Love in the time of Corona by Kate Ellis

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

It is the absence-and-presence of it that makes me think to Marquez’s novel. Set between 1830 and 1930 during a cholera pandemic, I wonder, will there be a novel for our love in years to come?

A novel about the couple who, during isolation, prompted Facebook community ‘sightings’ as they were pressed up against the window so often.

A novel about the polyamorous who swallowed hard when, again, the number 2 was glorified (how would they choose their pair Scott Morrison when they were a three?).

A novel about the woman who pushed a child out into an uncertain world and wondered if love was enough.

If our love story were told, it would begin with hordes of friends deciding now was the time to set me up. On Messenger… on Whatsapp. And I would laugh at the timing, not realising of course that it was perfect.

For books like ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ remind us that there were whole eras where courting was an elongated period of curiosity and tension, titillation and intrigue. An admiring from afar. A ‘look but don’t touch’.

I have not met you, yet I have noticed since we began talking, ‘things’ have begun to alight with my distanced desire.

Scattered autumnal leaves seem to secure crevices to tease others in.

Incense seems to lick walls and folds and handles and grooves.

And bench tops seem harder than usual

All this talk about loneliness and connection … about our mental health in the time of corona… but in this love story, an opportunity for a penned beginning. We can literally slow- the-fuck-down in a way that allows even the intricacies of steam erupting from a morning kettle to be enough to woo us all back to bed.