The train stalls just as I see he’s holding some other girl’s hand. I look up and out the window. I’m doing my quietest panic, seeing as I’d rather not give my fellow passengers a more memorable commute.
In the empty courtyard below there’s a figure dancing, headphone cord swaying. I title the display “rhythmic jumping.” My hand is burning. I look back at her hand in his. The burning spreads to my face. She has nice nails; way nicer than mine.
There was that one time we walked down that icy road holding hands for support and joking that we’d let the other fall. We had made some sort of bet back at the bar that we’d decided had ended in a draw. The stakes involved a number of kisses; which we now each had to deliver on. I used his hand’s support to catapult myself toward his lips.
The train slowly begins to roll again. I look up and catch the eyes of a fellow passenger. I then, almost too quickly, look back at my phone. As my stop approaches, I exit his Facebook page and note that stalking is not for the faint of heart.
Don’t forget to live deeply*
*You might want to breathe through your nose because I heard once that it’s better for your throat because your nose hole warms the cold air before it reaches your throat and lungs. Or something science like that.
*In addition to the usual hot beverages I highly recommend anything whiskey.
*I say don’t forget because it’s fucking cold and when you can’t feel your toes it’s easy to forget what life is.
Our fire burned for 64 hours, at least. We left after the 64th hour of fire so there’s no telling how long it lasted after we had left but it was mostly ash and smoking wood by the time we left so it couldn’t have been too long.
“Do you always keep your toothbrush in the shower?” She asked, noticing that this was the second time in a row this had happened.
“No, that’s one of the bad things about me.”
“That you forget it in there?”
She didn’t think that was quite so bad.
The nails are always the first to go. They peel and fall away until you decide to eventually cut them off and start from scratch.
And then you watch them grow. Eventually you think, these are definitely longer than when we said goodbye. You take care of them. They grow strong.
Someone comments on them. You then stare at them all day, admiring your work and their strength. They’re perfectly even. All the same length.
Then one breaks. You decide not to freak out. You file it back to a nice shape and notice how much shorter it looks than the others. But it’s fine; you know it’ll grow.
- trick a poor soul into giving you his number
- have some nice banter with him but don’t come off as too interested
- make plans with him
- suddenly switch to crazy bitch mode
- get your phone number blocked
- use his number to research him on the Google and find him on Facebook and then on all other social media websites you both use
- send him polite but condescending messages on each of his social media platforms. things like “good job”, “nice”, “classy”, and “asshole”.
- ok, maybe that last one is lacking the polite factor
- the message on Facebook should scare him the most, seeing as he’s now aware that you know his full name, date of birth, place of work, and what he did on june 5, 2011
- allow him to do damage control via Facebook messenger and try not to get too offended by his fear that he now has a real live crazy stalker person on his hands. your gig is just that believable
- play innocent
- confuse him
- watch as each and every one of his social media profiles seemingly disappears off the face of the earth
and there you have it. we’ve done the research for you so that you don’t have to but feel free to try your own methods. this is science after all.
The dead beetle’s shell had broken and expanded like wings. Maybe it was kind of beautiful. I doubted anyone else passing by the stairwell would think so. I watched as with each passing day it spread its wings further and further. It reminded me of the cheerio by the elevator that I had been nodding to every morning for months. I wondered how long it would be until the beetle spread it’s shell-wings and flew away. That day would somehow feel momentous. I would probably pause for a moment, think of how I should react, and them move on down the stairs without a conclusion. I never really know how to react when small momentous occasions I build up for no apparent reason actually come around.
I said farewell to the beetle and exited the building, greeted by the cold I didn’t really feel. All I felt was the breeze in my crotch area that reminded me that I wasn’t wearing any underwear. I was suddenly self conscious about what my butt looked like in my leggings without underwear on. It was a good thing I was only going next door, where my butt would be concealed by the couch I would be sitting on in the coffee shop. I was a bit ashamed that I was joining the culture of young adults sitting at coffee shops with their laptops open. I looked at the older man across the room who had nothing but his coffee cup on the table in front of him. He was observing us. We locked eyes in a way that was more dramatic in my head than it actually was in real life and then were cut off by some type-A college student who spoke in a billion octaves too high for an actual human who was asking him for the extra chair at his table. The study group was apparently thriving.
A girl sat down near me on the couch and opened her laptop. Her computer background said “fly” in big fancy letters across the screen. I thought that was dumb and cliche and looked down on her for being so generic. Then I kind of felt like crying because I was the numb kind of exhausted where you don’t really know who you are and if you ever really knew who you were or ever really existed in a sense that wasn’t so boringly generic. My iced coffee was sweating. It tasted like bourbon.