An expanse of clouded gray surrounding my brain. On the screen, I can pinpoint your name beside a 1cmx1cm box of a picture of you lying down. I clear the mist and hover over your name. The whole row highlights but a slight quiver signifies a pause. The everpresent question – to click or not to click? Command + T opens a new tab – I type ‘How to Flirt on Facebook’ – 179,000,000 hits. Command + Click opens all of them in respective new tabs. A sad rhetoric, something I’ve known, as if flirting with you, someone I’ve seen but a couple of times is different from flirting with Jason as we danced at Malate last night. Jason was the easy one, the lasers bounced off his chest as I spun him around. This time, in mediation, I cannot even click on your name. I refuse to succumb to a guidebook on flirting, whatever tips and tricks and tropes to use. I hover over your name. I click on you and a new panel appears. It is blank, as blank perhaps as I know you or as blank as you could ever know me. Blank, the purity of a white untarnished unblemishable wall. The keys jingle, did the manufacturer have to make ‘i’ so close to ‘h’? Two miserable letters, the letters that have been known to resolve battles from international wars to a friendly spat. I spend a day making up that word – that word perfected through a whole tradition of men like me, the exact word for an exact situation for an exact recipient. Enter/Return. Ironic – one button for entering and returning. It’s as if Steve Jobs wanted the dichotomy of an entrance/exit, into/out of, want/loathe. Eyelids shut, I wet my lower lip, mouthing ‘what the fuck’ as my fingers jab the button. I pretend it was accidental.

Immediately, I enter a whirlwind of thoughts. I imagine you resting your head on my torso. You’d talk to me in that low baritone and my lips would half-smile. I wouldn’t need to know what you’re saying, your voice would comfort me. I’d take your glasses and wipe them for you – after all, you’d need to see me better. I see us walking through UP, our friends would see us, they’d be surprised – pleasantly, of course – they would never figure out how someone like me got someone like you. At night, we’d make truth of their surprise. You’d show me your sketches and I’d act out a monologue. We’ll try to be creative as I’ll pretend to know how to draw plates and you’d try to act out a monologue from Hamlet. We’d fail – miserably – but we’d laugh it off. We’d make love, you’d kiss my neck and I could smell your hair rushing through my nose. But when I open my eyes you wouldn’t be there – I’d be in my room, facing a blank window, white, supposedly but violated by one line, one word, two letters.

I count the time, one minute ago, two minutes ago, three minutes ago, an hour ago, yesterday. I wait for the beep. I wait for the beep. I wait for the beep and the little parenthesis with a number or the red balloon with a number. I wait for the beep, this dream of us starts with the beep. The beep, the beep, the beep. Where is the beep? Where is the sound of the beep? How can we be together, how can we laugh, how can you cry to me when you’ve failed your math exams? How can I love you and how can you love me when the beep doesn’t come? I wait for the beep. I wait for the beep. I’m waiting for the beep.



Three of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck