You can respond to most SMS messages with an Hey it's OK. When that’s not enough, try an I agree. If you hit Enter ten times, you can use periods and underscores to make a whale.

._. is a perennial favorite.

In a pinch? lol lets you out of a sticky situation.

Sometimes a What? can buy you time. brt stands for be right there; use it well.

Most people just want to be told that it’s OK, though. If you ever want to be told that it’s OK, just text an old friend hello. Try and get it so that the most recent text from all your contacts is an it's OK kind of text. Pretty soon your phone will be auto-correcting to it's OK. Being an adult is fun and filled with colorful, varied experiences.

~

Mall paced back and forth, mumping at her cigarette with her lips. The cigarette was red, yellow, white, black, and fire – in that order. Her hair was long and chocolate, but smelled like smoke. The mice cleared out. Mice are particularly attuned like that.

She looked around, staring at the dotted outline where the sun used to be. She startled as the door opened. Bass chords and Maria stumbled out. Maria took one look at Mall and rolled her eyes. She lit a cigarette too. From the end of the alley, two dots of light pricked the dusk.

Mall eyed the tight poreless obsidian skin that stretched over Maria’s face. So perfect; so kissed; so loved. Maria fished around her purse for her wedding ring.

Above, alien saucers drifted noiselessly over them, trailing white combs behind them. People around the city pointed and made phone calls, but at this moment neither Mall and Maria were in a position to look up.

A rat danced around the ashes and heels.

‘Fuck it.’ Mall pivoted and left. Maria stared after her, listening to the click-clack crossfade into police sirens. Maria rubbed the cigarette out into a nearby Obama poster and put what was left into her purse. She made a mental calculation and then also left.

The mice edged back, to enjoy two remaining hours Earth had before it was just another sphere of vapor in the failed experiment that we call the Milky Way.