sex diaries

The Woman in a Sexy Quarantine “Bubble” With Her Neighbors

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman who, along with her two roommates, has started constantly hanging out (and occasionally hooking up) with the three guys upstairs: 24, single, Williamsburg.


4:40 a.m. I wake up groggy. For the past three weeks I’ve been waking up every day around 5 a.m. I think it’s the general anxiety from quarantine, but sometimes it’s nice because I’ll go up to our roof and watch the sunrise. Today I go back to sleep.

5:30 a.m. I wake up again so I leave my apartment door and go up the stairs to our neighbors’. Around the second week of quarantine my roommates and I climbed up the ladder to our rooftop for the first time and met our upstairs neighbors (it’s just our two units above a bar in our building). We quickly became best friends and have been hanging out together, spending all our time floating between units. I’ll go up in the middle of the day to work in their living room, they’ll come down and use our bathroom. Their dishes are in our cabinets, our groceries are in their fridge, and vice versa.

There are three of us (Nina, Molly, myself) and three of them (Jack, Adam, and Leo). You can connect the dots on what happens on the messy Friday nights when the six of us drink our faces off and dance in the living room — because what else is there to do when you’re on lockdown.

Today I walk up, open the front door they now keep unlocked for us 24/7, walk into Leo’s room and slip into his bed. I drift into sleep while he intertwines his body with mine.

8:15 a.m. I wake up to my alarm going off and Leo’s arm hanging over me. We’ve had sex once before, about a week ago. It’s not that we’re friends with benefits, exactly: He’s one of my best friends now. It’s not quite a question of whether I have feelings for him, either. It’s a question of what kind of feelings are they, how big are they, and how real are they? Are they just cabin fever? I can feel his boner but don’t know if it’s just a morning thing.

8:45 a.m. I pull myself away from Leo and go down to my room to get ready for work. I have a few calls this morning to discuss opening a new location for the restaurant I work for.

12:00 p.m. My ex texts me. We dated for six years (starting as freshmen in college) and broke up just a week before quarantine started. Somehow we are still friends. We talk about a TikTok he recently saw and I feel nothing.

2:00 p.m. The boy I met on Hinge sends me a song on Spotify. I love the song, but I’m bored of him. I heart react to the text message and don’t think about him again.

6:30 p.m. By now my roommate Molly and I are restless from not seeing the guys upstairs all day (I don’t count the morning with Leo). The six of us have become so codependent, I can’t sleep at night if I haven’t been up there. We go up and hang with Adam while he makes dinner.

7:30 p.m. Leo makes espresso for us to sip on the roof. Summer is just beginning and it’s a beautiful night. We lean over the edge of the building and watch the cars pass while we drink and he lingers, smoking a cigarette. I genuinely love being around him. I wish his cigarette would last for hours.


11:00 a.m. I’m working from my bed and Molly comes in and sits on my floor for “girl talk.” This is a daily tradition. We speak in hushed voices about the boys, paranoid they can hear us. Normally if you have a “crush” you wonder what they’re doing, where they are, who they’re with. We know exactly where everyone is at all times: walking right above us. Nina comes in. She’s the only one of us committed to not hooking up with the neighbors. She warns us of the consequences of our actions, knowing full well that we aren’t going to listen.

1:00 p.m. The six of us meet on the roof for lunch. I’m the “mom” of the group, meaning I dominate our group text to coordinate most of these activities.

5:00 p.m. I get a text from a college friend saying they heard about my breakup and are sorry. I tell them “don’t be, I’m happy.” I know the apologies are well-meaning but they annoy me. How long am I supposed to be in mourning? Then again, it was six years of my life so I get it.

10:00 p.m. I’m finishing up work in the guys’ living room while Molly and Jack play guitar and Leo eats a snack. It’s nice to see Molly and Jack hanging out; they were the first two people in the friend group to hook up a few weeks back. They slept together and he helped her record a song she had written (pretty much everyone in the apartment building besides me is a musician). Jack called things off after he realized Molly was developing feelings. I take it as a cautionary tale for myself. Don’t get attached, don’t take it seriously, just have fun. It’s nice to see them back to being friends though.

11:45 p.m. Leo comes down to my room with me. We’re in bed and he says to me “it’s so nice. To be all tangled up with you, ya know?” We kiss and fall asleep.


5:30 a.m. Molly and I head down to the bodega for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We head back to my room and eat and drink on the floor. Leo is awake now and drinks coffee with us. Molly comments on how often we sleep together. He tells her that he and I have “impeccable cuddle chemistry.”

11:00 a.m. Jack walks into our apartment and starts a puzzle with Nina. I love that the boundaries between our apartments have blurred. Us crossing into each other’s spaces makes me feel like I have a family in New York.

10:00 p.m. We are all sitting on the roof. Molly and Leo are creating their Hinge profiles. I look at this photo of him and tell him “no don’t do that one.” He looks me dead in the eye and with a firmness I could never match and says, “I would never match with you.” I’m stunned but I look back at him and say “I’d never match with you.” He says, “I know.” And there is the truth I’ve known all along: that none of this would happen under any other circumstances.

11:15 p.m. I text Leo from my room “come down here for a minute.” He comes down and I tell him “you kinda hurt my feelings up there.” He smiles nervously so I pat beside me on my bed as a peace offering and he sits down. He apologizes and I pat myself on the back for not holding my feelings in.


12:00 p.m. I’ve been swamped with work all day. It feels good to have some purpose though.

7:00 p.m. I finish work finally and Leo and I make salmon and salad for dinner.

9:15 p.m. Molly joins Nina and I on our couch and tells us that Adam has just confessed to her that he has a crush on her. It raises the same question of whether this is all cabin fever or if we are all actually falling for each other.

11:00 p.m. Molly, Adam, Jack, and Leo are all playing and singing Bob Dylan songs while Nina and I hang on their couches before going downstairs to sleep.


9:00 a.m. Molly comes into my room for girl talk. She says she had a dream last night that Jack and I hooked up. We laugh at how she’s paranoid that Jack wants me and I’m convinced that Leo wants her. Under normal circumstances maybe we would hide these insecurities from each other. But quarantine has erased those boundaries too and we tell each other everything. Still, we acknowledge that with the six of us cooped up together 24/7, it’s plausible that we all feel a bit of an attraction to each other.

11:30 a.m. I’ve been wrapped up in work all morning and haven’t had coffee yet. My head is pounding. Molly, Nina, Jack, and I walk to our favorite café together. Outings like this keep us sane and give us some sense of normalcy.

7:00 p.m. Work is finally over and it’s Friday night. We have an Italian dinner in the guys’ apartment. We make Aperol spritzes, espresso, and order pizza and gelato from the Italian place downstairs.

11:00 p.m. We’re all drinking on the roof. Everyone’s energy is down but it’s amazing what a few shots can do. After a while Leo and I end up alone; Molly and Jack disappear into his bedroom. No one saw that coming but I’m not surprised if they’re back on. Leo tells me his life story for an hour. It starts to rain so we head back inside.

2:00 a.m. Leo and I go down to my bedroom. We lay for a while before bickering about waiting for the other person to make a move. When I ask him flat out if he wants to have sex he says “no.” I say okay and close my eyes to sleep. Surprisingly I’m not offended. About 45 seconds later he says something about spontaneity. I tell him that I’m more invested in directly communicating with him for the sake of our friendship than I am in seduction. But then I kiss him and we have sex. Usually I have trouble being in the moment during sex, not thinking. But with him my mind is nowhere to be found.


7:00 a.m. Molly walks into my room and says “hey guys!” to me and Leo, both mostly naked under the covers. She climbs on top of the bed and the three of us rehash the details of the night. We bring up this old joke about how when Leo and I embrace we look like the Rolling Stone cover of John and Yoko. The punchline is that Molly will photograph us. Except this time the joke becomes serious. It takes little convincing for me to take my shirt off and pull the covers down. In any other world I’d say that there’s no chance I’d do this. But there’s something that’s changed in me rapidly these past few weeks.

We pull the covers down and Molly stands above us directing us to contort our naked bodies as we kiss. I’m laughing but not from embarrassment. She tells us she has “the shot” and we delete the rest. I know one day I’ll feel stupid for saying this but we look at the photo and it is beautiful.

2:00 p.m. Nina comes into the room and we decide we need fuel. We watch from my bedroom window as Molly runs across the street to the bodega and gets us all coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We spend the next six hours in my bed together. Listening to music, laughing, doing nothing. Leo is wrapped around me the entire time.


5:30 a.m. I hear my door open. Leo comes in and slides into my bed with me. We fall back asleep, platonically tangled up. We don’t do anything for the rest of the day.

9:00 p.m. I FaceTime some friends from California and catch them up on all the apartment drama. They tell me to be careful with my heart. Internally I’m rolling my eyes. I’m not afraid of my actions; I have more conviction than ever that I know exactly what I’m doing.

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The Woman in a Sexy Quarantine “Bubble” With Her Neighbors