🚇 | 🧑🏻‍🏫 📬 💔


🚇 one of my guilty pleasures is watching strangers' phone activity on the subway, through the reflection of the window. I think when you're standing you generally have a perception that someone might be peeking over your shoulder, but when you're seated with your back to the wall, you have a false sense of security. on saturday i was surreptitiously observing someone's Hinge habits; about 10 seconds scrolling up and down a profile, a quick switch to the Standouts tab for a peruse of some higher quality goods, and then a glance at the chat screen to feel validated and desired but not actually responding to any messages for now. All in all about 40 seconds total, and then back to Spotify. oh and turns out my gaydar was off (hair + outfit told me he wasn't gay but he was). sat next to him, a generic above-average attractive Manhattan white woman in her 30s; she spent the entire subway ride looking at Airbnbs. ~~~ I've been putting off writing a bunch of things for a while. inaugurating my blog identity was one ✅, some of the others: 🧑🏻‍🏫 there are a couple high school teachers i keep up with; the Brits are strange and I like a dose of it now and then. one of them, a maths teacher, but at school we mostly talked about rudimentary philosophy and literature (mostly just me trying to say interesting things). in my mid-college years we somehow started exchanging emails and he became an unlikely ear to my sad boi woes, offering quaint wistful responses. a couple years ago we had some intense political disagreements (he's the British version of "Old Left highly critical of New Left") which abruptly soured our correspondence, but i've been meaning to write to him again. 📬 May 2020 I matched with someone on Tinder; it turned out we had briefly met at a dinner party in college. she was still in the bay so we ended up becoming friendly pen pals with a hint of romance. it started off as a sort of pandemic past-time and it escalated from month to month: she would send lil paintings and bracelets and polaroids; at one point I made her a custom circuit board – a tiny boombox that played "This Must Be The Place" and nothing else. The latest package I received contains a poetry magazine, 2 notebooks with lino print covers, a Batik fan, and a bag of shells, stones, and lavender. I don't know how to top that. 💔 my longest romantic relationship ended just over 5 years ago. i loved her, a lot. we were 19 but we talked about marriage; it was naive but pure. we were long distance; she ended it over FaceTime, and poorly. the few times we've tried to talk since have mostly been a dumpster fire of nasty texts and emails. i still think about it, often, and tearfully. Last month, she texted me again, 3 years since our last conversation. it wasn't just "hi how are you", but also "im sorry for how things ended" and "i'm a kinder person now". the thought of finally finding some sort of closure after 5 years is both gut-wrenching and absurdly poetic; a surreal Bildungsroman pipe dream. i told her it was nice to hear from her but that i needed some time to process and respond. i'm still figuring out what to say.