Editor’s Note: The below text is a journal entry from the year 2021 found crumpled in a pile of used masks in the year 2087, and will be on display in the Museum of Natural History in the COVID-19 Pandemic Exhibit. 

Journal day 572, 

My lazy-ass mother made pancakes for dinner and acts like she’s doing us a favor. This took zero foresight and an entire 10 minutes of preparation, so don’t serve this to me like it’s gourmet. At least warn me next time so I can prime myself for the gut-punch of coming home to the smell of spongey carb discs slathered in corn syrup after a hard day at work. I might as well stuff my intestines with packing peanuts, and to make matters worse, now I’ll feel weird when I pound an entire container of Americone Dream later as Stephen Colbert ogles me like I’m a Republican senator at the “Q” convention. 

Speaking of insects, I have a paralyzing phobia of caterpillars. Every time one of the  hairy green turds inches by, I’m overtaken by an intense dread rooted in a traumatic childhood event that I have repressed — don’t ask me what it is, I have no clue, but it was terrible, I’m sure. The deepest caverns of my psyche are stuffed with gauzy, stringy globs of caterpillar silk and rendered inaccessible. Welcome to my twisted mind. Only The Very Hungry Caterpillar in my brain knows what horrors lay beyond, and instead of apples or lollipops or pickles, he’s jonesing for serotonin. 

I got Tinder again on my phone and kept it for a smidge and then deleted it after that, once again. It’s just not worth my time I don’t think. I was swiping for an entire hour (or it could have been two or maybe three, I don’t know). There’s no way they’re showing my profile to all the people that I see, because the count at the top (I paid for Tinder gold…as a joke) said I only got three likes. Statistically, that makes no sense. I did the math. I also found this study that says, if Tinder were a country, its Gini coefficient would be 0.58. Journal, that means that Tinder has more income inequality than  95.1% of the world’s economies. Some estimate that the ratio of men to women on Tinder is nine-to-one. Nine-to-one! But it’s not a big deal. I’ll just go outside instead. It’s not like I was serious about finding love on Tinder; I was just bored. I’m not even concerned with finding love at all; I’m just too busy. There’s not enough time in the day, except for when I have nothing to do but surf Tinder. Dear god, please help me, nobody likes me because I have a big nose. 

I took a massive shit at work earlier, which I was purposely holding so that I could go at a time that I know people don’t usually have to go, like biorhythmically, and so I thought 12:30. It  was great at first, but then this older dude that always seems to overestimate the closeness of our relationship walked in and recognized me by my Crocs-and-socks combo. He started telling me about how he was excited to leave work early to pick up his idiot kid from day camp, or something. Figuring that my fate was pretty much sealed, I asked him his kid’s age and he said pre-school. And then, for whatever reason, he took that as an invitation to  chronicle his child’s pre-academic, pre-social, pre-artistic, and pre-athletic history in near encyclopedic detail as I proceeded to pinch loafs. I made grunting noises to indicate my attention but also to vent some bodily pressure because man did I bank it. We went on like that until I had to wipe, at which point my discomfort hit its summit and I had no choice but to channel some realness, so naturally I interrupted his monologue by shouting that I needed to wipe my ass and that he should tell me about his kid some other time. We didn’t talk for the rest of the shift. 

Thanks, journal, you’re always here when I need you. It’s so great to have a space where  I can share my innermost thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or the risk of being  perceived. You are nice, safe, and voice activated Frozen themed diary. I  wish I could stay, but I have a CT Humor deadline to meet. Fucking fantastic. I haven’t even started. 

Best, 

Fabian Halblander, ’23 

Dreamer | Do-er | Libra



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