by Shawn Berman

it is day whatever of a government-mandated

quarantine and now everyone wants to know what

introverts like me do for fun

like i would ever tell people my secrets that easily

like i would ever spill the beans

and divulge to strangers

that the key to inner happiness

is hunkering down

and hosting an invite-only zoom conference

(with the cameras turned off)

so that you and your buds can live-critique

shark tank episodes in real time

arguing that now more than ever

the country needs a reliable alternative to meat
product because our wildlife is suffering and if lisa
doesn’t take mr. wonderful’s 300k for a 10% stake
in her chickpea-beet patty hybrid company well
she’s gonna regret it for the rest of her life since
the food industry is an incredibly hard market to
break into especially if you have no billionaires on
your side fighting for those key grocery store retail


i’m not saying there’s a method to my madness
when it comes to diverting expectations

or that this is sound advice for ignoring all that is
scary in this world right now

but what i am saying is that i don’t care if i never
leave the house again and

i’m sorry that i forgot to heart-eye react to your
recent instagram story the other day

because you really did look beautiful in your
oversized sundress, floral facemaskand those
dangly lightning bolt earrings –

it’s just that i got distracted

while on the toilet

reading a legal jargon-filled pdf
desperate to see if i violated my microwave’s factory
warranty after my lasagna exploded on the quick cook soup setting.

i just want you to know that people are allowed to
make mistakes from time-to-time.

just look at that idiot christopher columbus

who foolishly confessed in his diary that the three
mermaids that he saw on january 9, 1493,
weren’t half as beautiful as all the paintings made
them out to be

even though those mermaids that he thought he saw

were actually a trio of

majestic manatees.

do you know how stupid he must’ve felt?

probably way stupider than me

and i’m embarrassed beyond belief

to the point that i might throw up if you don’t

respond to my gif of a crying puppy face.

call me please.

i miss you.

Shawn Berman plays a mean air guitar. Some of his work has appeared in Hobart, Maudlin House, and Little Old Lady Comedy. Follow him on Twitter @sbb_writer.