A man experienced a profound physical and emotional connection with another living thing for the first time in nearly two months after stepping on a slug in the middle of the night.
People who live on their own are finding lockdown particularly tough. Simon Williams is a thirty-five-year-old singleton who chose not to decamp to his parents’ place before lockdown came into effect.
“I thought it would only be for a couple of weeks,” he said. “I decided that being alone for a short while would be far better than being waterboarded with cups of tea and being restricted to BBC 1 and ITV 1 because my folks aren’t aware that other channels exist.
“But after a month I began to miss the small things. A hand on the shoulder, a kiss goodnight, to hear my father laugh in real life rather than through a tinny computer speaker.
“Once a week my sister and niece would pop around and stand at the bottom of the driveway to say hello but it was painful not to be able to give them a cuddle.
“I began to feel deeply alone. I craved physical contact – a simple handshake, a hug, even for big sis to flick my earlobe like she did when we were kids.
“But then last night something quite profound happened.
“I awoke at half three, my throat dry. I stumbled to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water and then… I stepped on something cold and slimy.
“It was a slug. By any normal standards, a disgusting little slug who had no business being in my house.
“But as my bare foot connected with its body in a spray of mucus my sense of isolation vanished. I was not alone; I was part of a wondrous tapestry of living things and we would get through this together. Life would go on.
“For the first time in weeks, there was a smile on my face as I crushed the slug in some kitchen roll and threw it in the bin.
“Hey, it was in my kitchen after all…”