Welcome to My Crib: The Middletown Inn
Last Wednesday, I awoke from sweet dreams and into every Wesleyan student’s nightmare. I had missed a call from an 860 number, which contained the dreaded announcement: I was the close contact of someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. Confirming my fears was a text from my friend, which jolted me out of bed and into a packing frenzy. For this week’s edition of “Wesleyan, Welcome to My Crib,” I bring to you some shots of my gilded cage at the Middletown Inn. I’ve since been released, but these are reflections on the room while I was staying there.
This is one of the two beds included in my room. I designated one for sleeping and the other for the rest of the stuff that I brought with me to stay entertained, plus all of my dirty clothing. Each bed came with four pillows, which is a bit ridiculous, but this means I had nine in total since I also brought one from my dorm. The beds were soft and plushy, which was nice at first, but eventually had me missing my hard twin XL back home in WestCo. Since I was all alone, my guitar got to live the high life, with a bed essentially to itself.
Over in this corner, I created a designated study/class space. Though the lamp did not work, this area had a very comfy armchair and a weirdly small footstool that I also used earlier in the week to do a fun little photoshoot. You can see the edge of the towel that’s served as my yoga mat over the 10-day period. Though I tried really hard to be productive, the combination of spotty WiFi and anxiety-related apathy I felt made this corner slightly less utilized than I had hoped.
I was placed on the top floor of the hotel, in Room 420 (I know, the irony!), meaning that my view was quite bird’s eye. I could see the Connecticut River, exit signs, parking lots, and random buildings that I couldn’t really make sense of. Since the start of my isolation, I’ve seen fire (there was a bit of a microwave incident on Sunday night) and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days…haha, you get the gist. There was even one moment where two small sparrows landed on my windowsill and stared at me for a good five seconds before flying away, tantalizing me with their freedom.
Last, but definitely not least, is the crown jewel of this entire experience: the bathroom. I had forgotten about the luxury of not wearing shoes in the shower, bathtubs, and general privacy. I seized this opportunity to finally shave my legs again, do my skincare routine every night, and floss without fear of grossing out any unlucky hallmate that wandered into the bathroom while I was washing up. The mirror made me look tan and fit, and ironically my skin cleared up almost completely a few days into my isolation period. This is the only part of quarantine that I miss.
While I’m glad to be back to campus life, being isolated alone for 10 days was certainly an experience. Small victories included learning to plunge a toilet, finding my giant bottle of Advil (post-headache), and celebrating Passover on Zoom with loved ones. I wrote some music, watched a lot of movies, and indulged in DoorDash and bath bombs. Let this be a reminder to keep wearing your mask, cherish your living space, and remember that you CAN spend too much time on Instagram.
Talia Zitner can be reached at email@example.com.