Password by John Grochalski

she came in
blowing stacks of paper
to the ground
she marched over to me
with her magic phone
pointed it like a gun
and said, i need to print this
whatever it was
when i told her that i couldn’t
print from a phone
she rolled her eyes
looked at me like
i said the world was flat
said, give me a computer then
but she couldn’t remember
the password to her email
the phone remembers it for me, she said
she showed me the phone again
as if i’d somehow forgotten its chrome
i said, well, that’s the trick with those things
she said, you know how these phones are
actually i don’t, i said
smug, like i was the only guy
left on the planet who could
recite his telephone number by heart
then i watched her sit there
phone in her hand, computer at the ready
the whole technological spectrum
rendered useless
as she pushed buttons and sighed
eventually she said, well, what do i do now?
remember things, i said
like passwords
she got up from her seat
made to leave
carrying that phone like a limp appendage
gave me the finger at the door
as i got up to go
and put those stacks of paper
that she’d knocked over
back into a neat pile.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out, Glass City, In The Year of Everything Dying, Starting with the Last Name Grochalski, and the novel, The Librarian. Grochalski lives in Brooklyn, where he constantly worries about the high cost of everything.

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