Dirty Words / by Courtney Mehlhaff

So I've been playing Words With Friends with a woman named Marlene.

If you're unfamiliar with this app, it's essentially electronic Scrabble. I used to play it regularly, but it turns out I have very little self-control when it comes to games. I lose hours to them. Which is why I don't have any on my phone. (And also why I don't gamble).

My sister prompted me to reinstall it over Christmas so we could play together. But naturally one wordsmith opponent wasn't enough, and the app allows you to compete with random online players.

Hence, Marlene.

It's an odd thing, to be matching wits with a stranger. Do you keep the game friendly, or do you crush them if you can? Do you choose your words carefully, or are you playful with your tiles? Sometimes it takes awhile to feel people out. 

When I had the letters to spell "ORGASMS," I couldn't resist. Knowing nothing about this woman -- not even an age or location -- I wasn't sure if she'd react. There's an option to chat back and forth in the app, but we'd never used it. Until now.

A couple hours later, I had a new message alert.  It simply said, "Hee hee."

I like Marlene.