There's this sticker, or the remnants thereof, suckling the metal covering of an energy box on my street. Thinking you are street enough to lay stickers as a means to tag, is a very suburban, New England, thing to do. This street, perpendicular to my new apartment, is where the USPS label lies dead, tolerating more sun and his humor than I ever could in the end. It grows fainter with each day, fuzzier with each season and feels less painful with the approaching year. I used to pretend not to pay attention to it, like you do with flashing yellow lights, hushes from old wealth at Broadway plays, in previews, and side-eyed new mother when cursing in front of her child on the train for the first dozen rides. I walk by it every day. When the paper was still fresh the rain began to moisten the edges of it and it began to peel like an annoying price tag. The pathway of suck lingered like a trail.
It's almost gone now. I correlate the time it will take for it to be completely decomposed with the amount of time I will measure the weight of my guilt and the singleness of my new 30-ness. But IT'S STILL THERE, like the online dating apps are that I had deleted. Even after that, I was asked to politely recycle one in order to initiate the beginning of a modern-day courtship, so I said 'yes'. Dating apps gone. But the leaves, they always come back, and the desire, like the sticker, never truly unfurls itself. Like a re-downloaded OkCupid icon shows: a year and change doesn't amount to the fact that bad art, and emptiness, never die, and we weigh more than the 140 characters our generation has been limited into becoming.
One-hundred forty characters reveals more than you might intend to disclose with the world. I know. The one thing, you should delete, while you rehang the broken frames he or she smashed, and rescue all the holes and screws left exposed, are the late-night pictures of your relationship (and your cat in the fetal position, even if he is, or was, your millennial version of rehab).