Summer Senses

Katrina Burge

There’s the nod of the strangers I pass who have now become partners in solidarity—our smiles hidden behind our masks. There’s the creek I sit at and watch the dips and ripples along the water as it passes through the obstacle course of rocks and logs, contorting and concaving around them, until bending around the corner and out of sight.

There’s the person who plays flute everyday somewhere in my apartment complex. Sometimes I sit and listen to it; transfixed. Sometimes I shut my window. There are the screams of kids playing and bicycle bells ringing and construction workers building. These are the lockdown sounds I’ve come to know.

The smell of the fish and chip shop next door, finally reopened after months of boarded up windows and dust collected on the ‘for sale’ sign out front. The smell of petrol and food that wafts down from Lygon Street. Of the sun, warming the grass in the park across the road where there are finally people playing in again. It smells like summer, but not a normal summer.

There’s the coolness of alcohol that I pour down my throat after a long day sitting at home staring at Collaborate Ultra and longing to be outside. Of the cake that I brought myself for a birthday spent in isolation.

There’s the warmth of the sun on my back as I finally venture out to catch the last of its rays. Of my friend’s elbow against mine as we ‘Corona handshake’ before our picnic in the park. The feelings of decompression, of despair, of happiness, of sadness and joy and loneliness and fulfillment and every other emotion that gets mixed up in this strange new world we’re living in.

But mostly, there’s the feeling of hope. Summer is here, and this time there’s new senses.

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