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I am the Last Man on Earth Who Does Not Know What Podcasts Are

By Captain Ruffles


Illustration by Maya Hadler

I feel like I’m not an interesting person. Actually, I think I’m okay. It just seems like everyone knows so much more than I do lately. Did I miss something?

The interesting thing is that no one’s personalities have dramatically changed. They all just constantly now have fun stories and facts to share. Tim knows a lot about revolutionary history in Latin America (he’s a chemistry major), Hazel explained to everyone the science of dreaming and where lactose intolerance comes from (they’re a Conn student), and even Flip’s mom suddenly has a lot of funny jokes to share (she’s Flip’s mom).

I just feel like it’s too hard to impress my friends these days. I don’t have anything interesting to say. I’m just a politics major. I don’t have time to develop a personality.

Even my roommate’s drifting away. She's been on calls for a long time. Doesn’t say much. Just listens to these two people talking for about an hour and six minutes every day. Not exactly, but that’s the average by my estimate. She doesn’t talk to me much anymore. Sometimes she goes to class still listening to them. They seem really funny and smart. They know so much about music history. Maybe that’s why our friendship is dissolving. I can’t be interesting for an hour and six minutes straight. I’m a politics major.

I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this. The most plausible theory I’ve been able to come up with is that since the pandemic started, a series of little voices have been inside my friends’ (and Flip’s mom’s) phones and computers, feeding all of them special information to gaslight me into insecurity and imposter syndrome.

I will get to the bottom of this. Even if it kills me.

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