“Shall I bring Jigsaws? I might be able to fit two in my backpack.”, she asked.
“Perfect, I have some as well. We can exchange!”, I replied.
Little did I know that this naive message exchange would turn out to be one of my worst nightmares. It was mid-June and the measures had relaxed ever so slightly, when my friend Elena texted me to say that she was going on an allowed bike ride. She suggested exchanging puzzles, and so it happened. I got to see her from a distance — mask included — for some limited, yet very much needed, human interaction. We traded puzzles, disinfected them, and parted ways.
She went home with some Harry Potter themed ones that she never completed, because she claimed they were too ugly; she was right… In my defense, when you thought that 2020 couldn’t get worse, the jigsaw industry had boomed and everything else was sold out. My sole option was these three-for-one Harry Potter puzzles.
Alas, my ugly puzzles could not compare to the Rosetta Stone one that I received… Being a type designer, I thought that this would be a doubly geeky activity and couldn’t wait to tackle it as soon as the weekend arrived. She did give me fair warning, but I could not believe how different the actual puzzle was from the picture on the box. So much so, that I could not identify the Ancient Greek part of it despite being Greek myself. Every piece looked so similar that even if it had been flipped on its back side, it wouldn’t have made a difference.
It did cross my mind that since the Rosetta Stone is broken and incomplete by default, not finishing the puzzle wouldn’t be too far from the original concept anyway. But when it comes to puzzles, I am not a quitter. I had to keep going. It took me days to finish and many sleepless nights — much unlike my normal pace. The change in my routine due to the lockdown had deprived me from my usual pet peeves and, therefore, all of my emotions were now dictated by the completion of that puzzle. As if that was not enough, the intruder was also occupying vital space on the very table where I would eat and work all day.
It took two scholars and twenty years to decode one of the most important findings in history — and who knows how long to carve it. And yet I can tell you with certainty that my satisfaction when completing that otherwise insignificant task is something I could at the time not describe.
Once finished, and overwhelmed by the sentiment of achievement, I quickly took a picture and sent it to everyone I knew, only to realise that I was now left with no more jigsaws. The aforementioned nightmare had turned into one of my lockdown highlights and it was now, sadly, over… I packed it back in the box and — being an always optimistic person — went back to cooking, waiting for better days to come…
Bette(r) Days celebrates the things that did not suck in 2020. Each day in December, we’ll be posting about the highlights of our collective garbage fire of a year, type-related or not.