QUARANTINE DIARIES

June 15th, 2020

Words by Jaclyn Skurie · Illustrations by Anna White

April 4th, 2020

I hate it now when people ask me what I did today. Or what my plans are this weekend. Today the only thing I really did was watch my dad eat a bowl of microwaved corn with a spoon. Sometimes I also watch him nap on the couch or my brother study for his final exams. My birthday is in two days and everyone is asking me what I am going to do to celebrate. What am I supposed to say?

April 7th, 2020

Someone is trying to sell my dad a tool for dentistry called “The Droplet Terminator.” This just makes me think of Arnold Schwarzenegger destroying your saliva in midair. I wanted to ask him more about it but now he is watching another webinar.

 

April 17th, 2020

I feel so exhausted in quarantine but I also can't stop staying up until 3 a.m. I feel confused about how to live with my parents and also act my age. But staying up until 3 a.m. is what reminds me the most of being a teenager, like it's the only time I have that's all mine.

 

April 30th, 2020

The other day I scared my sister by walking too quietly around her in the house and it reminded me of walking down the street in New York and it made me miss my normal life. I think I must walk really quietly because I am always scaring people on the sidewalk. One time a man yelled, "MAKE NOISE NEXT TIME" when I walked by him.

 

May 4th, 2020

I've become obsessed with aging lately. I wish someone could freeze me like Austin Powers until at least this is all over. I've convinced myself I have a Malar Festoon under my right eye. I told my friend who is a doctor about it and she said “I have never heard of that in my life”.

 

May 10th, 2020

The main activity in my house now is bird-watching. My dad has a book and binoculars and dug out his long lens camera. We've mostly seen orioles and blue jays and cardinals and mourning doves but yesterday a hawk ate a squirrel in the tree. We were eating Alison Roman's anchovy shallot pasta and watching the hawk rip out the squirrel's intestines like he was eating his own spaghetti right with us. I am not sure whether nature is healing.

 

May 11th, 2020

I spend my days walking around the same loop in my neighborhood and I've started noticing that someone has glued googly eyes on all these inanimate objects that look like they have noses, like a fire hydrant spigot and an electrical box next to the sidewalk in a park named for a famous landscape architect. I read somewhere that your mind starts seeing faces on objects when you're feeling lonely, like in the headlights of a car. I am very lonely but I don't think I am hallucinating the eyes.

 

May 18, 2020

Today my phone gave me a “Siri Suggestion” of a note I wrote early on in quarantine. I keep dozens of notes on my phone to remember all sorts of things, but my phone has never done this before. The notification on my homescreen shows the entirety of the note, which says: “Watching my dad eat a bowl of microwave corn.” 

Jaclyn Skurie lives in Brooklyn, New York. She makes documentaries and loves to eat coleslaw.

Anna White is a writer and illustrator based in Chicago, IL, and a Nearness co-founder. She also plays music in an alt-pop project called Dog Beach. You can find her on Instagram @annaclairewhite

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