quarantine diary

April 05, 2020

a university student in the spring of 2020

by celia glastris

 

I go to school in Boston. 

I am in love with someone in Chicago.-



 

Today is April 5th, 2020:

Now I go to college at home, where I am from in Winnetka, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. 11 miles away from the person I am in love with.

 

My mom’s sewing business is making masks for doctors, she has a hard time sleeping at night knowing she’s sending her employees to work.  My dad’s restaurant is changing its business plan to cater to online delivery apps. I am writing a research paper. On Tuesday in my Zoom class we will have peer reviews. Every night at 7pm my family has dinner together. It disrupts my workflow and also my sister’s who is in med school. She is very patient with her professors right now because they are busy. Mom and Dad turn 60 on April 16th (yes they have the same birthday). 

 

In Boston, we FaceTimed several times a day. I kept a list of things on my phone we fantasized about doing once I was home. Little things like being aggressively queer together in public. 

 

Ha!

 

Nothing about our situation has changed except proximity and danger 



 

Meaning sometimes I bargain with myself: -- 

 

Bargain—

Wow-- what a sad word.

 

A google search

:

(Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

 

Is this grief?





 


 

Our god hates you and me



 

It’s hard to assess the situation: when I do-- I feel loss.

 

Consider for a moment,

the feeling of loss-- 

it’s absence, taking over your body, so that nothing else may reside.






 

Instead of thinking, I follow the state’s orders--

It makes life simpler

I write my research paper,  and go to my virtual drawing class(?) and stay inside

That’s what the power of control does sometimes, people need to follow rules.  

People like me need to be taken control of.



 

I think I live in manufactured oblivion:

to keep from on one side, 

  • reaching a state of total depression

    • One that I may be indulging in as I write this;

and on the other 

  • Mania.

    • My mom’s friend Roxanne told her to vacuum the dogs, I think that’s what the sound coming from downstairs is. 


















 

In the moments like now that I sober up--  

for a moment I feel like I have agency again, 

I “could” leave my house to see it. 









 

  • the bargaining stage




















 

No. I’m supposed to stay away from you. 


 

The same response I came to, with a comfortable numbness that I built for myself the last time I had one of these sober headed moments,

 

I retreat back into the chosen oblivion.

 

First I feel----

 

I-











 

;


 

It’s like showering with my clothes on.

Stillness in the ordinary. 

Jeans t shirt underwear. Regular. 

The water falls onto skin as well as fabric, because that’s how nature and physics work–– obviously. 




 

Oddly the whole world feels like this 

 

Loneliness solitude disbelief, collectively




 

Still (this time meaning regardless)

 

I sleep alone, just like all the other nights before the pandemic that I’ve loved you.  

Tue

April 14, 2020

i took a break when i finished writing another essay and

 

 went on a walk to the lake

to remember that I was alive

which is sort of a joke but it's not and we all know that

a man was on a walk too

hands in his pockets

looking up at the sky and the trees


is he going to the secret spot

 

it's paved now

ok I'll give him a moment with the water

let's walk up the ravines

should i cross the street ?

ok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'

"And I've found a pretty good way to put you into my schedule tbh'

Haha react

you're laughing at me

no i think it's funny

that I'm scheduled

wow

i spent so much time here

i can't wait to take you

i should put the mask on

7:23 pm

more people pull up to the secret spot

"Dinner time at 7:30"

you're in pain

i need to interview more artists for another essay

ok

Wed

April 15, 2020

Things I have done in this room:

  • Played dress up

  • Played with my barbies

  • Made friends playing barbies:

    • Kenzie

    • Alice

    • Ella

  • Became friends with the lesbians in my hometown:

    • Kenzie

    • Alice

    • Ella 

  • Played connect four with Kyle Bertram

  • Learned Spanish at 2

  • Learned Spanish at 15

  • Played on an apple computer one of those blob ones. The apples

  • Made the dolls scissor

  • Played I mean wrote a paper on the phonological loop 

  • Doodled with crayons

  • Doodled while writing a paper on the phonological loop

  • Procrastinated

  • Zoom classes

  • Georgia is in med school studying in here too for the United States Medical Licensing Examination 

  • we are surrounded by dr. Seuss books

  • My step stool is gay

  • When I was younger it was rainbow but now I come home and it is gay

  • There are three stools:

    • Celia

    • Georgia

    • Carina

  • Those are the stools

  • The stools say our names

  • The letters in the names are blocks

  • You can pull them out

  • The letters you can pull out are different colors

  • they are in the shape of a rainbow

  • \

  • zoom lectures:

  • I have to move my screen so you don’t see the gay blocks

  • I doodle during the zoom lectures

  • Afterwards I write

  • I write in this room

  • That’s something I do in this room

  • I make up with an old best friend in this room

  • I cry over her Spotify playlist in this room

  • I write poetry in this room

  • I make art in this room

  • I do the statistics wrong

  • I flirt

  • Text

  • Tinder

  • Cy

  • I love cy in this room

  • We watch cartoons

  • ask for help from the school

  • consider pass fail

  • take statistics quiz

  • why do I have an A in statistics

  • took too much Adderall 

  • wrote a paper on techno

  • therapy session

  • play dress up

  • play dress up

  • play with dolls

  • play with dolls

Thu

April 16, 2020

i shared my screen with my therapist to explain what i did yesterday

my mind was all over the place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My hair has grown so long. It's ridiculous. 

The whole point of this haircut was to look like myself. 

It doesn't sit right in any way. 

I sort of want to grow it out to see what happens,

but it makes me feel like I'm just waiting.

Like this time isn't valid.

Doesn't count. 

It's weird because in some ways I've never felt more like a guy with this untamed hair, and yet for the first time since I was 16 it can be put up into a real ponytail. 

On a similar subject, I'm growing my nails out.

 

We will (we were going to) wait fourteen days. Then when it (was going to be )safe clip (we were going to) clip them off   together . Again, another part of myself,

something we choose

to manicure to play a part,

 

what's the point. I mean it doesn't feel as good for me.

 

But it doesn't matter. Except I can barely type. 

Extraneous body things that grow tell time.

I will return to this after I write another essay. 

And when Celia feels up for it. 

Tue

April 21, 2020

Tue

April 21, 2020

Took this on Saturday.

I look like the fucking prince from Shrek

Oh my god

tell me to my face you think I look like a girl with this long hair

Thu

April 23, 2020

I've been writing so much I've been so stressed out. I started playing Stardew it helps!

Finally writing the paper on ethics of performance and a call for a reform in its practice and education. I don't like the draft that I wrote so I have to do it again. Here's the best sentence that I wrote: which is sad because it's not that good:

It is tragic and shameful how fitting this event is as an allegory for the current nature of performance art as a medium.

 

I can't explain what I am talking about because I don't want to disclose personal accounts of art I have seen quite yet without careful consideration, but do you see how that sentence is weirdly structured? It could be edited down,

how fitting this event is as an allegory for the current nature

that could probably be said in like one word

vom

oh writing.

you torture me! :)

 

Tue

April 29, 2020

Zoom Interview

 

Artist: Sophia Isidore

University: NYU

Location: Brooklyn

Pronouns: She/her

Zoom Interview

 

Artist: Alberto Checa

University: Study Abroad

Central Saint Martins

(School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts)

Location: Miami

Pronouns: He/him

so much time passed

update

/i finished the semester

/moved into my new apartment in boston

/people disappointed me

/still can't see the person i am in love with

/sent a pitch to a magazine

-> no response

/tried to understand what is happening in the economic art crisis with the art world 

-> art podcasts

-> close social media viewing

 

 

 

 

/didn't write

/didn't workout

\dread

/George Floyd was murdered

/riots started

/ my dads greek restaurant was spared

/ the tip jar remained untouched

-> i told him its because it said 'tips for our workers' 

/he condemns the looters and loves Biden and Amy kobuchar

 


 

/optical allyship is wearing me out 

why do i write

Month of May and Half of June:

 

 stopped writing

Sun

June 14 2020

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

Thu

Jun 18, 2020

Since I haven't really been writing, I have decided to make a list of the things I want to write about

or that I am going to write about :

'propositions'

Fri

July 31, 2020

I stopped studying for the GRE. I don't want to go to an institution that gatekeeps knowledge with a standardized test.

It's hard to be at my house. 

i feel plagued by a necessity to be doing

to further my success

i feel like shit because i don't feel like im doing enough

Mon

Sep 28, 2020

Fri

July 31, 2020

Tue

Sep 29, 2020

I am this chair

 

The peripheries of my self extend out into the wood grain of this table and the cold softness of this wall.

 

I am safe and I am alone. I am safe and I am alone I am safe and I am alone. 

 

Monday: I am safe and I am alone is repeated to keep myself from sinking

 

Tuesday: It is realized and my nose scrunches. The fan spins above me and I feel my skin and the air that is also me. 

 

Wednesday today it is written to try to appease the lump that grows when I can’t explain myself. I spin in my office chair next to the pile of unfinished work. My poetry is divorced from my essays and my drawings are separate from my words. 

Thursday: My email results come back: COVID-19 NEGATIVE.

 

Friday: fuck your mantras I want to go home back to Chicago

I want to be loved and I want to touch skin. 

 

How can the fan be so loud no one is here 

It spins I stare.

 

 

This is how things work and this is what things do.

Fans make rooms colder and I dissociate. 

 

Saturday: no more truisms. I wake up and instead while I brush my teeth I look at myself in the mirror and stare at my eyebrows. 

Zoom is getting to me. 

Sunday: I am invited to drink a beer at my friends' fire pit

 

which would mean temporarily cutting the umbilical cord. stop bickering with the fan who never meant any harm say goodbye to the plants which offer kind nods while I write leave the mirror that is as honest as a 4chan bulletin board bring the mask on the front table and try to remember how to have small talk.

 

my hand cold from the beer as frozen as my right angle elbow posture and eyes trying to make out a smile and sentence to the crowd of people engaging in conversation.

 

i think i might rather the company of the mirror than the beer to re-enter the process of friendship that is thorny for two

not one. 

Wed

Sep 30, 2020

The sandwiches my dad packed for my road trip from chicago back to boston have been in my fridgerater for a month

I didnt want to eat them but I didnt want to get rid of them

They’re whole wheat and turkey and probably some mayonnaise and mustard and that’s fine but it’s also gross and you know what I mean

I’ve kept space for the plastic bag of turkey sandwiches for over a month now 

 

Now its time

I am going to take them out of the plastic

thats part of why I didnt ever take them out of the fridge they’re in these plastic bags and if I were to throw them out I would have to take the sandwiches out of the plastic bags

So they stayed in the fridge for a month

 

Im proud of myself

They’re in the trash now

 

 

Ive been meaning to join this compost club 

They dropped off a flyer at my front door

There’s been so much mail and trash and recycling and cardboard and things that aren’t trash that look like trash that I have to keep track of so the house isn’t clean because there’s all these little things that cant be thrown out because they’re reminders of things that I need to do that im afraid to commence 

The kind hello to the new neighbor who is welcomed into the compost club is one of them

You get a black bin and they come by every week and pick up your compost and I have aaall this veggie leftovers that started to smell a bit because I wanted to check a box and put it in my mailbox but ive had so many things to do and every time I see that note its somewhere I wouldn’t expect it matter of fact I have no idea where it is now 

 

I would’ve wanted to put the sandwich in the compost bin that they’d give me and be part of their club

And the radishes 

But then the house would never be clean so these radishes are going in the trash

Baby steps

 

Ive been meaning to email my professors from central saint martins

John Seth deserves to know I appreciated his time 

I need to get to that

Its just that ive wanted to make a big statement and every day that goes by makes it clearer to me that a simple email isn’t enough. I need to write a better email to explain how I feel and to give thanks

Now its been a year and I never said goodbye 

 

 

Today I am proud of throwing out the sandwiches in the refrigerator and making space for the fresh produce that I have allowed into my home

That is enough

John Seth is for another time I am proud that I threw the turkey sandwiches away