By Duke Harten
Remember meeting that beautiful young lady the other night? You did a good handshake and exchanged pleasantries. You told her your name. You asked where she’s from. Let me tell you: That’s a good start!
She probably thought: What a normal guy. Well, let me rephrase—she probably thought: He isn’t weird enough to tweet about or call the cops on.
Because you lacked the courage to express interest to her face, you’re in a rickety situation. Best guess? You’re on your couch listening to The Avett Brothers and wondering what she’d think of a friend request. Everybody friend requests everybody, you think. Who even cares? If she thinks you’re creepy, screw her! It’s Facebook.
Whatever. You’re gonna do it.
You listen to “Love Game” by Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
There, you did it. Friend request sent.
Time to get up and pace your apartment. Go take a nervous shit and then do some Bane impressions in the bathroom mirror. “I am Gotham’s reckoning,” you say to your reflection. You cover your mouth with your hands so you sound just like Tom Hardy.
You go back to your living room and open a book because you suspect the beautiful young lady likes a guy who reads. You read the same paragraph several times without absorbing its meaning. You imagine what you must look like, reading on your couch. Very intellectual. Beautiful young ladies like intellectual guys. You know that. You dog-ear the book and put it on your coffee table, knowing that if the beautiful young lady ever makes it to your living room she’ll see the book and think: Holy moly, this guy is a reader.
You don’t check your phone. You turn on your TV and watch Impractical Jokers.
Finally, the suspense is too much. You crack. With gritted teeth you look at your Facebook. The friend request is still pending—great.
You check your phone all day. Nothing happens. You start looking at apartments in Cincinnati.
She accepts your friend request. You spend forty minutes looking at her photos and figuring out what bands she likes and where she’s traveled. You start listening to The Head and the Heart. It’s not really your thing, but, like, neither was coffee at first. Now you love coffee. You imagine going to a Head and the Heart show. You wish she liked Arctic Monkeys.
You like one of her statuses.
You post a witty status. She doesn’t like it. You cry for a while and then drink half a bottle of red wine. You go to the mirror and do the Joker monologue where he says his father is a drinker. You FaceTime your freshman year roommate who lives in China. He doesn’t answer.
She changes her cover photo.
You like her cover photo.
You meet a girl on Tinder and go on a date. She likes The Head and the Heart. You speak intelligently about their catalog. She thinks you’re cool. You smooch her and agree to go out again. You go home and check the beautiful young lady’s Facebook. She’s in Arizona visiting her cousins.
She likes a link you shared. You faint.
She goes Facebook official with somebody named Grant. You start rewatching How I Met Your Mother.
You finish Season 5 of HIMYM. You buy four Adderall off your coworker and start writing a play. You abandon it after the third page when you realize you’re just copying the dialogue of The Big Lebowski. You smoke some really old weed that’s been sitting in your underwear drawer. You eat three Lunchables. Your hands are clammy from the Adderall. You check Facebook. Nothing.
You follow her on Instagram. She follows you back within two minutes. You vomit.
You tell your friend Amanda about her. Amanda scrolls through the Instagram. “Be careful,” you say. Amanda accidentally likes a photo of hers from sixteen weeks ago. You kill Amanda and bury her body.
You deactivate your Facebook and your Instagram. You write goodbye letters to your family and leave them propped up on your dresser, like Seth did at the end of Season 1 of The O.C.
You commandeer a sailboat and play Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” on repeat as you drift out to sea. You’re free. You drink twelve Bud Light Limes and fall asleep.
The Coast Guard picks you up and charges you with a litany of crimes.
Your dad bails you out of jail. You reactivate your Facebook. Everybody is posting in a group called “Find Amanda!”
You change your cover photo to a Head and the Heart picture. The beautiful young lady likes it and comments “Yes!” You have a heart attack and die.