Heart Thief

I have corona. For two years I worked around the lockdowns at school: hundreds of children around me, sometimes even half a class at home sick, and I held on. Until now. Exactly one week before the government ends all measures, I still have to stick to it. That means five days at home. Not that I could teach without a voice and with a cotton wool head.

Now that I'm sick, a lot of things bother me. Coffee? The smell alone makes me nauseous. Fatty food makes me nauseous and sharp flavors like garlic and onion make me break out in a sweat. In the past I sometimes got a groc when I had a cold: boiling water with lemon, honey and a good dash of cognac. But I don't even have to think about that now. Even the thought of a glass of cold white wine doesn't bother me. Yet another reason why alcohol fits in the list of 'unhealthy'. You see, I'm still trying to convince myself, but this reason is weighty and convincing.

Something other than. My intention to get stocks of goodies at home and not (or in moderation) to reach them: succeeded. Although you wouldn't say so, if you look at the photo of the empty bowl. There is only one explanation for this emptiness: Ajax.

I had mastered the self-control to fill that bowl with hearts and take one every now and then: Monday there were two, Tuesday four—always much, much less than the handfuls I'd normally eat. I could do this with my stock until Easter, I thought proudly.

Until Ajax played against Benfica in the eighth final of the Champions League and my youngest son went to watch with three friends. She downstairs, me upstairs, coronaproof. They had beer and chips. I never feared for my bowl, which was far away from the television.

When I came downstairs the next morning, the empty bottles were on the doormat, the caps and empty crisp bags were on the counter next to my bowl. Just brought to the kitchen, though. But empty. Not one heart left, nothing more than a little dust. Or do you blur your boundaries because of alcohol? To ask the question is to answer it.

If I can go to the store again, I'll buy new hearts. And I hide it. Not for myself, this time.


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