How to Achieve Immortality

Scientists estimate that 106,456,367,669 people have ever lived on Earth. Assuming (conservative estimate) that 10% of those people are gay and 50% of the remaining 90% are women, that leaves 47,905,365,400 people. Assuming the scenario I’m about to describe has happened to every straight woman at least once, we’ll just call this Example #47,905,365,400, give or take a few.

*(This did not happen to me. This did, in fact, happen to A Friend. I mean, it did happen to me, just not recently. But it’s happening all the time, oh yes, oh yes, it’s happening all the time.)

The scenario: Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl have amazing, magical night together sharing quirks of cyncism and whimsy. Perhaps Boy and Girl even hook up. Hookup, like conversation is fun, satisfying and alive with a frisson of connection too often absent from conversations and hooking up. Not like one of those hookups that happens “too soon” and ends trajectory of attraction but the kind of hookup that begets further hooking up. Boy and Girl exchange phone numbers. Boy regales Girl throughout night and subsequent morning with various insinuations of things they can do together, like take a road trip to New Orleans or “get dinner next week,” insinuating that he will call girl at some future point so they can do these things. Though he could say, “That was really nice, take care” (meaning there is a 0% chance Boy and Girl will see each other again), Boy says, “I’ll call you,” perhaps even prefaced by “I’d really like to see you again,” meaning there is a greater-than-0% chance Boy and Girl will see each other again.

Boy never calls Girl again. Girl realizes this just fucking figures, doesn’t it, as Boy Who Has Not Called is the first guy in eons Girl can remember actually wanting to call her. Girl considers using phone number acquired in phone number exchange to call Boy, but ultimately decides that if Boy really wanted to see Girl, Boy would have called Girl, since in a patriarchal misogynist heteronormative society the imperative to action still rests, for better or for worse, through tacit society-wide agreement, and through explicit agreement expressed by statement “I’ll call you,” with Boy as subject and Girl as object (and doesn’t the grammar just literally illustrate the problem right there?), on Boy.

Girl realizes that Boy is not going to call her, berates self for thinking this Boy was in fact interested in her, berates Boy for being a dumbass, realizes that Boy was not truly interested in her, was probably drunk and wanted to get laid, or bored and wanted to see if he could get Girl’s number, not to call but to carry around and eventually throw away, Boy does not care about or did not experience sparkling conversational connection, Boy does not want to take a road trip to New Orleans or get dinner next week or, in fact, ever. Girl acknowledges that insinuating future contact either as geniune intention or boldfaced lie and then not following through on intention for future contact is a right reserved by both men and women in all romantic and sexual situations, but can’t help but feel rather slighted by Boy’s apparently abrupt change of heart, or gradual loss of interest in situation to point where Boy is not motivated to call Girl until such time as both parties delete one another from cell phones, which is usually followed shortly by awkward meeting on subway platform, which is usually followed by relief on one or both parties that future contact was not made, as obviously everyone involved was drunk at the time, and why did Girl even care whether or not Boy called her, Boy is not so great at ALL and actually kind of lame and why did Girl get so pissed off that Boy did not call her, or until such time as Girl meets Other Boy and he does or does not call her and life goes on ad nauseum through Examples #47,905,365,401, #47,905,365,402, #47,905,365,403 and so on until the end of time or the end of human sexual and romantic contact because planet has been taken over by machines like in The Matrix and the human race awaits liberation by Keanu Reeves.

But before this all plays out, while Girl is still waiting and hoping Girlishly for Boy to call so they can go on road trip to New Orleans or “get dinner next week,” when Boy has not called and it is becoming increasingly evident that Boy is never going to call, for one deluded moment, however, the One Who Is Not Called entertains the notion that something terrible has happened to the One Who Has Not Called. The Girl, in this particular situation, Who Has Not Been Called thinks, with great alarm, that something has happened to the Boy Who Has Not Called (and Never Will). “What if something happened to [Boy Who Has Not Called (and Never Will)]?” wonders Girl. “What if some terrible fate like amnesia or death has befallen him?”

But–and this is the crux of the theory I wish to impart today–in all of human history, this has never once been the case. If someone is expecting or hoping for your phone call and you have not called them, you can’t be dead. Not calling people who you said you would call can protect you from harm and even death.

If you have absorbed the recent rhetoric that the reason a Boy (or Girl) has not called you is because S/”He’s Just Not That Into You!”, information apparently so revelatory that it is a #1 bestseller, consider the alternative, equally likely possibility: Maybe S/He Just Doesn’t Want to Die and Calling You is Karmically Linked to His Eventual, Impending Death in the Grander Scheme of the Universe!”

If you want to live forever, go out with or hook up with someone, take their number, tell them you’ll call them, and then never call them. Two impossibilities will be forever linked in the universe–you calling and you dying. The fragile romantic faith of another human being is but a small price to pay for immortality.

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