collections of short narratives, rewritten episodes, & jovial cynicism





I’m certain job searching is the closest I will get to online dating, and LinkedIn is my Bumble.

I’ve created a profile; showed it to friends and select family, asking for feedback.

I’m given tips on how to be more desirable than others, and how I should order my attributes.

I’ve taken pretty pictures.

Cover letters are my DMs, and I spend hours crafting and scrutinizing them. I’m recycling and rewording sure fire phrases, trying not to be too pushy, but I can’t seem passive or disinterested either.

Friends come over, and we have drafting parties: cmd+x this, cmd+c that, cmd+p it there.

Done. Send.

And then I wait. I’ve shown my interest, the ball has left my court, and I wait for it to bounce back.

Pings, and alerts have become triggers. They tell me when someone has “viewed me” or “liked” something I did, and if I’m feeling so inclined, I return the flirtation. I am constantly reaching for a device that gives me a sign that someone, somewhere acknowledges my efforts.

But it seems all in vain: as quickly as the pings start, they slow.

Did a shinier resume slide into your DMs? Did a friend hook you up with a friend of a friend? Maybe daddy stepped in and chose for you? Did I send mine too early? Was my follow up too late? Did I write “Hey Erica,” instead of “Hi”? Was “Have a great weekend!” to forward? Are we not there yet?

Ghosted and back at square one. Gamification has intertwined itself into two of the most structured parts of our existence, and I’m expected to dust myself off and try again.

But for how much longer before I shut it off, press delete and admit defeat?

Tatyana Mann