sex diaries

The Art Teacher Quarantining With a Fling Who Gave Her COVID

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week a woman socializes with various crushes before going into isolation: 41, single, Brooklyn.


10 a.m. I’m an art teacher at a private school. Today I have to teach a couple individual lessons and a class for high-schoolers.

3 p.m. My job takes a lot of energy and patience but I love what I do. That being said … ticktock.

4 p.m. I’m especially glad the workday is over because I’m heading to a wine tasting with a friend at my favorite museum. I never mind going to exhibits alone but chatting with M is a nice change of pace. He is easygoing, intelligent, and insightful. We used to work together, and started hanging out about a year ago. He is also about ten years younger than me, so I don’t want to get involved with him, despite our flickers of chemistry.

8 p.m. We head to dinner. Both of us are fuller than we expected from the wine event so we only order apps. He unabashedly returns one of the dishes that we expected to be served warm but was cold. I am the type of person who is too embarrassed to complain in a restaurant so I like that he is assertive. He offers to pay and I am hesitant to accept the offer but tell him I will “get him next time” because I am never sure if we are on a date.

9 p.m. I’m surprised to see a missed call from A, a casual hookup with no real feelings attached that went on for a lot longer than it should have. We’ve been doing our own thing since he started working again several months ago.

10 p.m. When I get home I call A to find out a family member of his is in the hospital. He seems torn up so I offer to come spend the night. I hop in my car, shoot down the BQE, and find him crawled up in bed in the fetal position. A doesn’t want kids and he knows that’s a dealbreaker for me so I’ve been happy to have the space from him to pursue other things. That said, I’m glad to be here now.

11 p.m. We fall asleep together.


10 a.m. A wakes up with a terrible headache. With all the scares about COVID going around we run right to an urgent care. It turns out he has terribly high blood pressure and sinusitis, and we both take rapid tests just to check. I don’t ask because we aren’t serious and frankly I’m not that interested in him. However, we wound up spending a lot of time together over the past year, by virtue of both being single and hopeful and wanting to have fun, and probably both got more emotionally involved than we intended.

1 p.m. Finally done with that ordeal. I feel exhausted from waiting in the cold and the stress of having to meet with urgent-care staff. We head back to his place and nap. He has flu-like symptoms so I make him all of the tea and soup a person could need — and make sure to take care of myself the same, just in case!

3 p.m. The rapid results still are not back. I call and find out we are both negative — phew! A bunch of my friends are playing a concert at a neighborhood venue so I head back home.

7 p.m. My friend Y is crashing at my place. She lives way uptown so I thought it would be fun for us to have a girls night. I scurry to get ready. I haven’t been out for a few months. I throw on a black leather skirt, fishnets, and high boots. She arrives and we smoke much more weed than we should! We both walk in the club in a haze.

9 p.m. I run into a bunch of people I know, including my current crush, R (who told me months ago he wasn’t interested — so, I dropped it). He enthusiastically introduces me to his friend, and I am flattered that he gives me the “up and down” and catches himself. He was slow on the moving his eyes back up part; I attribute it to the fishnets. Hot toddies are going down easy and at $10 seem like a steal in this part of Brooklyn. I have a few more than I should.

11 p.m. Y and I are ready to go home but get pulled into a conversation with a guy who I am not sure knows I once hooked up with his brother. I try to pull away but he asks me for my number right in front of Y, so I feel obliged. I heard he uses a fake vaccination card, which I don’t have the guts to ask him about, but I absolutely can’t get down with that.


10 a.m. I’m at school all day today and only have one class to teach.

1 p.m. A asks if I want to go with him to get another COVID test, like a weird idea of a date. I have no idea why I say yes, but I do.

3 p.m. He recommends we go to the city tent where lines may be shorter and turnaround time is supposedly quicker. However, the line for the rapid is too long so I take the PCR and head to the other end of Brooklyn to get my booster. I should have done that long ago!

8 p.m. I arrive at my friends’ house for a solstice celebration. Typically it’s only women but we turned this event into a bigger soirée. She failed to mention R would be here. I would have tried a lot harder had I known he was coming! I pay him little mind since he recently told me he was pursuing someone else. Surprisingly, R seems especially impressed by my culinary skills, compliments my dress, and seems suddenly interested in most of my topics of conversation. I am more baffled than anything and stay quiet. We made out a few months ago when we were both casually dating other people so anything is possible, but …

8:30 p.m. I am training to be an astrologer and have been enjoying sharing my skills with a group of close friends on a monthly basis. I discuss current planetary alignments and we set intentions for the New Year around letting go and making space for love. We all have a little too much wine and smoke from a huge bong. Most of us are in our late 30s so this feels like a fun, playful throwback to simpler times. I know I sound like a little old lady, but I have always been a bit of an old soul.

10 p.m. R leaves because he has an allergy attack from the cat. I am bummed but happy that I didn’t make a fool of myself by saying or doing anything inappropriate. I head out soon after since tomorrow is a weekday.


10 a.m. I plan to stay home for the next few days and milk this booster so I can take a mental break from work. I cancel all of my meetings, a doctor appointment and my tattoo consultation — I’m debating a new tattoo and was going to run some ideas by an artist I was referred to. I suppose it can all wait.

12:30 p.m. A texts me. It’s a picture of a positive COVID test. I leave a note for my roommate because I am unsure if she should go to work tomorrow. I don’t know what to do but feel embarrassed, guilty, and now my anxiety is through the roof. He has extra take-home tests and offers to bring me one.

3 p.m. A drops off the test and heads home. I’m not particularly concerned as I’ve been feeling my normal self and taking it super easy because it’s a slow week at work. I have never taken a pregnancy test before but I imagine it’s the same feeling and this isn’t looking good. I can’t believe my eyes. It’s subtle but it’s there. I freak out and call A.

4:15 p.m. My roommate kindly asks me if I can stay with A since he has to quarantine anyway. I understand because she is immunocompromised. I call A immediately and start bawling.

4:45 p.m. I throw a bag together with a few outfits and A comes back to pick me up. Looks like we are stuck together.

8 p.m. Go to bed early, feeling like emotional shit.


10 a.m. Here we go. R messages in the group chat that his test is positive. Luckily he has only mild symptoms. If I didn’t have a chance with him before, I get the feeling that giving him COVID may be a dealbreaker? I tell the group that I am positive too, but try to keep it vague in terms of who gave what to who. We will never really know, after all.

12 p.m. A finally wakes up and offers to poach some eggs for breakfast. I relish having someone cook for me for a change. It’s hard to believe I am stuck here with him for the next ten days. I was trying to distance myself from him before taking a trip back home. Luckily he has always been a supportive partner.

1 p.m. We start a movie marathon. I can be a bit of a grinch and am not in a great mood.

6 p.m. I make myself a gin rosemary-infused cranberry cocktail to attempt to bring myself some cheer. A is trying to lose weight and has stopped drinking. This is not how I planned to start my 2021.

7 p.m. I FaceTime with my sister and 5-year-old nephews. I thought that would make me happy, instead I feel bummed that I am with someone who doesn’t have nieces or nephews or understand the love I have for them. I wallow in self-pity, which feels very unattractive.

10 p.m. A passes out. This is all so depressing. COVID has ruined everything. Alas, I can pretend I accept the “new normal,” but this is terrible!

12 a.m. I take an Ambien and go to sleep. I want this night to end already.


8 a.m. I am SO over quarantine.

9 a.m. One good thing though … sleeping next to A has me remembering how amazing our morning sex used to be.

I start caressing his arm, down to his legs, and know he is getting turned on. He asks me to ride him and although I find this position difficult in the morning I am always open to his bedroom suggestions. I writhe on top of him and am happy to find that it’s easier than I thought. It’s been several days since I had sex (with a casual lover I see every few months when he comes to town) so my body is rearing to go. I have two orgasms in rapid succession.

10:30 a.m. After a few minutes of not fucking, I feel queasy. I had not felt any COVID symptoms so I think I am just dehydrated. I suggest a break and he is happy to finish himself off as I recover.

11 a.m. He jerks off in the bedroom while I get some water. Turns out COVID sex is not quite as fun as sex-sex. I just want to go back to sleep.

5 p.m. We’re watching more stupid movies but I do feel satiated in a new and nice way from coming so hard this morning.

9 p.m. We get into bed and even though I feel a little horny, I decide to let it build up for tomorrow morning. We have more days ahead of us — might as well indulge where we can.

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The Art Teacher Quarantining With a Fling Who Gave Her COVID