If Pokémon GO really wanted to catch me, they'd lure me to locations I can't otherwise be bothered to GO, like:
1. THE CRISPER.
Listen, I would so much rather find a Squirtle than a quarter bunch of decomposing kale and three shriveled grape tomatoes.
2. THE BACK OF THE GARAGE.
So. Once I ran over the cord of the Shop-Vac with my 15-year-old SUV, and the SUV died there, in that very parking spot, and the Shop-Vac was out of commission for the two years it took to get around to donating the SUV to NPR. That's how bad my garage is. I don't even know what's under that work bench. For all I know a whole family of Rattatas has taken up residence and sent for takeout.
Read more: A Guide to Playing Pokémon GO for the Olds
3. THE DOWNSTAIRS CLOSET.
There's a closet in my house that so seldom draws my notice that not only did I miss the leak dripping through from the upstairs bathroom, I missed the collapse of four square feet of ceiling drywall, the collection of a couple gallons of leak water, one drop at a time, in a plastic bag full of pillows, and the soaking and molding of a crate of pretentious grad school essays I probably should have thrown out 10 years ago along with the two-foot-tall stack of now-sopping New Yorkers I’ve been hoarding since 1998. Something should have lured me back there at some point. It would have been a public service, really.
4. THE BACK HALF OF THE DARK CORNER OF THE SOUTH QUARTER OF THE YARD.
(Are we sensing a pattern here? I should get out more, which it turns out is kind of the point of Pokémon GO in the first place.) For three summers, I hunted down every last sprout and leaf of poison ivy in that goddamn overgrown Midwestern jungle. Then I gave up. Actually, I take this one back. I'd never even be able to see the Ivysaur back there, much less catch it.
5. JIFFY LUBE.
There's no way this fucking oil is getting changed otherwise.
6. THAT POETRY READING I TRIED TO BE NONCOMMITTAL ABOUT BUT ACCIDENTALLY
OBLIGATED MYSELF TO.
You just never know how these things are going to go. You might see a poet who's charming and funny and reads her poems like she hopes you will like them but isn't sure. Then again, you might get somebody who's certain his collection of villanelles is a gift to you that you've been awaiting with bated breath, who will explain to you the origin and meaning of each individual villanelle as though it's obvious you're not quite bright enough to divine it on your own, when really you're just looking glazed as a natural outgrowth of the mansplaination ambush. If any event has ever needed a Pokémon, this is it. Or booze. Or both.
7. A DARK, COOL BAR WITH A NICELY-STOCKED WELL.
It's fucking hot out. Too hot for walking around aimlessly staring at my phone, and besides, after the poetry, I need a drink. Make it an Abra. I'm gonna want to stay a while.
8. MY NEIGHBORHOOD FARMERS MARKET, WHICH IS REALLY JUST A LOT OF TENTS OF
PEOPLE SELLING HOMEMADE HEMP-SEED SOAP AND A VERY BAD COVER BAND WITH
TWO DRUMMERS, YET I FEEL PRESSURED TO SHOW UP AND SUPPORT IT.
Self-explanatory. And make it one of the firey ones, maybe a Charmander. Those tents are flammable, and at least an unplanned barbecue would be interesting.
9. THAT PLAY DATE WITH THE MOM WHO SOMEHOW MANAGES TO SHOWER EVERY
DAY AND MAINTAIN A SUBTLE, ELEGANT MANICURE.
Because a Poliwag might at least make things interesting.
10. MY LOCAL YMCA.
I pay for the membership every month. I haven't shown up in over a year. Help me, Pikachu! You’re my only hope.
Victoria Barrett's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train, Salon, PANK, and other outlets. She lives and writes in a house full of men and boys (even the pets) and tries not to feel too bad about it.