Rachel, 29, Los Angeles
I met this actor at a bar in Echo Park last year, and we started seeing each other casually. Then it got pretty serious before the pandemic, so we discussed limiting exposure to other people so we could still hang out and fuck.
We only live a mile away from each other, so anytime he gives me the opportunity to leave the house, I just do it. Last week, I was just about to join this Zoom lecture on civil procedure when he texted me to bring over a screwdriver because he needed to fix his computer. I’m attending law school at night, and since shelter in place started, all of our classes have been on Zoom. We don’t have to show our faces during class, so I decided I could start my lecture and then run over to his apartment and come back.
But after he fixes his monitor, we start making out, and then he’s like, “Do you want to do a quickie?” So we go into his room, and we’re naked. Then the front door opens, and we hear this masculine voice, like, “Hey, guys, what’s going on? Where is everyone?” And the dude is like, “That’s my dad.”
I was worried his dad was going to come into the room, so I asked the guy to go out there and act like nothing was going on — but he’s freaking out. “He’s going to know; we’re just going to have to talk to him,” he says. But I’m like, “No, it’s too embarrassing.” Plus, we’re all supposed to be in quarantine. Everyone is supposed to be exposing themselves to the least amount of people possible. I didn’t want to have that conversation on top of “I’m your son’s friend who’s fucking him. Nice to meet you.”
So he gets dressed and goes off to talk to his dad. I decide to hide under the covers because I’m so afraid, so I curl up into a little, tiny ball. I even make a little hole so I can breathe. I figure, I’ve just got to lie under here naked until this is over. It was like college when the cops come and you have to hide in the closet.
There’s nowhere to go, so I play Animal Crossing on my phone. I keep thinking about how my whole class is interacting on Zoom while I’m a mile away under someone’s covers. Then, an hour and 20 minutes pass by, and my class is about to end. Usually after lecture, the professor will wait to see if anyone has questions, so if I’m still logged in, he’s going to be like, “Hey, did you have a question? What’s going on?” And I’m just going to be sitting there with a blank screen. So I text my roommate, like, “Hey, this is what’s happening. Can you please go into my Zoom class and log me out?”
Meanwhile, my dude and his dad are drinking White Claw and watching SNL. Apparently, his dad’s been dropping off groceries unexpectedly. The funny thing is, he lives with his brother, and his brother knows I’m hiding, too. So they’re both just talking to their dad and watching TV while I’m freaking the fuck out. Everyone’s just acting like nothing’s happening.
I’m listening to the whole thing transpire. It was one of those out-of-body experiences where you’re like, is this for real happening right now? Did I just go to drop off a screwdriver and somehow I’m naked under the covers with my dude’s dad sitting six feet away from me?
I was so paranoid, it felt like there were multiple dimensions under those bed covers. I had this trippy episode. I started reflecting on the status of our relationship. When you’re quarantined in quarantine, you just see what’s right in front of you. I realized I’ve had strong feelings for him for a while. How I feel less alone when I’m with him. I also started rethinking some of my dormant friendships. How much energy should I give to other people? What would my relationships be if I had a few of them that were more profound, as opposed to all the surface-level relationships I deal with on a daily basis? It was like I’d taken an Ambien.
After about an hour and a half, his dad left. There was a pit in my stomach but then my dude opens the door and fucking smiles at me. We burst out laughing. We hadn’t seen each other for a little bit so we were both still horny, but I was pretty drained because as funny as this night was, his dad kind of took the excitement out of the situation. I was just so relieved that I got through this without his dad finding out I was hiding. I slept over and went home the next morning.
That night broke down a barrier between us. It made us oddly closer. I notice we FaceTime and talk on the phone more often, and we never did that kind of stuff before. We’re hanging out more. We had a pool date on Saturday and we were so bored I gave him a ballcuzzi. But we haven’t discussed the dad incident since.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity. Names have been changed.