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Corona Heat Wave

Corona Heat Wave

The intelligent lockdown
Forced us to reinvent our home.
And ourselves in it.
We’ve always been grateful for where we live,
Fortunate.
Cosmopolitan Amsterdam, the edge of De Jordaan.
Thanks to Corona,
It transformed our home into an “all in one space”.
And us into people we didn’t recognise.

Living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom
Office for two,
Dog kennel,
Gym,
Yoga studio,
Meditation chamber,
Roof terrace
Edible garden
Music room,
Photography studio,
Newsroom
Event space,
Celebration hall,
Research office,
Restaurant,
Experimental culinary laboratory,
Insulated argument stadium,
Silent war containment vestibule,
Suppressed sadness space,
Theatre of stolen moments of joy,

And during the heat wave: A furnace.
Fourth floor, well insulated,
No breeze
The heat intensifies in the space
Rising from the apartments below
And baking under the cloudless summer sky
A suffocating, asphyxiating layer
On top of the already pressure cooked living quarters.

We found ourselves consuming more news than we could ever imagine
The latest developments, statistics, theories, comparisons
Endless newsfeeds
Opinions, perspectives, arguments
Arming ourselves with as much knowledge as possible
Hoping that knowledge would be our protector
Our armour, our strength.

When the relentless heat of seemingly endless groundhog days
Turned our bedroom into an unforgiving hearth
We moved a mattress to our postage stamp terrace
It just fitted.
There was something romantic about sleeping under the stars
In the city
It’s glow still present on the horizon
It’s din, dimmed.
Claiming this space also
Calming it
Converting it to a new use
All the while
Continuing to feed
Our ferocious appetite for news
Under the stars.

I lost my father during corona
On the other side of the world
Ever evolving infection rates,
Ever changing regulations, rules, laws
Across borders
Across continents
The selfish behaviour of non-rule abiders
Virus deniers
Meant daily changing requirements to be met
Visas to be applied for
Exemptions to be gained
Hoops to be jumped through
Legally of course
Further adding to our obsessive consumption of information
Driven by the desperate hope
To make it back
To pay my respects
To be with my mum
To have some sort of closure
To give thanks
To grieve
Corona still hasn’t let me.

door Charles Cassar


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met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West