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Not Fade Away

You had no idea your friend was feeling this way. You are so sorry they didn’t feel they could reach out. But they’re still here, miraculously, and they know now they can, right? You are afraid for them; you want them to be happy. You’re there whenever they need you, no hesitation. You want them to stick around, so whenever they’re feeling bad they should call or whatever other way they want to reach out.

The fear fades, as all things do. Lives come back into focus.

You are so sorry, but you are just so busy this weekend. Ugh, and next. Maybe we can meet up the week after? Something just popped up… 

Seriously though, any time you want to come over, just holler.

Sorry, you were in a movie. You’ll call back later so you can catch up.

Sorry, everything’s just been nuts lately. But seriously, call at any time.

You mean to call back, you mean to send a text or a tweet or something to say you saw they called. But your partner is having a real tough week. Your attention gets sucked into a shitty movie playing on basic cable and then wow it got late. Plus, there wasn’t a voicemail so things are probably fine.

Oh shoot there was that text yesterday, you forgot. But it was just a joke. It’s fine.

You only say something when you have something to *say*, y’know? It isn’t a big deal, everything’s fine, yeah?

You mean to reply, you really do, but you just forget, and then there’s like 50 texts from dad and Stu about the Yankees.

There aren’t any more texts or calls, but you don’t notice for a while.

Huh, haven’t heard anything in a while.

Sorry. You understand, right? …These things happen.


A Brief Fictional Account of the NYT Editorial Meeting Yesterday

NYT Editor 1: I’m worried our slide into total irrelevancy is slowing down.
NYT Editor 2: Me too. It’s been, like, weeks since we’ve said something hilariously, grossly wrong about popular culture.
NYT Editor 1: So, what’s our target tomorrow?
Neil Genzlinger: How about I shit all over the fantasy genre, like Ginia did?
NYT Editor 2: Just try not to complain too much about all the boobs. Maybe dial back the complete misinterpretation of the show’s themes. The “interwebs” got kind of upset last time.
NYT Editor 1 looks at him askance.
NYT Editor 2: It’s cool, I was saying “interwebs” ironically, because that joke is still totally fresh.
Joel Stein: I could dash off a quick, half-formed opinion about an entire genre beloved by millions and populated by some truly exceptional books. But I won’t actually read any YA novels. Instead, I’ll just call everyone who reads YA a baby. Literally.
NYT Editor 1: Eh, not quite insulting enough.
Joel Stein: I can add some not-so-subtle misogyny?
NYT Editors 1 and 2: Sold!

Everyone chortles, clinks glasses.