“This would never have happened if it weren’t for herpes,” begins Namwali Serpell’s brilliantly weird and tragically funny short story, about a couple whose quest for ever safer sex leads to a near-fatal love triangle with a machine called the TouchyFeely. What begins as a merging of souls over mismatched argyle socks devolves into a cruel game of isolation and recrimination, as the pleasures grow increasingly more solipsistic. A quick read that will leave you thinking for days about our culture's twin obsessions with health and technology - and how these play into the way we love. This story originally appeared in the Science Fair issue of Tin House magazine.
Also available as part of the story bundle You Don’t Look Like Your Picture: Stories of Love in the Digital Age, six stories for just $4.99.