Growing up I didn’t follow many trends, but I remember that at one point kids in my school had pogs. I wanted to play with them so I asked my parents for some one day. I don’t remember if they were expensive or not, but I eventually got some. I was so excited to get them, but quickly learned that being part of the pack isn’t everything.
I finally showed some of my favorite pogs to kids at school and felt like I was part of the group. But I slowly realized that all these kids were playing outside of school because we couldn’t play with them in school. That’s when I learned that pogs isn’t just a toy, but a shared activity.
As time went by I collected more and made my own pogs, but no one really cared. I just continued to play by myself at home. I never had friends to share this with and it was obvious that I was missing out on something. I eventually gave up on pogs, but that desire to fit in never left until I was older and realized that following trends isn’t always the best way to make friends.
cover art by: @birdieball
Story by @JessaMar
Connie had always been given to nostalgia, even for things that she hadn’t actually experienced the first time. Swing music from the 1940s, old farmhouses, rotary telephones, and fashion from the 1920s or 1960s; it all resonated for her as strongly as the TV shows from her own childhood.
She met Phil at a friend's cookout, and didn’t expect that they would hit it off. He worked with computers and spoke eagerly about the latest gadgets; Connie used modern technology willingly enough, but she didn’t find anything exciting about it. But Phil didn’t look askance at the hat she wore, and when she talked about her favorite songs he immediately looked them up on his phone. Then he pulled out a bluetooth speaker so that they could listen together, and she was tickled to see that it was fashioned to look like an antique radio.
When the virus hit, it was easy enough for Connie to embrace new old-fashioned habits: baking bread, fermenting food, and narrowing her focus to the things she could touch. These things made her feel safer. She didn’t mind putting most of her regular routines on hold, but she did wonder if this meant an end to her growing friendship with Phil. They kept in touch a little on social media, but it lacked substance.
Then one cold, sunny morning a small package arrived. It held a flash drive shaped like a cassette tape, and a handwritten note. Just looking at them made Connie feel as warm as her grandmother’s cookies.
Cover art by: @EllaMattsson