The first text message I have to S. on our thread was sent on Saturday, October 14, 2017. It is a picture of us with a few of our friends from work, and my message reads “I would like to acknowledge how adorable we are/I hope you had a good week queen.”
I have bleached blonde hair in the photo, and it was taken months before we were even thinking about dating. Since that day—Saturday, October 14, 2017—I have deleted no more than 5 individual messages from our thread.
Here’s how long it took me to scroll up to that first message: twelve minutes. While I was scrolling, I got a little notification at the bottom of my screen reading “↓ New Message,” and I knew if I accidentally hit that notification, all my scrolling would be wasted and it would take me back to the bottom. But it was okay because while I was scrolling, S. called me and we talked (I did include the call time in my twelve minutes.)
The point is that I save everything related to our relationship. And even though eventually our text thread will make my phone explode, I can never bring myself to delete it.
Even the bad messages, I keep. This past weekend, she sent me this message: “A guy on the 2 train took off his pants and peed right next to me on the door I was leaning on. Truly horrified. I hope your class went well my love.” I hate that message.
I don’t think we will ever reread any of the messages. I also don’t think anyone is going to ever be interested enough in our lives to read all of them. They only seem interested in mass murderers and serial killers these days. Even if the peeing man had hurt S., they would likely be more interested in his text messages than hers. What lead him to become this monster? They could call the Netflix documentary Making of A Monster—wait, that’s already taken. The portrait would be slightly flattering, very tragic, and S. and my text messages might be quoted. I would refuse to be interviewed.