Last modified on 20th of February 2021

Martin Döring, February 20, 2021

"Outside" is a concept. "Outside" is a demarcation, it means that there must also be an "inside"—and vice versa. I don't think many people realize that.

Because what if there is only the "inside"? I'm sitting on the sofa, behind the double glazing, similar to my notebook display, there's a silenced and rather optical spectacle. But it is meaningless. Because it is not reality. Because in reality there is no outside anymore.

I have been working in home office for many years. I haven't really noticed Corona at all. I know the time before was different, I was outside too—sometimes. But even when I think back to my childhood: The pictures that stuck in my mind are the ones where I spent the night with a friend pushing floppy disks into the Atari, all cracked versions of some games he got back from someone who was also "outside" somehow, that is, not where we were. The more tired we got, the funnier everything became. In the end, we were just laughing. Those are good memories.

I also remember back to my elementary school, I always had to go out in the morning, on the way to school. Then at school we were back inside. And when I was in the schoolyard, there was trouble with Rainer and his gang. I didn't like "outside" even then. I'm more of a peaceful person. "Outside" is not peaceful. "Outside" is unsafe and in some ways unfamiliar. New things happen.

My ex-wife once said that my legs would regress at some point and I wouldn't even notice it. I don't think it will come to that, because I have noticed that a life on the sofa works to a large extent, but there are always one or two things that disturb this good and normal life. Besides, she is my ex-wife now.

Apart from the physical needs, however, there are always incidents that make life on the sofa seem less than perfect. For example, things break. And then when the package deliverer brings a replacement, I have to go to the door and take the things. Nowadays, it's often the case that the they put the parcels in front of the door and keep distance. I actually don't think that's a bad thing.

My wife shops and also drives to work. Therefore, I know that there is an "outside". But it's different if you experience it yourself or if you only hear about it. If, like me, you only hear about it, it doesn't mean anything in the end.

My wife also is sometimes in the garden. She does things like cutting trees and so on. Today she said that the first mosquitoes were in the garden. I hate mosquitoes. As a child, I even had an allergy to mosquitoes. When one would bite me on the arm, it would swell up like it was my leg. So my leg today, not back then. Because back then there wasn't much difference, my legs looked like toothpicks. I'm glad she likes to be outside.

Sometimes, in the morning at a certain time, the sun shines in from outside so that I close the curtains, otherwise it just reflects too much on the screen. My wife then says that I don't get enough daylight, because of vitamin D and such. But that's why I have all the pills she always gives me. So, somehow she contradicts herself.

My wife also does gymnastic workouts. I always watch and think, thank goodness I don't need that. Because with me it's always the case that it hurts me afterwards when I do something like that and not the other way around.

I've always thought, what is reality? If I see a game's artificial world on my display, is that world less real than the world outside? Once I'm on my deathbed (inside), are boring walks through spruce pole forests somehow worth more than my experiences in a video game? No, I'm already aware of the difference, don't worry. But it is a question that can be asked, isn't it?

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