NOTE: THIS STORY IS FULL OF PENDING LEGALITY AND IS STILL DEVELOPING. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHERE THE SNOWBOARD EMOJI IS HIDING OUT, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHORITIES IN PYEONGCHANG IMMEDIATELY.
I woke up Friday feeling hollower than the tailpipe of the Corolla I’d lost my virginity to. Within minutes, I would realize my credit card had been stolen by my lover, . Within hours, I would realize he had taken a flight to Pyeongchang in an attempt to make a name for himself at the Winter Olympics. By that night, I and a billion others would see my deceitful fuck-friend board in the Opening Ceremonies with ill-gotten cash and no shame.
The snowboard emoji wasn’t sleeping next to me when I awoke last Friday, but that was nothing new—such was our arrangement, one that involved me purchasing him IMAX movie tickets and him going down on me in the back of the theater. Then, sometimes, Denny’s.
“I don’t understand why I have to pay extra for an IMAX ticket if you’re just going to go down on me the whole time anyways,” I say through a mouthful of the cheapest gravy biscuit available at Denny’s. I think it’s called “Dennis’s Biscuit.”
“It’s called atmosphere, Jamie,” says, chewing on the three country-fried steaks he insisted I pay for. “If you’re saying you want me to go down on you during a screening of I, Tonya that isn’t in Dolby surround, then you have mistaken me.”
I choose not to argue. and I have been hooking up for a few months now and I don’t feel great about it, but it’s the sort of thing of where, when you have a crush on someone long enough and they finally see you, you sort of take what you can get. This is not a good example of self-respect, according to the nine books on self-respect my therapist has sent me with his Amazon Prime (showoff) account.
“You excited about the Olympics?” I ask as footage from Pyeongchang plays in the background.
I expect a no, even from a snowboarder—everyone knows that the Olympics are for the lonely and elderly people who want to feel less racist. But just as he did by getting too toothy in the IMAX screening of Jumanji last week, surprises me.
“I love the Olympics,” he says. “I want to go more than anything in the world.”
“I’ve never actually seen you snowboard,” I reply.
glares at me through his stupid idiot goggles. “Well, I do,” he says, studying my gravy-crusted hand as I lay my credit card down. “I’ll show you. I do.”
It doesn’t take me long to realize what’s happened the next morning—plane tickets to Pyeongchang that arrive in an unrealistic span of time in order to serve the purposes of my fictional story for Paste Magazine don’t come cheap. has stolen from me before, but it’s always been Beanie Babies and sums under $30. I’ve let it slide. This time, I go to the police.
“Can you describe this man?” asked Officer Winklevoss, who is in charge of the Los Angeles Idiot Crimes Division.
This was a complicated request. I saw snowboard emoji as a blue-jacketed, cargo-pants-wearing fuckboy with an orange board and goggles, but he came in many forms. To see him on a PC is to see a man in neutrals wearing a billowing scarf. To see him on an Android is to see him slimmer, smiling. To see him in GChat is to see him nude, faceless, and in a beanie for some reason. But I knew the one I was looking for.
“Ma’am, there’s a lot of snowboarders in Pyeongchang right now,” the officer says to my sweaty, concerned non-corpse. “Unless you can—well goddamn, the ceremonies are starting!”
I slumped into Officer Winklevoss’s chair and gazed at the 5-inch TV as the Olympic teams and the Russian athletes, who are referred to only as “Hey look a Russian” at this year’s ceremonies, filed in. An incredible light show, Olympic rings formed in the air with a thousand drones, a dove, and—holy shit.
“THAT’S HIM!” I howl like the feral cats who raised me. “THAT’S HIM!”
Officer Winklevoss’s eyes widened. “I’ll be goddamned,” he said, picking up the phone and making calls for the next five hours, desperately trying to locate and the money he’d stolen. They played highlights from the opening ceremonies over and over, with a wave of fresh pain hitting me each time.
It’s nearly been a week. They haven’t caught him. I went to an IMAX screening of Paddington 2 last night, frothing at the loins with no one to provide relief. Then I remembered the only superior lubricant—revenge.
Many have claimed to have seen him at the snowboarding events at Pyeongchang trying to network with Chloe Kim’s parents, trying to possess Shaun White’s body, and dragging his emoji ass around in an attempt to become relevant on a global scale. I hate him. I pity him. I want my money back.
This is a public plea. If you have spotted on the Pyeongchang livestream, please contact me—as the “emergency contact” he left me is the customer service helpline for Nabisco, it is safe to assume he has no one. I am angry, and I want my revenge.
Since Friday, I’ve done little but pore over footage in the hopes of finding his pixelated form in the background of the event and returning to the opening ceremonies to watch his smug ass sail on by, over and over. If you slow the footage down just right, you can see it— , the snowboard emoji, my on and off lover, flipping me right the hell off.
Jamie Loftus is a comedian and writer. You can find her some of the time, most days at @hamburgerphone or jamieloftusisinnocent.com.