“I don’t know. Maybe it was just a regular podcast talking about dating…” “She is such a secret nerd.” I usually hate Hannah’s partners but Lizzie is different. She wears studded belts and smokes unfiltered Camels and got a man in Waltham to tattoo a cobra skin around her forearm. “Anyways, the lady said millennials treat dating like real estate. They’re afraid of commitment and don’t want to deal with the broken boiler so they keep shuffling through fifth floor rentals... Will you pass me those?” I toss a purple flannel at her head. “Who’s the landlord?” “Huh?” “Who fixes the millennial’s boiler when it breaks?” “Oh, I don’t know. Therapists?” “That is idiotic.” Hannah cranes her neck into the mirror, “Do these look good?” Hannah is impossible to offend because she has the attention span of a goldfish, which is probably how we’ve managed to stay friends for so long. “Yeah.” I say, “But the pockets are kind of weird.” I was supposed to get an internship this summer because it’s my junior year, but I got rejected from the law clinic and then I was too depressed to apply anywhere else so now I tell everyone I needed to stay home and take care of my dying grandfather which isn’t really true. I mean, he’s definitely dying but I don’t need to take care of him. It makes people look at me like I’m deep and sort of tragic though. I look at myself in the mirror. My hair is all frizzed up from the humidity, and my jean shorts have come unrolled. I look like a nature camp counselor after a bad lunch. “I don’t want to be a fifth floor rental.” “I know.” “Do you?” “No.” “Do you think we are?” Hannah turns around cranes her neck to look at her butt. FICTION | 17
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for phoebe's Winter 2019 issue.