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“Quarantine Diaries,” by David Garyan (Day 31)

Quarantine Diaries – Day 31 April 14th, 2020

Trento, Italy


In the beginning, before my birth, I was certain life would be no more than a womb without an umbilical cord, without a mother, even.

Surrounded by family and friends, I alienated myself like an abducted child who wasn’t old enough to know what’s happening.

At the same time, I had friends who were closer than family, and relatives living on maps I haven’t looked at in twenty years.

When I was born, I knew nothing except the secrets of my own biology— even God couldn’t tell me what to do; I had no desire to control hunger, no need to love people I didn’t like, and no duty to swallow lies— like an apple falling from a mountain, I could only be myself.

But I didn’t fall. The world took me into its hands and consumed what I’d grown into.

Society taught me lessons like schoolteachers who hate kids; school gave me wisdom like churches who just open on Sunday; houses of worship spoke of morality like architects who only mind their own houses.

And so, I forgot about the secrets of my own biology— I drank when I shouldn’t have; I laughed like an audience who didn’t enjoy the joke, but paid too much for the ticket.

Like a trembling body on the edge, I pronounced answers like questions, refusing all motion, unwilling to trust the strength of the rope society had given.


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