In Real Life, by Julia Rubin

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In Real Life, by Julia Rubin

Silverfoxinabox
54, Boston
I totally understand that I am not what you’re looking for but I just had to say you are gorgeous.  I understand you are out of my league.
Sent Sept. 27 

Silverfoxinabox
54, Boston
I see that you looked at my profile. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. I just thought you should know how beautiful you are.
Sent Sept. 29

Silverfoxinabox
54, Boston
A “thank you” would be appropriate.
Sent Oct. 3

Ohhihello
23, Boston
Sorry for the delayed response. I rarely send messages on this thing. But, thank you for the compliment. I hope you have a great day.
Sent Oct. 5

Silverfoxinabox
54, Boston
You’re very welcome.  Do you drink coffee? I was thinking we might meet for a cappuccino on Newbury St. There’s this lovely little place. It’s a bookstore, too. I see that you have a fondness for books. What do you say?
Sent Oct. 5

Silverfoxinabox
54, Boston
You might see me and think “old fart,” but I really think you should reconsider. You are missing out on an abundance of possibilities if you only look for men your age. You are clearly a mature, young woman, who deserves an intelligent and experienced man. I’m sure there is some part of you that wonders what it might be like. You can’t tell me otherwise. So, coffee? What do you say?
Sent. Oct. 5

Ohhihello
23, Boston
Thanks again for the praise. I’m flattered, but I’m not interested.
Sent Oct. 5

Silverfoxinabox has been blocked

Distinguishedfellow4u
54, Boston
Hello, it’s me again, Pete. I looked for our messages, but for some reason they had disappeared. I tried to search for your name, Ohhihello (truly charming), but, zilch! I don’t know, I’m not too good with technology. Figure it was a glitch in the system so I just made a new profile. I rather despise it, actually. Would love to write you a real letter with pen and paper. There’s something to be said for having to wait. The reward is that much more gratifying when you can’t receive a response, instantly. You would think my kids’ cell phones are glued to their hands. The other day, my daughter, Zoe, thought she misplaced hers. We were supposed to have a goddamn (excuse my French) dinner, me and her, and she couldn’t stop crying. Over a cell phone! Can you believe it? It really is a modern plague. Don’t you think? Anyway, have you given any thought to coffee? Or, a cocktail, perhaps? There’s this delightful place on Tremont. What do you say?
Sent Oct. 6

Distinguishedfellow4u
54, Boston
What a strange coincidence that we were both in Coolidge Corner this weekend! I knew it was you right away from the purple streak in your hair. It’s what caught my eye when I was clicking through profiles in the first place. You definitely stood out. When you get to be my age, everyone starts to look the same. It’s nice to meet a woman that has some spunk.  Anyway, I know you were in a hurry to get to work when we bumped into each other outside the movie theater, so I thought I’d follow up here. ( I love Otto by the way. They have the best thin crust pizza in town! Do you get to take home the leftovers?) I had just seen this strange independent film. Lately, I’ve taken to going to the movies on my own on Sundays. I used to go with my wife and it’s taken a while to revive the tradition in my singlehood. I think you would have liked this film, though. It was all black and white, you know, the type they used to make way before your time. I can’t even quite remember the name; it was the name of two girls––Beatrice and Lila? Brenda and Libby? I’m not sure, but anyway it was black and white, like the olden days, but a modern film. Quite strange, really, a lot of lounging around on couches, smoking marijuana. You might like it. I know you didn’t have time to chat, but I wanted to ask you––do you spend much time in Coolidge Corner? I live in Brookline. It’s a nice place to live, really. Gets lonely of course, these days, not to put a damper on things. But, you know how it goes. Not looking for pity, of course, just stating facts! I really am quite happy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just this city living that can get to you. Anyway, maybe you’d like to see one of those independent films some time. What do you say?
Sent Oct. 9

Distinguishedfellow4u
54, Boston
Well it’s clear you’re not very polite. Perhaps I’ve wasted my time here. But if anything, maybe I can teach you a little something about how to be a respectful human. I know you’re young, but not too young to treat people well. Anyone can do that, you know. I am sure you’re very busy–––as busy as a purple haired twenty-three year old can be anyway, but does your generation find it acceptable to simply not respond to a question? You know, when I met my wife, things were different. Well, first of all, we met in person, in line at the cafeteria in my building. She had this smile…damn was she beautiful. Excuse my French. She was ordering mashed potatoes and peas, no meat. I found it strange so I asked her what was wrong with the pork chop. She grew up on a farm, she explained––somewhere in Maine, I believe. She had watched her father slaughter pigs. They were so cute before they were all hacked and bloody. She couldn’t stand it. Next day, though, the girl had a big hunk of steak on her plate. Cows are different, she said. It was adorable, really, the hypocrisy of it all. We met in real life and I asked her out in real life and we went to a real restaurant with real tables and real chairs and a waiter with a bow tie. You ever been to a place like that? Well, probably not. You’re just a kid––too young really. Don’t even know your head from your foot, I bet. Well good luck, anyway. I hope you find what you’re looking for here, if you even know what that is.
Sent Oct. 9

Distinguishedfellow4u
54, Boston
Just realized I never got your name! What a dope I am! Anyway, I’m sorry if I came off a bit harsh. It’s just that I really had some hope for you, for us. I think this could be something really wonderful. We could teach each other a few things. I’m still up for a film if you are. What do you say?
Sent Oct. 12
Distinguishedfellow has been blocked

Distinguishedfellow has been reported

Hithereitspete64
54, Boston
Hi, there. I got a notice that my previous username was cited for harassment of a fellow user. Harassment? Can you believe that? I’m a good guy–always have been, always will be! Your generation seems to be so sensitive. Back in my day, a woman wanted to be pursued. What happened? I thought you might give me some insight. I’m just trying to understand, really. I’m getting fed up with this online thing, anyway. Give me a call some time? We can chat. I’ll leave my number below.
Sent Nov. 2nd

Your account has been disabled.

December 7th, 2016
Dear Britt,
I hope this letter makes it to your hands. I haven’t seen you at Otto lately. So I am taking a chance leaving it with one of your coworkers.  Of course, I couldn’t tell you which one, because I haven’t done it yet. This is past Pete writing to you. Ha! Anyway, I didn’t want to bother you at the restaurant, but like I said, I much prefer a good old pen and paper interaction. Besides,  I haven’t been able to find you on the app, lately. Perhaps, like me, you’ve grown tired of this pseudo-social means of interaction. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I’ve started seeing someone. I hope we can still stay in touch, as friends, of course. I was hoping, too, that you might be able to give me some advice, from your younger perspective. Zoe has stopped speaking to me. I’m not sure if she’s angry with me for moving on from her mother. I have no idea what’s going on in her head. It’s very upsetting. I thought you might be able to help me figure out what’s going on, or tell me how to talk to her. I just want to be a good father. I’m not a bad man and she’s icing me out. Do you have any suggestions? Anyway, now that you have my address, perhaps you can write me back. I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm regards,
Pete

Julia Rubin is a writer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been published in Crunchable, Women Outdoors, Mortar Magazine, Jewish Women, Amplified, and Hello Giggles.

 

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