Meet Me Offline

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Meet me offline tonight, ‘cause a 73 x 73 thumbnail isn’t enough you. I want you in the highest resolution, in four dimensions, the only way I know how to look at something beautiful. You weren’t made for the screen you know, and neither was the broken skin where you cut yourself shaving and the almost-invisible hairs that paint the corners of your upper lip and that one crooked eyelash that bends at a 45-degree angle. Who was foolish enough to think they could squeeze everything noteworthy about you into an avatar? You’re too pretty for pixels.

Put up an away message and let’s go away, somewhere we can power down and still feel electric, somewhere that doesn’t need password protecting. Let’s lose ourselves and find ourselves in a place with no Yelp reviews, no Google results, no Foursquare check-ins. The distance between your eyes and mine is uncharted territory, that’s a good place to start. Let’s look there first.

Tonight, I want to push all of your buttons except the one that says Like. I want to eat too slowly and argue over Tim Burton’s best film and take your mother’s side; I want you to look at me like you want to strangle me or kiss me or both and maybe then I’ll undo a couple of your buttons or my buttons and how’s that for a notification? I want to be the one to alert you.

Sign off and log out and shut down so we can meet up and go out and get high on fingers touching fingers and tongues pressing tongues instead of fingers pressing buttons. What I want to give to you is too large to attach, what I want to give to you can’t be uploaded or emailed or right-click-saved. Meet me so that we can remember how to connect without a router and a modem and a satellite, do it so that we don’t forget.

Just unplug for a while, ‘cause I can’t download the space between your shoulder blades and I need your back in my hands to remember how bodies work. I want to relearn your skin with an open palm, not a single finger, you know what I mean? ‘Cause what I mean is I want to touch you, not Poke you; I want to like you, not Like you; I want to love you, not Heart you. I want to live in a place void of scare quotes, of capitalized letters that inject semantics, a place void of tonal ambiguity. I want to live in a place where the space between your back exists, where it’s wire-less and not wireless, a place where I can like you in lowercase. Let me like you. TC mark

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  • Aja

    I wonder how many people are going to email this to the one they adore.  I hope none.  Kind of defeats the purpose of this beautifully turned out essay.  Stephanie sometimes you’re good in the role of the cynic but whenever I read something like this, I know that you’re one of the biggest romantics out there. 

  • Michael Koh

    i read the last line as ‘letmelikeyou’ for some reason

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    The best sentiments.

  • LazyReader

    This is simply marvy.  I’m half-tempted to use this for my next OKCupid rewrite.
    …..except I can only imagine all the pervy replies. *sigh*

  • kd1034

    Awesome. So so awesome. Wish I didn’t read this on a computer – that’s how much I agree.

  • Paul S

    Steph, I think you and I would get along very well…

  • olydig

    Sigh.  I wish I can utter those to the one I adore.

  • Rich Edghill

    Don’t even want to Share it.

  • Guest

    This is so nice.

  • Dee

    this is fucking gorgeous.

  • laura jayne martin

    Daaaamn. Between this and “The last time I tweeted was 7PM, from Eataly!” you have really done it this week.

  • Smashton

    I thought it was kind of cheesy…then I realized it was written by a woman. I like it more now.

  • Asdf

    Excellent! Clicking “like” on a Disqus comment or in Facebook now suddenly gives me a slight… tingling sensation.

  • Alina D.

    Amazing! but what is the fourth dimension?

    • Sam

      length width depth and time!

  • Shawn

    That was sexy.

  • Ellipsis5

    I know the feeling. :-/ Beautifully written!

  • Jennifer Fallingstar

    The truest of  loves,  is lowercase love.

  • jp


  • Dreamer

    Perfection. Flawless. Thank you.

  • Lu Han

    wow, just wow. Thank you 

  • Melyssa

    You should record this as a spoken word and post it on YouTube. 


    • scott

      pretty please…. that was fantastic

  • Sophia

    Have you ever thought about doing Spoken Word? Your writing style makes me think you would be really great at it.

  • amnicr

    This was so gorgeous. And terribly fitting to most situations I’ve found myself in romantically as of late.

  • Guest

    This was amazing, so sensual

  • Megan G

    I was a Thought Catalog virgin until this Fall, and this is the first piece I’ve shared. I feel a little like I’m cheating on Ryan O’Connell who is really who got me hooked, but this is so perfect. And it’s true, you should do spoken word.

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