Issue 7
April 19, 2020

Our Quarantine Diaries

Puzzles, balcony hangs, animal crossing, and other distractions we're enjoying!

by Amina Akhtar

This piece originally appeared in Issue #7. Subscribe to get our monthly newsletter!
- Amina and Lincoln

Thursday, April 9th


My first instinct when I wake up is to look over at Lincoln’s place and check if his blinds are open. Is he having a more productive morning than I am? Damn him if he is. I’m going to go out on the balcony and get his attention. I waved and yelled at Lincoln and his boyfriend in the window. They see me and immediately open the window to yell back. We all put our mugs up and toast to each other. The day goes on. I click on my email to check when my nintendo switch animal crossing package is arriving. No luck, I’m going to have to wait a couple more days.


Today is grocery day and let me be clear: there are absolutely no rules. I just had to have toaster strudels. The last time I had a toaster strudel was in 6th grade. I ate a total of 1 toaster strudel (I refuse to check if that’s what one stru is called, people are dying, Kim) with that heavy cream (is it frosting?) packet they add to the box. Whew. My ancestors quickly slapped me out of this lapse of judgement! It was awful!

Friday, April 10th


The animal crossing package came in EARLY! First thought: obsessed. You get to run around and collect fish... open up a MUSEUM, and invite others to come live on your island. I’ve noticed it’s quite hard to rebel in this game or go off track. You can’t trap a character in a swimming pool until they drown like you can in the sims. You’re not really allowed to say rude things and everyone is suspiciously kind and helpful. There is a HUGE corporate shadow, which is “Nook Inc.” Nook Inc. basically owns you, the island, the airport, the pilot, you get the point. I would call it a Sims 4/SimCity crossover with Care Bear undertones.


Today my monthly Bon Appetit magazine came in!! I was so excited to read it and escape this simulation for 30 minutes, contemplating all of the recipes I will one day, maybe (probably not) make. I was looking forward to losing myself in the eyes of the Bon Appetit test kitchen cast (I’m a Brad kind of guy). THEN, as if I was still scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon an eerily specific ad, and opened to a piece by JIA TOLETINO. I felt so targeted. My brand has never been stronger.

Saturday, April 11th


Please let this headache be from caffeine withdrawal. Please. One cup of coffee later and it’s a confirmed migraine. I was in a daze most of the day in the dark. Then, I realize it’s time for Kimber’s walk. I feel way too ill to face the sunlight. Even the light from the hallway makes me queasy. Texted Lincoln, and within 15 minutes he walked into the door to grab Kimber for her walk. He knows the migraine drill and puts her harness on in the front of the apartment so the light doesn’t bother me! Gosh I love him!


Today, I thought about replying to an obvious spam email about some untold “riches' ' I could “be blessed with” if I only, jUsT OnLy, replied to the very nice and polite note that was.. oddly a direct replica of texts I receive from my Granny.

“Need you to give me a call ASAP. Luggage brand, on them commercials. How are you? They have really pretty ones, come with that charger. Give me a call.

Love you much, Granny.”

I was contemplating replying to said spam email, risk it all, the entire day. To give the gurls what they want. A SHOW. Then I came to my senses and just poured more iced coffee in that same tired-ass mason jar that I’ve been nursing for too damn long. YES! MORE! I left the email in the spam folder as an insurance policy if passion struck again.

Sunday, April 12th


Migraine is finally gone. I stopped by Lincoln's apartment to give him his cheesecloth and stumbled upon a puzzle party. Okay, it can't qualify for a party with two people, but the two p’s go well together and it sounds nice. I decide to join in. Of COURSE my dog just sat patiently at the edge of the carpet. Other dogs would never… other dogs would walk on top of the puzzle.

I was ready to be a hater but oh my god. This puzzle is SO fun. I got two pieces to connect and that alone made me want to brag to Lincoln and pick on him. “Oh, how long have you been doing this? I’ve only been here for like 7 minutes and I already have this much done….” That was enough to kick start the puzzle banter!! After his boyfriend jumped in, he really started getting aggy.


I don’t think I’ve ever finished a puzzle. I’m not a PUZZLE PERSON! So, why do I have one outside of my door waiting for me?? Yes. It was because of YOU. So many of you are DOING PUZZLES. Like, actually completing them?

I’m not sure what I was thinking at the moment. I mean, I will say the puzzle is titled “DISCO QUEEN”, and is a cute little moment. I still don’t know if I will rise to the challenge. Will my relationship withstand this? Will my record of noise complaints withstand this?

DOING the PUZZLE was going FINE until AMINA came over! She started making RUDE remarks about my PACING. I got competitive and saw red!