“The Tinder Generation
Alana Hope Levinson

Jack or David or Brian

Jack or David or Brian looked tired in person and it made me immediately wonder how tired I looked, too. My first bathroom break wasn’t scheduled for at least 25 minutes — roughly “enough of a beer” and “all of a shot” — so I resigned myself to just sitting at the blessedly dark corner table he chose. I decided, sight unseen, that I looked more tired than him because I am better at everything than everyone.

Jack or David or Brian was a writer because of course he was a writer! He told me the plot of his screenplay after I asked, in earnest. I was high on pot.

I knew I wasn’t going to have sex with him right away. It was a fact, a pure, brand new baby fact and it bummed me out as most facts do. When Jack or David or Brian was a well-punctuated light gray bubble on my cracked 5S, I thought I might have sex with him. He started texts with “Aubrey.” which I thought was hot. IRL he called me Audrey by accident and I hated him. Also, I had started to get the feeling Jack or David or Brian was lying to me.

So I went to the bathroom. I shot off a couple “it’s kind of weird??” texts and checked the mirror for tiredness/selfie potential. I looked pretty awake and kind of fine (nothing Amaro, or, oh baby, Ludwig couldn’t smooth out) and the mirror was A Mirror, but I softly decided not to document.

Back at the table, Jack or David or Brian was ordering a second round for the both of us and I was, ugh, ready to go. I did want a second round, but at this point I wanted it with a friend or, fuck, by myself. “Wait, so you live on the east side,” I said because I was bored. “Yeah — “ he faltered and for the first time that night, I leaned forward. If I’m not going to have sex at least I’m going to be proven right.

Jack or David or Brian did, in fact, live on the east side — with his girlfriend of several years. “We’re on a — we’re going to be — we’re definitely — she’s moving ou — it’s a break — we’re breaking up.” I asked him how it worked, him going on Tinder dates while his girlfriend (I had conjured her in my mind as looking like Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer) was at home. “Well, I spend most nights not at the apartment,” and then he looked me right in the eye for no less than 20 seconds.

I nodded because I got it. We were both doing the same thing, in a way. “I’m actually not surprised that’s your situation,” I said and he asked me why. “Oh,” I giggled, “I’m a little bit psychic,” and I waved my hand like it was an absolute, duh, truth. Jack or David or Brian didn’t laugh. That’s fine.

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