Rain for days. Weeks. One atmospheric river after another.

Inside a basement apartment, and out of the unrelenting rain, houseplants were light starved. Thirsty. A twenty-year-old spider plant had shriveled and resembled a parched wig. A woman bowed over it, pinched off the dead baby spiders and rubbed them to dust, sprinkled the dust over the mother plant. Then she wiped her hands on her jeans and plunked herself into a folding chair.

Her phone, stationed on a tiny white table in front of her, illuminated. A text bubble with the name Anton. Still meeting at 1? The woman punched in her passcode and countered with a thumbs-up emoji. Then she downloaded the Tinder app. Poked her dormant profile and hovered over the bio which was written like a list poem: Tree hugger. Story writer. Ecstatic dancer.

She added: Basement dweller.

Deleted it.

The furnace in the closet behind her rumbled and roared like a dragon. Added to the thumping footfalls overhead. A slap dash of rain on the window.
She enabled her profile and hit the flame icon. Grainy selfie of a white, middle-aged man in a bathroom mirror. She swiped left. Next one holding a fish. Left. An indiscernible goggled face on a mountain peak. She hesitated. Scrolled down. Fun loving guy, it said.


Check out the full story in our summer issue, out in July 2024!