly my thought process has changed.
Laura Besley writes short fiction, which given the current situation is useful. Her latest hobby is homeschooling, something she’s not sure she’ll ever master. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets @laurabesley.