Thomas and I met the old-fashioned way: On the internet. We met through a mutual friend who also knew us both from the internet. We were words, the possibility of text, everything a curated image on a screen can promise another curated image on a screen. It was a damp, cold spring that proceeded into heart-tearing bloom, the last year I remember when the seasons happened according to their traditional script. I walked around clutching my phone like an external, beating heart. All day back and forth from my apartment to the Duane Reade and to friends’ apartments, I held my heartbeat in my hand, tapping my thumb to jolt it to life. I was dizzy and distracted all the time, as though I had at every moment just gotten off a ride going too fast, leapt to the ground before it had come to a full stop. The greens in Brooklyn saturated like some kind of soft hallucination as spring turned over into summer. I sat on the corner of couches at parties and in the booths at Sharlene’s and at the backyard tables at Flatbush Farm and flipped my phone over and over and over, reveal and conceal, as though I were doing a magic trick. I must have been infuriating to be around. I didn’t care. I told my friends that I knew it wasn’t real, that he was just a game I played with my phone. I wasn’t falling in love, I was just playing Neko Atsume. This text game swallowed up vast swaths of free time. I left parties early, I stayed home, I lay on the couch that was almost the only piece of furniture in my apartment and built a world.