Ever since Avonworth shut down and I no longer need to go to school, time just doesn’t make sense. Days meld into weeks, weeks meld into months, and here I am… graduating? It feels surreal. I honestly don’t remember when quarantine began. It feels like yesterday I was grabbing books from my locker, hoping that those would entertain me for the two week closure– no one thought we would never be coming back. I certainly didn’t think that would be my last full day of high school. I also didn’t think that would be the last time seeing the bulk of my friends for a while, but life is unpredictable. The best you can do is make the best out of it, or you can do what I did (don’t), and create a cycle of procrastination, video games, and depression quesadillas that barely pulls you through the sludge of quarantine… I’m kidding, but seriously, that is was my routine when Pennsylvania was in the red phase.

12:00 PM-1:00PM: I would wake up around this time and lay in bed pondering the existence of shoes and how the word “pear” will always be a word, no matter what letters you take away. My spine would begin to ache, but it was a dull ache and I would ignore it until it began to cramp. I would sit up from bed, lazily scroll through a million notifications– Twitter doesn’t rest, especially during quarantine– and contemplate going back to bed. Through my haphazard scrolling I would see “Google Classroom Assignment Due”, but continue scrolling as I had grown to fear anything that was labeled “Google Classroom” as it meant I had to do work I had no motivation to do. I then proceed to stand up, stretch– but not just any stretch, one of those full body stretches that makes your ears pop and you feel like God afterwards, that kind of stretch– and I would stumble to my desk to do another 30 minutes of switching between apps for 5 seconds, forgetting what I apps I already looked at, looking at them again and telling myself I saw that Reddit post already, but then I’d doubt myself and look at it again before closing the app and wanting to go back to bed.

1:00PM-3:00PM: I usually turn on my XBOX and look at the homescreen for a good 10 minutes. I look at the Microsoft store and pray they added a new game or a game to the Game Pass (even though I checked before I went to bed at 5AM and there was nothing). I would see that 2 of my friends are online, but they aren’t the friends I talk to all of the time over XBOX Party, so I would create a XBOX party, return to my desk and wait to hear the blip! notification that signified one of my friends had just gotten online. I would race to my controller, put my headset on, lower the mic, invite the friend to the party, and pray I hear their voice within the next 5 seconds. I felt stir crazy. I needed human interaction, I NEEDED IT. I am an extrovert for crying out loud, I need people. XBOX party was the only interaction I had with my friends and I was going insane whenever I didn’t talk to them, but I was also going insane when I did talk to them because there was nothing to talk about. Usually around this time Fabian (one of my best friends) would get on and it would be the usual, “What’s up? How are you doing? How did you sleep?” and I would respond, “Not much, eh, I slept like crap (you know what word I mean)”. Then I would remind him of the countless assignments that are due and if we would like to work together. He would agree and we would bust out half of an assignment, take an hour, much earned, YouTube break, then resume and finish the lousy assignment, turn it in, then go on an indefinite Youtube break until one of our other XBOX friends joined the party and we could play a game.

3:00PM-4:00PM: I mindlessly wander down into my kitchen and pray that new food  has appeared since I had last looked at the pantry around 4 AM. I would lean against my counter and find a Youtube video I could entertain myself with– usually I found a film analysis video or I would see if Game Grumps had posted anything new and I would watch it. Halfway through  the video I would float into a different realm of being and I would forget I was watching a video and I would have to skip back to the beginning, internally scream at my brain cells, and try to get them to function. As for food, since it is early and I should pamper myself in fine cuisine for getting up and walking down the stairs, I  prepare vegetables, maybe fish (if I felt frisky), and some rice, to make some form of a traditional Chinese stir fry. I turn to my phone and notice I wasn’t paying attention to the video and I would have to rewind the video. After eating the stir fry, I would reluctantly do dishes because I know my mum will yell at me if she sees dishes in the sink when she gets off of work. I then fill up a 32oz waterbottle with water or iced tea, retreat to my room, see that my friend Leelin or Jesse were online, then I would invite them to the party and prepare for their introductory battle cry as they joined the party.

4:00-8:00: This is when time doesn’t make sense at all. Time feels stupid and slow, I feel tired as all hell, and I’m bored out of my soul. Around this time the party is lively or dead, there is no in between. We are either having an intelligent discussion about the human brain, making fun of Leelin for his horrible pick-up lines, insulting Fabian’s distaste for anything sweet, or we are sitting in an awkwardlong silence. The kind of awkward silence that forces you to speak because it is exceedingly painful; you end up you saying something so bland like, “So uh… do you come here often”, or “How’s the weather?”, in hopes of sparking a conversation… or even a sentence. Out of the blue, by some miraculous power, a conversation will begin, usually over something someone heard on Reddit or Youtube, and it will naturally diverge into an entirely new conversation, but a conversation that lasts for a while and extinguishes that awkward silence until later. Typically around this time, depending on who is in the party, we will play Minecraft, Apex, or something casual, but somehow “casual” game play turns into “I-am-going-to-throw-my-xbox-at-an-oncoming-train-and-pray-it-runs-me-over-too”. The party typically becomes angry or just plain sad, so we depart for an hour to shower and eat dinner.

9:00PM-1:00AM: I absolutely adore this timeframe. This is when the party becomes lively and honestly, I have had the best conversations around this time. We continue playing video games, usually Minecraft around this time, and we have the time of our lives. I honestly forget what is happening in the world, not to mention I am fully awake during these hours. Usually I feel sluggish until late night, but when I’m awake– I feel like I drank a 5 Hour Energy and ten cups of coffee. I kind of look like Gene Wilder in all of his movies when his hair is matted and he is trying to persuade the bad guy to not kill him, yeah… I look like that.

1:00AM-5AM (The Void hours): Anything can happen during this time, it really depends on where the conversation from 9:00PM-1:00AM goes. If the conversation ends poorly, we typically end up in that terrible, awkward silence again. If all goes well, this is when we have deep and emotional conversations about ourselves and about each other. We talk about how we have been feeling, we vent,  and we talk about our personal lives; it is truly one of my favorite times because I feel like we connect with each other and reinforce our friendships. We become family. After our long and involved, personal discussions, a few people leave the party to go to bed and vow that they are “fixing their sleep schedule”, when everyone knows they aren’t. After the party is narrowed down to Jesse and I, or Fabian and I, we either talk one on one with each other or we agree to get off and go to bed. Once I lay down after shutting off my XBOX, setting my headset down, and placing my controller on the charging doc, I mindlessly scroll through my phone looking for dank memes to put in the Xbox group chat. I send a few good ones and shut off my phone and prepare to sleep. I soon find out after two minutes, I can’t sleep. I open the godforsaken app, TikTok, and scroll down my ForYou page. Upon scrolling I always see food videos, so naturally I get up, quietly slide downstairs, and microwave myself a Depression Quesadilla. A Depression Quesadilla is cheese between two pieces of flour tortilla, that is microwaved, hence the first word of the name being depression. They taste so good around this time, they taste like golden-covered lobster or something fancy; add a glass of crisp tap water and oh my god… fine dining.

Now that we are gradually opening up to the yellow phase, I am seeing my friends and I am going outside more often– I lowkey forgot what being outside more than 10 minutes felt.

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