Sometimes, when a thing takes long enough to go away, it’s hard to imagine it actually plans to leave at all.
Last night was Dodgeball’s last stand, but we’d been celebrating the demise of our friends’ text messaging service for what seemed like its entire existence. The final sputters and spurts of Dodgeball played into our vainest tendencies. And posed the ultimate question: If you don’t check in on the last night’s of Dodgeball’s existence, did you count as a Dodgeball user at all?
We’d made a lot of friends through Dodgeball. Some found love interests. Others found end of the night interests. And then, hopefully, friends afterward.
I met Dennis in a bar one night explaining Dodgeball to a friend because I couldn’t get it to work.
“Excuse me…. are you talking about Dodgeball?”
Yes. Yes we were.
And this party was different than the others. Everyone came out – aside from those who fell asleep after dinner or made plans to be out of town. We spent more time dancing. And whispering. And missing people we came to see and couldn’t find. There was extra sweating. People took too many pictures to post online about what a great time they were having. Some people even took the time to have fun while they were at it.
Actually, no. It was just the same as always.
But it felt different. There is something reassuring about going to a bar packed with people and not having to meet a single new person. Besides, Harry made Tshirts.
And it was hard to believe the rumors that Dodgeball was actually leaving for good this time. Zombie Dodgeball trudged on through quittings and shadow texting and robo shoutouts. At first it was funny, but then the repeat messages wore thin.
Soon we’ll have to overshare about our social lives in another digital space. And get together in the same bars and drink too much and dance like morons through a different channel. Maybe we’ll contact each other individually to make plans. Oh please. Let’s not be ridiculous.
Last night held the promise that things might just continue on as always. Maybe Google was just teasing us again. Maybe Dodgeball would live to see another sunrise. Or many. (maybe the bars of NY had just manufactured the demise of Dodgeball to make us come out more often before it died). Or maybe this was just yet another reprise of some other social engagement followed by karaoke at Sing Sing.
But then sure enough, midnight came around. And as the clock ticked past 11:59, we were left with one final message to sum up the last however many years of our lives together: “dball eats dick.”