Why I Didn’t Respond to Your Text

I didn’t reply right away, and then I felt like it’d be weird to reply a day later. Weirder to reply a week later. Six weeks. Six months. What’s been up? Oh, not much, hbu? 

Everything’s just so crazy lately.

When it came in, I was switching all my data over to a new phone, and when I finally got everything transferred over, I’d forgotten about your text. Actually, no, “forgotten” isn’t quite right because I remember it now, and I remember it lots of other times, like when I’m in the shower or when I’m in the middle of a Zoom karaoke night (ew) or when I’m chopping chicken and my hands are coated in salmonella juice (somehow slightly less ew). The problem is I never remember it when I’m sitting down and comfortable and have my phone in my hand and don’t have something else really pressing to do, like scroll through the front page of Reddit for the 23rd time today.

I didn’t want you to know I was still awake and checking my texts at 3 am.  

You sent me a link to a video I totally meant to check out when I had a moment and was somewhere that it wouldn’t be weird for me to have my phone’s sound on. Turns out it’s always weird to have my sound on. You never know when you might be in the middle of an important work video call and scroll across an autoplay video with horrific or offensive sound, like the pop-squish-splatter sound of someone crushing a watermelon with their thighs.

Your text was so long the bubble was almost as tall as my phone screen, and it didn’t have any easy-to-answer questions, just a meandering report of what’s new in this Elder Scrolls Online holiday event, and “cool” seemed like a disproportionate reply so I figured I’d wait until I have energy for something more meaningful. You know, like, next year or the year after that when everything calms down, I’ve been so busy, so much to do, so much unfolding and refolding the couch blanket, so much alternately forgetting to water and overwatering my houseplants.

You invited me to be on your podcast, and I couldn’t figure out how to reply in a way that would balance my appreciation of the fact that you think I’m cool enough that somebody might actually listen to me talk on purpose with the fact that I have less than zero interest in being on your podcast, like, seriously, I’d rather do another Zoom karaoke night.

It was right after I got back from the funeral and your text was so sweet, so kind, so full of thoughtful wishes and I blinked at it, read it twice, but “cool, thanks” seemed wrong, so I told myself I’d respond in the morning. But in the morning I had other more important things to do, like sleep until noon and then beat myself up for sleeping until noon.

It’s just been so hectic lately, you know, with the pandemic and all.

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