The Longest Winter

Day 6 Without Heating

It’s cold. It is really cold. The cold seems to seep through our windows, turning this house into a winter nightmare. It is five degrees right now, as I write these words, and we are still without a proper heating system in our house. I have conducted an audit of the house, and estimate that we have enough wood to last three days, maximum. That is if we destroy all three bookshelves, the tv cabinet and both computer desks. If we are truly desperate, we could get an extra day or two by burning the queen bed. Of course, it won’t come to that. Our real estate agent will be getting back to us any day now, sharing the good news about how we will be getting ducted gas heating. Melbourne gets so cold during the winter. They can’t possibly think we could survive on a wood heater alone. It is simply not possible.

Day 10 Without Heating

Hope is dwindling, like the last remnants of the fire that I imagine in the corner of my bedroom, giving me a warmth that exists only in my mind. Our landlord does not care for our well-being whatsoever. I was a complete and utter fool to think otherwise. If we freeze over and this home becomes an icy mausoleum, she would not care. The rent money would continue to be taken from our account until it runs completely dry. Only then will she bother to give us a second thought, to kick us out of this frozen tomb. Heating and cooling services across Melbourne seem like a distant memory. Help is not coming. We are doomed.

Day 13 Without Heating

My children wept all day, their tears turning to icicles that ran down their cheeks. They asked if we could use the wood fire, but I had to refuse them. June has barely begun. If we use all of our wood now, how will we survive the longest winter? We will not. I must be strong and resist their pleas. 

– From the diary of an exacerbated tenant.