Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

 E-volver 2020 - Escape

Kristy and Annika evaluating Escape during a social distance work session on Kristy's patio

The instructions to text the phrase 'I want to escape' to an unknown cell phone number has to be the weirdest way in which I have been asked to attend a theatre performance. No further instructions were given aside from a time to send the text message.

At 4:46PM, sitting on the comfy leather loveseat in my living room, I sent the text.

I didn't know what I expected to happen – appliances mysteriously turning themselves on, maybe? – but the sounds around me seemed to amplify as I awaited what came next.

A bird chirping. People talking. My boyfriend starting up a video recording of me.

I didn't jump when I got the first response. But I came pretty darn close.

It was a question.

By the pause and brief comeback after my response, I got the impression I surprised my anonymous texter. Our divergent perspectives on solitude and the concept of space became more apparent as the conversation progressed. It occurred to me that perhaps I wouldn't be so cocky and self-assured if this chat were happening around midnight.

Slithering behind shelves and under beds? Shudder.

At times, I felt like the texter was trying to get under my skin, trying to pull the veil from my eyes to reveal some truth I just wasn't grasping.

Like the texts were trying to drown out the birdsong and humanity to expose me to the pestilential scrabbling in some feared dimension.

Yup, sure glad I had people I trusted around me. Sure glad I was safe at home.

I listened to the final monologue and reflected on exactly why Covid-19 hadn't rocked my world like it has so many others. It isn't just that I haven't lost anyone to this dreadful pandemic or that I know I can pay my rent for the foreseeable future.

It is because my space hasn't been disrupted. My work shifted seamlessly online, all essential services are a block's walk away and I have my boyfriend staying with me for companionship.

My new normal isn't much different from the pre-pandemic days.

I am a pampered soul in these trying times.

So having to engage in a text conversation with an unknown entity for an undefined amount of time and confronting the fact that something as simple as getting a strange text in the middle of the night would throw my secure reality for a loop was a bitter pill to swallow.

Bitter but necessary.


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