SOPHIA BENJAMIN


Writer

14-day quarantine in an apartment beginning 25/3/2020. Currently self-isolating with my mum.

Sophia Benjamin is a writer, editor and Masters student based in Melbourne. She has edited for Meanjin and The Lifted Brow, and her writing has been published in Voiceworks and Archer Magazine.



𓅔




Quarantine night 1
A blurry fever dream, I am sexually assaulted, I remember nothing else.


Quarantine night 2
Remember nothing.


Quarantine night 3
In a bar, the toilet stalls are caked with grime. I sit on a toilet and the bowl is almost full to the brim with shining, golden coins. A girl from high school keeps dropping more coins in while I try to piss. I walk outside, and am seduced by Dorian Electra, who pulls me closer with intoxicating eroticism. A friend of mine dominates the room in white flares and a white vest puffer, she steals champagne from behind the bar. I party fucking hard.

My little sister is small again, and we both sit on a small, green ocean cliff. Water curls vertically and surrounds in giant, rubbery blue whirls. I try to make her lunch, the biscuits I am making are suddenly entirely caked with avocado. I hide a big, dark blue stone for her to find, it shines like the most beautiful object in existence. We have to leave because she’s not allowed in the ocean after 5 pm.


Quarantine night 4
Me and my ex-boyfriend in a dark garage, filled to the brim with water. I am a mermaid, a siren, and I coil and writhe through the water, taunting and teasing him with my slippery tail, he watches. Suddenly the walls vanish, and we must pump water from the ground. All that comes out is brown, sludgy mud, its overflows the garage. I take flight, and swim high above the house, an enormous white sheet is my skirt and flows and twines in the wind. I’m getting dangerously high, he’s still on the ground.


Quarantine night 5
Strangers in my old house making sushi, the food is falling all over the place, splatting and flying up the walls.


Quarantine night 6
I pee in the men’s bathrooms, a man chases me out. I give birth to baby snakes, and a huge, underground reptilian presence saves my life. My serpentine baby daddy?


Quarantine night 7
I run out of my childhood house dragging an enormous black suitcase, (the one I lugged overseas), I am running late for everything with my crazy huge suitcase. I struggle to get on to the bus. I see a woman with creatures moving under her skin, forming a honey-comb like chrysalis that erupts into seeping, clotted lesions. She screams, she is intense pain, I am too. I am running from her, and my suitcase is bursting open as I try to pull it up and down stairs.


Quarantine night 8
I am filled with desperate, excruciating anger and self-hatred. I smash up a room using splintered chunks of wood, I shatter and pound objects, I throw vases and plates.


Quarantine night 9
I run through a landscape with a woman I know. We have super-human abilities, we leap into the sky and travel an enormous distance. We jump in the middle of a big highway, we take elemental leaps, we play songs, we land in the basement of a record store.


Quarantine night 10
I kiss a person I am not supposed to. My best friend is a nymph in violet colours, with sparkling blue eyes. We are standing in a giant underground canopy made of sand and vines, enormous waves along a beach thrash the canopy, we fall and are swept up in sand tidal waves, fearing and anticipating death at every turn, it never comes. We escape into honeycomb like holes in the sand, squeezing up and through them. The canopy also becomes a tower up which we run. I really wanted to kiss that person.


Quarantine night 11
I walk in an international airport, it is a cavernous limbo space, an infinite, seamless interior. Empty and featureless, the walls and ceiling and floor are made from a rubbery, matte pink and blue substance, the colours are overwhelming. It emits intense heat and energy. I see rolling staircases, and endless escalators, which I board. I need to get somewhere, I need to find someone. Escalators, suitcase, escalators, suitcase.