Anything but Now

Last year, I participated in the Penn Marriage Pact: an online survey that algorithmically matched students with “optimal marital back-up plans” (a.k.a. paired them with another lonely soul who could potentially stand in as a kind of matrimonial last resort). As part of the process, I was emailed my “Hot Takes” — three survey questions … [Read more…]

The Love Troll

My name is Chelsey, I’m 21 years old, and I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m introducing myself like I’m in Alcoholics Anonymous because I’m addicted to romance. It’s been with me since I was seven years old, when I looked across my 2nd grade classroom at some booger-picking boy and thought, I like that. When I … [Read more…]

The Agnostic Search for Life

As a species, humans know essentially nothing. Go to Wikipedia and look up lists of planets that orbit other stars. There’s an enormous table of known exoplanets, and if you look to the far right there’s a column entitled ‘Remarks,’ which is, for the most part, empty. Every once in a while, there’ll be a … [Read more…]

Night Stalker

“Is this gonna remind me of how much I hate committed relationships?” says the man at the next table. Immediately, I am intrigued. Is he about to confirm every negative thing I’ve ever assumed about men? I love when they do that. I glance sideways – great hair, oddly perfect two to three days of … [Read more…]


Phyllis didn’t know what Henry had done to get back into prison, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t bad. She’d only been working at the prisons for one week, but she’d already heard from others that he was a good person, that he didn’t deserve what he got. He’d served all of his time … [Read more…]

The Comedy

I chose Justin. 27. Attorney. Owner of a cat. Check, check, check. We began messaging on Bumble, and I waded into the stream of conversation: favorite bands, adoring descriptions of Dante’s death mask in Florence, asking questions like, is it true that attorneys just lie for a living? Are you going to kill me if … [Read more…]

Being Rachel

The walls of our home were a canary yellow when we moved in. Mom said that was a depressing color and promptly painted them beige. The yellow had been a stir-crazy yellow anyway, peeling away from the corners and window frames like claws. I mean, did the people who lived here first never take a … [Read more…]


Look! Look at Betsy! Look how pretty she is! Wow. Her hair is so blonde. She is 61 years old and her hair is still blonde! Neat! Look at her eyes! See how blue her eyes are? Clack clack clack go Betsy’s heels as she enters the room. Swish swish swish goes Betsy’s skirt. Betsy … [Read more…]

Fortune Favors the Bold by Zoe Young

The Ten of Spades rests heavily in my hand. After a moment of staring at it in disbelief, I hastily put the card in my back pocket and enter the maze of darkness before me. My hands fly to my sides and I wobble through the small, pitch black corridor. My arms cross over my … [Read more…]