“It’s called ‘Don’t Waste Your Life,’” he said.
She leaned forward and placed her hands under her elbows and said, “Tell me more.”
“Basically, it’s an app that attributes value to certain activities. For example, sitting will get you no points, but walking will. Running will get you more.”
“Like a calorie tracker? I have something like that on my phone and–”
“No. No no. I’m sorry, that wasn’t the best example to start with. You would also get points for, say, painting a portrait, or cleaning your bathroom, or learning a new language. The app would ask you what your goals are, what your career aspirations are, et cetera, and you would get bonus points for doing activities that pertained to those goals and aspirations. I would get lots of points for researching and seeking funding opportunities–that sort of thing.”
“Would you get points for coming here?”
“Oh, yes, absolutely I would. Because my goal is to develop this app, and that’s partly why I’m here.”
She nodded and leaned back in her cushioned chair and folded her legs. He maintained eye contact the whole while but she knew he was watching her legs. She said, “Do you feel like you need this sort of app in your own life?”
His smile twitched, then faded. He hooked a finger into his collar but pulled it out before loosening his tie. He cleared his throat. “I think everyone needs this sort of app in their life. I think it would make the world a better place.”
“I wasn’t asking about the world. I was asking about you.”
He shrugged, but his shoulders slumped farther down than they were before. “Well,” he said, “sure. Yes, absolutely. I always think, ‘is this a good use of my time?’ ‘Wouldn’t doing x be better?’ I mean, everyone worries they’re wasting their life.”
She smiled softly despite her harsh red lipstick. “You’re not wasting your life, Harold.”
He hid his blush by neatly stacking the papers in front of his face, the edges of the pages clicking against the small table, once, twice. Only the top page had anything printed on it. She saw him look at the clock behind her. Their time was running short.
“It’s an irrational concern,” he said. “I know that. But–”
“It’s not irrational. Everyone feels that way. Like you said.”
“Oh, of course.” He smiled and flattened the papers on the coffee table in front of
him. “And that’s, you know, the point, isn’t it? It has mass-market appeal.”
“I’m sure you’re right, Harold.” She crossed her legs the other way. He looked this time, but only briefly.
“Yes, well, anyway, like I said, the app is why I’m here.”
“So you believe coming here improves your life.” She arched an eyebrow.
“I mean, of course, but–”
“And how many points is this worth?” She flicked her hair over her shoulders and unfastened the top button of her blouse, then the second. “Well? At least two hundred points, right?”
He chuckled nervously. “I’m in the research phase. I’m here because I need to know how to quantify the value of, you know. Various sexual activities.”
She hummed and unfolded her legs and peeled her blouse over her shoulders. He maintained eye contact until she approached him, and when she leaned over the table he glanced lower. He pushed the makeshift desk—her coffee table—to the side, and she sat on his lap, facing him.
“I’ll be tracking my heart rate,” he said, unbuttoning his pants. “And I’ll be keeping notes. Satisfaction levels, joy, stress relief. It’s going to be really great app.”
He didn’t bring a heart rate monitor or a notebook or a pen. She didn’t know why he always had to make up ridiculous excuses to see her. But two hundred was good money for fifteen minutes. Especially since he spent ten minutes on the excuse.
Day 303’s three random writing prompt categories were, “A prostitute,” “Game design,” and, “Best example.”
I think there are like thirty of these apps out there now probably.