When All Of This Is Over: Of Longing And Loss In A Time of Coronavirus

Photo by John Forson via Unsplash

When all of this is over, I would like to go to a café and order a cappuccino with plant milk. I’d like to wait and listen quietly to the whir of the coffee grinder and enjoy the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans as it fills the air. When the barista hands me my coffee with a smile and says, “Have a nice day,” I’ll smile back as our eyes meet and say, “Thanks, you too!”

When all of this is over, I would like to go for a run in a park and not worry about staying a few meters away from everyone else. When someone runs past me from the opposite direction and we briefly catch each other’s eye to acknowledge a fellow runner, I’ll smile and silently cheer them on, because every runner knows that making it out for each run is a win in itself. I’d like to feel the cool breeze tickling my skin and smell the earthiness of the trees and plants around me.

When all of this is over, I would like to watch the world go by in a crowded space with someone I like beside me. Our fingers intertwined, we’ll be in our own little bubble while in the middle of a crowd. I would like to look deep into this person’s eyes as we share a meal that we didn’t have to cook ourselves. And then I’d like us to disappear together, away from the world, and get lost in hours of touch and taste and skin against skin and lips on skin as we lose track of time.

When all of this is over, I’d like to get a phone call from a friend saying, “Let’s go for dinner. Meet you at 7.30pm?” And without hesitation, I’d say yes and we wouldn’t have to worry about what’s open or where we would eat our takeaway. We’ll pick an old classic maybe. Or a hip new spot. And we’ll talk for ages and enjoy the food and the waiter will joke and laugh with us and the food will be plated beautifully and it won’t be soggy from having been sitting in a delivery box for half an hour. I’ll go out to dinner with a friend, and when they laugh, there won’t be a lag between the moment their lips part and the moment I hear their laughter. I’ll tell them something important and touch their arm while I’m doing so, and they won’t suddenly freeze up and disappear but instead, they will lean in closer to hear what I have to say.

When all of this is over, I would like to look back at this, and remember how it was the memories of all the little things that kept me going: the touch of a hand, the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, the sound of shoes pounding the pavement, and the twinkle in the eyes of someone who loves what they do for a living.

In search of what it means to live, love, and learn well.

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