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

IMG_5018 2.PNG
IMG_5019.PNG

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

this is a photo of this space.jpg

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

IMG_5599_edited.jpg

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

These were for an article I wrote on art students during the pandemic. I never really finished it but it might give some context.

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

IMG_8890..HEIC

Month of May and Half of June:

 

stopped writing

i'd rather be drunk but at least im alive 

rain on me rain rain 

rain on me rain rain

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

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 4.42.45 PM.png

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 I'm alive

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

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 11.50.44 AM.pn

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

IMG_1451.jpg

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 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.

 

the essays are in a stack but i can't find the drawings or poems

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

 

Friday: fuck your truisms 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       

                                      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 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 from house. stop bickering with fan who never meant any harm say goodbye to plants which offer kind nods while I write leave mirror that is as honest as a 4chan bulletin board bring 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 mirror than 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

Nov 11,

2020

ART LETTING DIE AND TELLING STORIES OF LIFE

clip:

Ever since Art Basel Hong Kong canceled in February because of the coronavirus, art journalism nonstop revolved around the pandemic. The blue-chip galleries fled Manhattan following the wealthy to the Hamptons, while hundreds that couldn’t pay rent closed for good. Museums laid off almost half their employees, most of which were BIPOC, and deaccessioned art to ‘maintain the collection.’ In other words, because the coronavirus became the central problem of 2020, mass death has become a problem of capital for the ‘Art World.’


During the beginning of lockdown, I was in a state of shock and denial over the field I just entered. I was confused and could not fully comprehend how much necropolitics (as Judith Butler recently discussed), or how some may live and some must be allowed to die, is a major driving force of the art economy and my so called ‘community.’

ESSAY UNDER EDITING PROCESS

crip time

queer time

ZOOM TIME

Q TIME

Dec 5, 2020

IMG_4380.heic

Jan 23,

2021

We are packing me up so I can go back to Boston.
We're living in my parents' basement together now because it's still the pandemic. Joe Biden was elected into office three days ago 

and

there were people that stormed the capitol on

January 6, 2021

we wonder how the day will be historicized.

Will it be like Pearl Harbor? 9/11?

I've seen some Instagram posts say 1/6/21 and CNN has a man with a deep and campy masc voice say ~THE CAPITOL INSURRECTION~. So i guess it could be either. But probably the capitol insurrection.

That day I finished writing an article on an old friend. It was the first piece published in the style of intimate art writing. Maybe my favorite style. Something I hope to have the ability to keep doing. I was happy. 

We were at their apartment because I was basically couch surfing from January 1st-January 6th so that I could see Cy on New Years' without harming my parents. 

 

Cy's mother texted them.

"Check the news"

    as I finished writing in between little moments,

you know when you take a moment and you look at the computer for a different reason than to do what you are supposed to, we looked up "news" on google.

CAPITOL STORMED BY ALT-RIGHT TRUMP FOLLOWERS 

probably said something like that. 

Cnn.com let's you watch some of the news that's on cable for free. We watched the insurrection on my laptop in low resolution with a CNN watermark. 

After a while we packed up out of Cy's apartment and drove back to my house in the suburbs because my parents were leaving town for a bit and we would have the house to ourselves. We were listening to the news of the Insurrection on the radio of my sisters' VW Bug that I was borrowing. Cy said it was funny, that it felt old-timey getting news from the radio.

I accidentally drove in the opposite direction towards Wisconsin because we got so distracted. I guess that makes no sense since my house is north. We must've been grabbing something from Cy's house or something. 

IN THE SUBURBS:

Since living at my family's house we have had CNN on nonstop. 

It's sort of odd, maybe uncanny? Funny? Two leftists relying on CNN to provide the news. I almost feel as if my beliefs have neutralized as I giggle at Don Lemon's jokes. 

I finished applying to my final graduate school application to Arts Politics program at NYU. I want to study necropolitics and its relationship to art and disability studies as well as work on developing an ethical form of history telling in conversation with the historiography of art and as I wrote Cy was in the kitchen watching CNN. I was in a room just a little away, it's called the sunroom. You can hear the tv from it but I like white noise.

Do you think everyone thinks they are living through history? Like everyone alive is like this generation is significant. 

like every day we wake up and drink our coffee and do the little mannerisms we all have that we've grown up with mine is i like to twist a rubberband around my finger and eat our meals. sweet somethings like caution the cat and cy playing with the kitten wand and catnip and cy on the bed when i walk downstairs and they look up at me exists synchronously with the proud boys and qanon gaining national strength and the political leadership changes from donald trump to joe biden and kamala harris 

I feel like I have as little trust in the media at times as the people that stormed the capitol. Just completely different reasons. Not I-- we. I don't really know anyone in my circle of friends who watches CNN. 

Feb 10

2021

Kamala-harris-call-to-joe-biden160480573

I just picked up my Lexapro at CVS in Davis Square.

I park in the specific spot, this street that’s on the periphery of the square.               I was reminded of the time that I visited Davis Square to get my prescriptions    I think or maybe it was something to eat

    anyways I was reminded of the time I visited Davis Square on

 

the night that Joe Biden won the election

 

or another words the night that Trump was no longer going to be the President of the United States.

 

On that night in the Square people were dancing there was a music I hadn’t seen the city ever I guess the town of Somerville look so excited in years. Since maybe the beginning of my time here at Tufts. The first year, freshman year.

 

 

I am writing this as I drive using Siri I don’t know if it’s transcribing the way that I want it to. Anyways I played music as I drove through the Square,

 

I lost

 

myself a little bit and my values that night 

 

I was excited we all were we were happy to have we were happy to have Donald Trump be defeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t know if it was OK for me to be excited.

 

But honestly for a little bit I just let it go

 

 

 

anyways I was driving and I let down my windows and I played music

 

 

I had on today was a goody day or something I was just listening to it      but then people liked it so I turn the music up in my prius. A

 

 

nd then I looked on Biden‘s Spotify playlist and I put on another song because people were so happy with the other one and it ended up being we are the champions which was aggressive some man looked at me with a strange confused look and I realize later on that Trump was using that song to you to clarify that Trump was one and not the others and not Biden so maybe he thought that I was a Trump fan.

 

Anyways on that night after going through and seeing so much joy---

 

 

 

 

well I guess there’s more to the story I got out of the car and took a video and you know Woods wasn’t just in the car I experienced the square I was outside with my mascon with the mask people there was there was a band trombones trumpets people people dancing like I said

 

 

and then when I got back in my car and decided to go home I encountered the animal in emergency

 

 

I say

When I decided to go home I put on I love dick by Chris Kraus in my ox speakers

And as I was driving down that little street that reminded me of this story as I started it today I saw the flashings of a police car or several of them and I was like of course and then I saw an emergency vehicle and some person some person being wheeled into the the truck. 

 

 

And so that’s pretty much what 2020 is you know

what the hell came over me to think anything would change

Feb 19-20

2021

Mar 1

2021

Mar 3

2021

i get pop songs stuck in my head a lot

i often wonder where its coming from

is it when im dissociating or is it when im having racing thoughts

i don't know if it's a good thing or not that i get these recurrent songs

usually it's just one part

but the one that really sticks with me is LCD Soundsystem's

"Someone Great"

but just this part:

and it keeps coming

and it keeps coming 

and it keeps coming 

till the day

it stops

and it keeps coming

and it keeps coming

and it keeps coming

till the day it stops

Mar 16

2021

i think I will use this piece in a future book

but I wrote this today 

and its still the pandemic

the book is called моладетц and the piece i wrote today would be in the section titled 'SPIRALS'

Mar 18

2021

today i procrastinated by trying to learn about privatized healthcare because an Instagram ad came up on my feed for an alternative to adderall. and then I took a break and cleaned my room and listened to the body keeps its score.

you are now entering

a

mixed state

Apr 1

2021

yesterday i told my family i am a they them so April 1, 2021 is officially a holiday. 

also I was recently diagnosed with OCD. Like actually diagnosed. It's been nice noticing where it manifests.

goodbye to the total closeness i knew with you 

before polyamory

I'm reserving this space to cry alone 

for when you hurt me 

and I don't know

if its wrong or not

so

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we talked about some things about someone else while I was in class and I found myself drawing nooses on my notes

goodbye

to the you who will 

be there

for me

I can never know what you're doing

|          |
|          |
|          | 
|          |

|_____|

1

|          |
|          |
|          | 
|          |

|_____|

do you k

now if  r

uby and

star are 

friends

 

|          |
|          |
|          | 
|          |

|_____|

tinder m

esssag

i dont

want to

I adopted a cat yesterday

and the first thing I ever went to therapy for was

shoes

alices shoes

my shoes

the blue shoes

the blue shoes

I grew out of them

and I 

my mom?

gave them to alice

alice's mom?

and when I wanted them back I couldn't have them

today I am watching broad city and

ilana is going with abbi to pick up an ac

and I forget why

but she says that mothers that give up their baby for adoption should be able to get their baby again whenever they want

I graduated the other day

from college

twice

and I'm in a new apartment now

and I wanted to die 

like for real

a few months ago

so I came home

but I don't want to die anymore

a lot has happened

I am feeling anxious in the process of just having adopted a cat as you may see

other feelings are coming up

the spring time is hard

these words are darts

at what it is I am feeling

dissociation all the time

I don't want to do the partial hospitalization program

I came to the clinic for an evaluation for the intensive outpatient program

waiting 

frozen

my nose is cauderized

and I just felt the feeling that I get when I am stressed and know that I am going to get a bloody nose

but since my nose is cauderized i think it  won't bleed

the doctor said that it's possible that there would be a nosebleed in the early days after the cauterization so I still might have a bloody nose if I wipe my nose right now

now that my nose is sealed I have to be treated for the loss of breathing that created the high blood pressure that led to the hole in the nasal canal in the first place. 

i don't know if I'm happy or not

or how to feel about the things that have happened

i graduated

but there was no celebration and i lost my friends

and i told myself would only evaluate college after time had passed so i wouldn't make judgments that only reflected the pandemic

and i don't know if i should be proud of myself for getting into uchicago

i don't have a job

i only graduated with honors

but i did do two minors

and i am supposed to be the type that pursues academia for the honest pursuit of it 

but things have changed a bit

expectations are a currency

i think its easy to understand with this weight of intensity why i would want to escape this life

i should be so happy

June 4
2021