The Calendar Invite

Flash fiction.

Scott Muska
5 min readJul 24, 2022


I thought the notification was going to be from the first person to wish me a happy birthday but hey, you know, life is full of surprises, some (or many) of them disappointing and/or occasionally downright jarring.

I’d left my phone off “do not disturb” when I went to bed because even though I’ve experienced more than 30 of them (no need to get specific) I still get excited about who is going to come in with that first message to tell me happy day of birth.

It usually happens sometime just after midnight even though I wasn’t technically born until 4:27AM — but that’s not something I ever correct anyone on. You’ve got to take what you can get when it comes to people honoring you on the day you entered the world, even though you personally probably didn’t really do all that much. (I’ve long thought birthdays should be more about the mothers, but I don’t think it’s going to catch on. I’m not really one with the level of power that comes even close enough to being able to catalyze a cultural shift. I’m many things, but not one to influence the cultural zeitgeist, and that’s okay.)

It was not a text message. Nor was it a Facebook notification. Definitely not the for some reasons (latent narcissism among the masses, mostly) increasingly coveted Instagram Story shoutout from a friend that we all want so we can compile them and add them to our own Stories throughout our special day to show that goddamnit, we are loved and thought of.

It was a calendar notification from an old email address I hardly ever used anymore, and it actually came in as a reminder half an hour before midnight. A digital relic from a long time ago. Some might even say a former life. One I definitely had not seen coming. I’d forgotten about it. Had, in fact, spent a lot of time (and money on and effort in therapy) actively attempting to do so.

The title read, simply, “Elope” and it was meant to block off my entire day.

The location? “Somewhere exotic.”

The description said, “I hope you’ll remember my favorite Ring Pop flavor.”

It was Blue Raspberry for both of us because if nothing else we had good taste. It was all coming back, all coming back to me now: The night we made the all-too-common “If…



Scott Muska

Writer. "I Thought This Was Worth Sharing" (essays) and "Many of These Could Have Just Been Tweets" (poetry) are available on Amazon.