how the quarantine kinda proves if you were lying to yourself

[this was written on wednesday, March 18]

It’s only 5:30, and I figure I’ll be awake and busy for another few hours, so I don’t mean to present this as a Captain’s Log-type entry, itemizing everything I did at Camp Corona, but I just wanted to jot down what feel like the seeds of certain concerns that might flourish into shrubs or trees or jungles of frantic worry over the next few weeks of isolation.

First: my appetite. The fact that I want to eat everything.

I woke up at 8, didn’t feel hungry, finally made myself a Hot Pocket when I sat down to watch the first movie of the day (n.521, The Hired Hand) at noon. And then suddenly I wanted a sandwich. Then a half sandwich after that. Then the second half of that second sandwich.

And I could’ve gone on.

After The Hired Hand, which is a ponderous two-hour western that’s odious in the first half and then pretty good in the second, I watched Wake in Fright, an obscure Australian movie that appears to be categorized under Horror although it feels more like just a gritty, exhausting, genre-less mindfuck whose accuracy in depiciting the frenzied highs and cavernous lows of a several-day drinking binge I can warily mark with a stamp of authenticity.

They get it right.

Feeling polluted and stagnant after four hours on the sofa (where I ingested basically three sandwiches), I took my Kindle outside and read twenty pages from the very dense, reader-friendly, single-volume WWII history I vowed to read over the course of the quarantine. It’s a good book, and I’m interested by the story–so why am I making such a fucking slog of it? I keep stressing after every paragraph, wondering if I registered every detail, looking around and sighing and checking my phone and getting up for water….

Probably cuz I told myself I should read it. Also probably because I’m more hot on the idea of knowing about World War Two than I am on the idea of actually studying it–which is intimidating to even consider.

Donald Pleasance during a halucinatory high-stakes game of cointoss.

What’s tricky to contend with during this whole quarantine is the fact that I’ve been telling myself for a few years now that this is the exact sort of situation under which I and the Project would flourish: I could watch three movies a day, do a hundred pages of reading, post two or three times to the website, produce a new episode of the podcast each week.

And it’s not just that I finally have the time for all of my little projects, it’s that nobody else is bothering me: nobody’s coming to the door, there’s no honking in the street, no evening dates or siren calls from cafes and movie theaters and bars.

What’s haunting is that now feels like the time to prove that I’m not fulla shit about the things that I want to accomplish–because the entire world has literally come to a stop and allowed me 30 days to do whatever I please (within the confines of my home and at a safe six-foot distance from everyone I know).

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