Everyone On Tinder Is Ugly

C. J. Lee

It’s 1:37 am and I can’t sleep. Tonight was the night I was supposed to reset the clock, plug my phone in on the other side of the room and turn my laptop off. I was going to practice slow breathing, maybe actually implement the recommendations my chiropractor continually suggests. I was going to imagine all my stress floating away in a balloon, or something. Count sheep. Count the hours I’ve been tossing and turning. Count the antidepressants left in my bottle. Maybe search guided meditation on YouTube. Well, shit, that means I have to turn my laptop back on.

I don’t really remember what it’s like to be fully rested. Even when I sleep, it’s fragmented. I wake up every few hours. My dreams have became so regular, so unimpressive, it’s hard to tell them apart from real life. Sometimes I dream about checking my phone. Looking at Twitter. Texting someone back. So boring. I used to dream I could fly. Now I’m just browsing social media.

I swipe through Tinder unimpressed. No. No. No. No.

It’s been 440 days since I was in a relationship. It’s been long enough since I’ve been kissed (by anyone important) or touched or felt wanted in any real capacity.

I’ve got to stop counting all this stuff.

I guess I’m not as eager anymore. Love does not seem tangible. Like, it does. It’s out there, I know that. Love doesn’t die just because sometimes I want to. It’s out there. It’s floating in some bubble that part of me wants to reach for and the other just wants to pop. See what happens. See love splatter on the asphalt in front of me.

I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. And I mean that always. I used to laugh at the idea of a quarter life crisis but now I’m 25 and the most meaningful thing I do is get on the treadmill for 45 minutes while an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer plays.

I swipe and swipe and look for something different and swipe and swipe. A guy next to me at the bar asks what book I’m reading. Yeah, I’m reading a book at the bar.

Everyone on Tinder is ugly. I’m on Tinder. Don’t do the math, okay?

Every part of this feels ugly and dirty and like I need to scrub myself clean with clorox. This not wanting. This not aching. This death of feeling. This swipe, swipe, swipe. No, no, no. Not interested. Pass. I’m good. 

Maybe I just need to sleep.

Maybe I just need to fall asleep. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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