by Selena Cristo
Florence, Italy. April 1, 2020.
So I’ve been trying to stay positive. Studying Italian. Working out. Eating healthy. Drinking less. Doing my household chores mindfully. Sprinkling in some Criterion classics with my trashy Netflix binges. It’s been a pretty cozy existence, all told. But going into my fourth week of quarantine it’s been getting harder to ignore the grinding dread that comes of waiting for a terrible blow to fall, a blow that’s still a month or two away from really landing. Scratching beneath the surface of my brittle calm are the questions: will I lose my restaurant? how will I pay my rent? what kind of a world will we be returning to when this is over? how much is this going to suck?
by Zola Gorgon
I’m not even supposed to be in this flat, or anywhere, really, but since there’s a housing crisis going on, I went into quarantine in my friend’s flat where I’ve been sleeping on the couch for two months. For the first few days I made a lot of to do lists. The lists would say things like “eat tortellini” and “play RollerCoaster Tycoon 2” so that I could feel productive when I crossed out things I was, inevitably, going to do anyway. But now I’ve given up on that feeling. There really is nothing to do.
Anticipating mealtime as the highlight of my day makes me feel more sympathy for dogs.
by Celina Basra
I am googling giant bag, but I cannot seem to find any fitting for the task at hand, which is to contain all my clothes and a room full of concepts and funding applications put to sleep, stacked upon each other in ancient folders, faded green and yellow and blue.
I am eating gherkins out of a glass with chop sticks, everything else is packed, for I am moving on April 1st, leaving my apartment of 13 years, off to pastures anew. On my bed, surrounded by my favorite books, that I will transport in one of the giant bags, maybe on a rented bike, bit by bit, as that my bike is broken. Not trusting a truck with all of my favorite things.
by Lindsay Miles
“I look terrible,” I say. “Does it matter? Has it ever?” Vanity takes up less than an hour who am I kidding; Kafka nearly two. I am in that movie with Hugh Grant where life is bought in half-an-hour instalments (seen itself as a symptom of being single, unattached). “Touch my face,” I say. It is morning, and alarms sound, unfazed. It is difficult to cry when one does drugs that make it difficult to cry. It is difficult to appreciate anything right now but a centralized state, flux in our more evasive industries, the spectacle of shipments, the mail. The cornbread is dry I notice and that you do not need this moment described. No I will not look longer and closer with my surplus. I will go outside, catch a ball and dodge what breathes. Continue Reading
by Elba Quintero
I find it hard to trust in this reality. I wake up after consciously sleeping for as long as I can, avoiding these unfamiliar thoughts of what truth really is. How fluid is my sense of existence, how unaware I was of all the possibilities that technology brings to us. We can see it as a positive tool: here we are all in the middle of a pandemic, receiving valuable information almost instantly, being aware of the situation of others, coming up together with new ways of facing life. But I’m also deeply frightened about the negative side of it: none of us will be the same, our capacity of questioning authority will be heavily damaged, we have proven to ourselves that we’re easily manageable as masses, our current moral – what we think is right and wrong – has changed so fast that we didn’t even ask ourselves if it truly led us to a better path.
by Maurice Frank
Out in the park, it struck me: not only were there virtually no aircraft in the sky, but the heavens were clear, uncluttered by clouds and not a contrail in sight. For a few seconds, I felt as if I’d been flung back to an earlier time. This is how the skies must have been for most of the human history of this place, even at the dawn of the Holocene, twelve thousand years ago, as the glaciers receded from the shallow valley between Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, leaving behind a malarial swamp that would eventually become Berlin. Continue Reading
by Gaby Bila-Günther, aka Lady Gaby
I havent put on make up
i havent dressed up
i havent worn lipstick to kiss anybody
i havent touched my face with unscrubbed hands
i havent worried about preparing
i havent worried about getting there on time
i havent stopped cooking
havent stopped washing my hands
havent stopped disinfecting my life and everyone in it Continue Reading
by Adi Gelbart
Clouds are moving in from the east. They are carrying supplies: candles, conditioners, dry pastas, frozen gnocchi, cream cheese, mineral water (both kinds), sneakers, canned leggings, vintage issues of Penthouse, Matchbox Audi Quattros, pigs. The clouds rain down the supplies. A direct hit from any of the cascading items is lethal, thanks to the momentum they build as they free-fall from the sky. Continue Reading
by Mike Hembury
I guess I’m much reduced, these days.
This morning at 6 a.m. I got up and caught sight of the two poplar trees in our back yard, their still-emerging leaves on fire with the morning sun.
I see these trees every day. But this is not every day. These times are not every day.
Every day is broken and gone.
So there’s me, and there’s the trees. And there’s the moment.
And I do my best to savour the moment, because who’s to know how many moments we have left? Continue Reading
by Rose Cullis
MA: An Amazon in their early fifties. 5’10” and 170 pounds of muscle. They have a surprisingly gentle voice and a resting killer face.
DC: An older man in his mid-sixties. A nerd who dresses meticulously with good style. Somewhat robotic in his delivery.
RC: Me. In my early sixties. A playwright seeking material everywhere and anywhere.
TB: (An unfortunate acronym, under the circumstances.) The youngest at 44. A high-spirited, hot tempered red-head who’s trying to find an alternative to capitalism. Continue Reading