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Hussain Ahmed


I lost track of what day it is, but I keep sane by listening to songs that remind me to dance, to keep breathing. It was my resolution to keep my mental force in its strongest flux, because I know it’ll be safer for me to be bored than to be sick – away from home. I spend few hours on phone with my mother, she’s worried each time she watched the news of the increasing Covid-19 cases in the United States, as it is in other parts of the world as well as Nigeria. I assured her again that I would not be leaving my room today, as in the past two months. The last time I was outside my house, it was to buy a treadmill, so I can work out in my apartment at my own accord.


I bought poetry books to keep me company in these difficult days, and I have been reading and grateful that I don’t feel tired of reading or bored, it would have been a disaster if at this crucial time in the history of the world, I do not find the beauty of language enough consolation for this change that shackled us all in lonely cuffs. Even though I have been slow in my reading, that gives me enough time to marvel at the inextinguishable glow of imagination and the perpetual revolution of words.


I have slept so much, it doesn’t bring me rest anymore. I feel tired for closing my eyes and I have tried out different sleeping positions. All of which worked for few days until it falls out to be less enjoyed as the first day I tried it. The world is relying on experiments to survive and I have followed suite with my own sleeping permutations, to maintain my psychological state of mind.


I sleep on my janamaz and today makes it a week since I laid on my bed. I fold my legs as if in prayers in front of my laptop and switch to a Netflix movie I had been watching before I slept off. I read, watch classical movies and dance to my own reflection in the bathroom.


With my distorted sleeping routine, I read through my social media feeds to see if there is an end in sight, but each day, it seems I am living inside a tunnel with the light I seek already behind me. Death was never an end I envisaged for frontline workers or their love ones, it is not the end I seek for anyone that has a heart to love, it is not how I want the end of this war I help to fight in my pajamas.


I am waiting for my fruits to be delivered. I have been blending smoothies in different flavors, I wondered what kept me from such fruity experiments in the past years. I have lost the human touch I much appreciated, but I have found a greater love in language and fruits.

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All images other than author photos and artist artwork ©Matthew Batt 2020