(New York) In an unsettling turn of events, young men in New York City are disappearing.
"They're dropping like flies, out there!" Laura H., Assistant Technical Designer, lamented with a hint a panic in her voice. Laura moved to Manhattan about a year ago, and lives on the Upper East Side with two other young women in their twenties, whose attentions are similarly held rapt by these bewildering disappearances.
According to the 2010 Census, there are 8,175,133 people living in the city of New York. Of that, 1,585,873 live in Manhattan, so this publication is confident in assuming that about 50% of that number, 793,000 are male.
But the figure is rapidly decreasing. Mayor Bloomberg was not available for comment, but it's clear that city officials are mystified by this development, and have no clues as to where these men have gone.
But ask any young woman, and she will tell you with no reservations where their counterparts are:
"Oh, he died. Absolutely. No question," Jessica S., Assistant Merchandiser at Saks 5th Avenue, says, with no trace of irony. "I mean, it's really the only logical explanation. I met Michael a few weeks ago, and we really hit it off. We went to a Yankees game, he paid for everything - he texted me during the work week, said he wanted to see me over the weekend... things were really clicking. He said-" she pauses, a glimmer in her eye. "He said he 'really likes' me...and then... it was like, he vanished into thin air. Nothing. He was gone."
Jessica hasn't heard from Michael in eight days. She assured us she enlisted her friends and roommates to patrol the internet to check on all lifelines. There has been no movement on his Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, or GooglePlus accounts.
"He died." Jessica says resolutely. When questioned about proof, in the form of say, an obituary, she dismisses it with a shake of her head. "Of course we checked. Did we find anything? No. It's because they can't keep up with all the... disappearances. It's happening all over the city. I don't know a girl who HASN'T lost someone."
Amanda P., Assistant Media Planner, has been living in Murray Hill for a little over a year, and confirms the startling trend. She met Chris O'Shaunnesey last month at a pub crawl in the East Village, and the two started dating. "We had this really great connection," she says wistfully. "Like, he checked all the boxes, you know? We both don't like mushrooms, his dad works in real estate just like my dad...we both LOVE Bon Iver... you know. Like, the real stuff. Anyway, we were hanging out like, once a week - getting a drink after work, meeting up on the weekends with our friends, and he was so sweet."
Then, tragedy struck.
"We made plans - like, actual SET plans - to go to Long Beach one Saturday. He texted me the Thursday before saying how excited he was to get to spend time with me, and that 'work had been crazy' and so he was looking forward to it... by Friday night I hadn't heard from him and he hadn't responded to my last text, so I called him, and..nothing. I got his voicemail. Still no word from him by Saturday, so I went to the train station anyway, thinking maybe he'd like, lost his phone. Or something."
Amanda sat at the station until 1:45 PM when she finally realized that something was wrong.
"And then it hit me. He totally died. That was really the only explanation."
Respected Manhattan institution of research on dating and relationships, HBO Series Sex and the City, brought this issue to the forefront with the episode "Frenemies" (2000) wherein Miranda is stood up on a date. She calls his home number to give him what-for and finds out that he has, in fact, died.
In what should have been cited as the singular most damaging influence on young women possibly ever, ahead of beef hormones and Bratz dolls, this episode has come to life, in the minds of the maidens of Manhattan.
"This phenomenon has really opened my eyes, and given me some perspective," says Kate M. who works as a Jr. Financial Analyst. "I mean, I now believe in ghosts. This guy Kyle I was seeing... I was pretty sure he was The One, you know? And after like, our fourth date, he just dropped off the face of the earth. I took his passing pretty hard, but, found comfort a few weeks later knowing he was still here," she says, hand pressed emphatically to her heart. "It was the craziest thing, but I could have sworn I saw him at a Cafe Metro on Lexington the other day, near where his office was. This tall blonde guy came in alone around lunch time, and I was like, 'Ohmigosh! It's him!' but then I remembered, obvi, that it COULDN'T be. So, it's just nice to know that like, he's okay, and-" with a sad smile, she says, " And I'm gonna be okay."
With that kind of self-confidence, we have no doubt that she will, in fact, be okay.