Illustration by Robin Higgins

I type in the code: 9855. Instantly my phone and all of its apps are presented to me: unopened, untouched. I flirt with the idea of awakening my stocks app: How are the trades? Are they up or G forbid down?

I decide against it as my thumb, which has a mind of its own, is already swiping over to the second page. Yeah, I have a second page of apps. My brown eyes flutter over the Instagram icon; “But of course”, I whisper. It all seems so obvious now.

My pointer finger takes over, relieving my thumb, if but only for a moment, and proceeds to make a selection. It chooses Instagram. Instagram responds by bursting open only to instantly shut down. Typical. A small, insanely sexy bead of sweat begins to form on my forehead; I ignore it and tap the icon again, this time a little harder as if begging it to reconsider. Reconsider it does, and the bead of sweat vanishes along with my tolerance for Matthew Broderick.

The first picture appears freshly posted from 39 seconds ago. It’s a picture of my thirty-five year-old cousin at a wedding with her sister who is coincidentally also my cousin. Without hesitation, my thumb double taps the picture and the heart at the bottom is illuminated red as is my own.

My thumb anxiously glides down the screen with an insatiable hunger for the next image. A girl from my high school has brought a pie she made with her fiancé to the so-to-speak table, and although I appreciate it and its undoubtedly warm, flaky crust, I resist. I do not grant it a tap and we (my heart and I) move on.

And then it breaks. I see the name before I see the picture, and that alone is enough to send me into a spiral. My mind spins through the years we spent together and how we are no longer a “we.” It weaves through the memories like a rug that has come undone, or perhaps was never finished. My finger waivers; I haven’t even looked at the picture yet.

I knew there was a risk going in, dammit. I should have opened the stocks app (I mean seriously are they up or are they g-damn down??) I think we have an addiction to the fear, the fear that we might see something that will shake us to our very core, make us remember all the pain we are trying to escape by opening this multi-billion-dollar app in the first place. Why am I even still following him? I suppose to prove my strength, and yet my reaction demonstrates the opposite; just the thought of one picture has the power to undo the courage I so foolishly convinced myself I had. But how could I turn back now?

With the strength of literally everyone who has fought in literally all of the wars combined, I look at the picture. There it is. There he is, with someone else, someone who is not me: Dr. Eric Loberg, my orthodonist of seven years with some nobody who just got their braces off. They are smiling and they are happy. Once upon a time that was me.

As I sit here with my phone in my hand and my retainers in my mouth–the only physical proof of our time together–tears stream down my face and I do the only thing I can do: continue to scroll.

The next picture is of a half Norwegian, half Siamese cat who is also a psychic. I double tap, yep, still got it.


The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny stories, articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!


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