It was late, and I could feel myself sweating through my cargo pants. The dance floor was crowded, but the music was loud enough to drown out my fears of being perceived. Not even an hour beforehand, my roommates had painstakingly applied wings of black eyeliner to my virgin eyelids. I had shaded my … [Read more…]

Cut Up

  It’s 12:37 PM and I am sitting at the desk in my bedroom holding a large pair of black and pink scissors. There is a window in my room and the midday light shines down on me like an aptly positioned spotlight. I prop my iPhone up against the sill in front of me … [Read more…]

On Cooper

Diane, 11:30am, February 24th. Entering the town of Twin Peaks. What is most devastating about the opener is not that Laura Palmer is dead; Laura Palmer has been dead since the beginning. You will never know her and never love her. She is a blank, a lovely corpse, but no longer a girl. Not a … [Read more…]

Anything but Now

Last year, I participated in the Penn Marriage Pact: an online survey that algorithmically matched students with “optimal marital back-up plans” (a.k.a. paired them with another lonely soul who could potentially stand in as a kind of matrimonial last resort). As part of the process, I was emailed my “Hot Takes” — three survey questions … [Read more…]

The Love Troll

My name is Chelsey, I’m 21 years old, and I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m introducing myself like I’m in Alcoholics Anonymous because I’m addicted to romance. It’s been with me since I was seven years old, when I looked across my 2nd grade classroom at some booger-picking boy and thought, I like that. When I … [Read more…]

The Agnostic Search for Life

As a species, humans know essentially nothing. Go to Wikipedia and look up lists of planets that orbit other stars. There’s an enormous table of known exoplanets, and if you look to the far right there’s a column entitled ‘Remarks,’ which is, for the most part, empty. Every once in a while, there’ll be a … [Read more…]

Night Stalker

“Is this gonna remind me of how much I hate committed relationships?” says the man at the next table. Immediately, I am intrigued. Is he about to confirm every negative thing I’ve ever assumed about men? I love when they do that. I glance sideways – great hair, oddly perfect two to three days of … [Read more…]


Phyllis didn’t know what Henry had done to get back into prison, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t bad. She’d only been working at the prisons for one week, but she’d already heard from others that he was a good person, that he didn’t deserve what he got. He’d served all of his time … [Read more…]