1. Fail at love.
2. Go online for it.
3. Take photos of your face staring at a computer, then photos of your body in a bathroom mirror holding a phone.
4. Find candid photos, maybe on a mountain or with friends at a bar.
5. Do not tell your parents what you’re doing.
6. Choose a website.
7. Say to your best friends it’ll be a goofy laugh.
8. Think of a profile name using the city where you live then add an activity you enjoy in your spare time.
9. Answer questions.
10. Tell strangers if you’d be interested in cutting them during sex or if you would play out a rape fantasy with them.
11. Tell strangers how much money you make in a year.
12. Tell strangers the most private thing you’ve done in your life.
13. Browse through images representing thousands and thousands of pounds of flesh.
14. Decide which strangers to send messages to based on one of those images.
15. Sense whether they are someone you could spend the rest of your life with.
16. Read through the 400 or so words they’ve chosen to summarize their existence.
17. Write them a message.
18. If you are a man looking for a woman, do NOT comment on physical characteristics. If you’re a woman writing a message to man, do whatever you want.
19. Hope a stranger looks at your life summary and the digital pictures of your body reflected in a bathroom mirror.
21. Receive a notification.
22. Become excited.
23. Temper that immediately.
24. Look for a question in the message you received.
25. Go back and scroll through the database representing the tons of flesh.
26. Write a new message or copy the one you used from before.
28. Receive another message.
29. Become slightly more excited.
30. Temper that, again, immediately.
31. Look for a phone number.
32. Go back and scroll through the database of those who will say what they need to say to get what they want but also forget that the next time you meet someone and believe they want to see you based on what they tell you even though, in a majority of cases, they are lying to make things more comfortable for themselves.
33. Write another message.
34. Get another phone number.
35. Text him or her the next day.
36. Wait. WAIT.
37. Go back and scroll through the database people who sometimes want to die because of how alone they are but will always say they’re doing great to appear attractive to potential partners.
38. Write another message.
39. Secure a time and a place to meet.
40. Do not call it a date.
41. Wait for her to arrive.
42. See him for the first time.
43. Know instantly whether you could grow old together.
44. Go back and scroll through the database that has come to represent all the failure in your life.
45. Don’t be so eager.
46. Say you’re doing this as a joke.
47. Write another message.
49. Get another phone number.
50. Go on a date that is called a meet-up for drinks.
51. Have a good time.
52. Have sex.
53. Call it a fun and sexy time.
54. Wait as long as you can to say anything.
55. Text something funny and light.
56. Go back and scroll through the database that causes your stomach to become weightless.
57. Don’t get discouraged.
58. Make your skin like the hide of a beast.
59. Send another message.
60. Go on a thing you call ‘just, whatever.’
61. Believe this is the last.
62. Let the silence happen once more.
63. Repeat steps 1-63 until you’ve lost yourself.
64. Come across another profile.
65. Drown out the voice that says she isn’t good enough or he isn’t good enough.
66. Begin to see them even if you know they are not right.
67. Delete your profile.
68. Make the best of it.
69. Call it love.