Just another site

pages 43 to 48

“Uhm…” I’m wondering where Jamus’s hypothetical analysis of my immediate life is leading the conversation.

“The only thing that could even mildly attempt to explain your misery would be your letter.  The only people that get that letter would be your family and close friends.  You don’t encounter people who want to publish their dearly departed’s suicide notes and poems do you?  I mean except for the usual rock and movie stars whose publicists want to squeeze a few more financial drops out of their clients in the event of their death, but how sad can celebrities be really?  They say they’re lonely but are they?  Truly?  Anyone would trade places with them in a second.  Nobody can relate to them though and ultimately from a publishing standpoint on a literary memoir, people don’t care much about them because they are so detached from the norm.”  I don’t answer Jamus because I figure that his last statement is a rhetorical question.  I wait for more.  “I thought I’d write one, a novel.  A diary of someone who does what only the truly miserable do.”

“You didn’t though I take it.”

“I wasn’t sad enough.  It didn’t even make sense in the end.  I was more frustrated with writing it then I was excited about finally being able to say something new.  The only way it could have been publishable was if I had killed the protagonist.”  I listen and tweeze at wasabi and ginger with my chopsticks.

My hand moves the chopsticks, my mind makes my hand move…I see with my eyes.  All seeing, all controlling omnipotent being in charge of utensils.

Seasons seem to scroll on before I speak again, Jamus is still holding his sake cup.  Cottonmouth, dry lips, painful words.

“So you’ll never get your book.”

“I don’t think so.  No.”  He sounds almost upset that he isn’t insane enough to kill himself and, though I should be disturbed by the idea, I’m not.

A new waiter comes to take our plates away.  Cute waiter must have gone home, maybe sick.  New waiter brings the bill, Jamus picks it up, puts down a Platinum Visa (such a gentleman—has good parents).  I thank him.  We sit quietly, though not awkwardly until the receipt is returned.  Jamus autographs beautifully: large, dramatically looping strokes.  As we exit the restaurant, we startle the hostess as she’s staring out onto the hot streets… if she returns, I promise I won’t ruin it again.  This time I promise.

I thank Jamus again, and consider dancing around the typical niceties of “you didn’t have to” and “that was so generous of you.”  Nope.  I say goodbye to Jamus, thinking that I won’t see him much again, but he gives me his card, increasing our odds.  I thank him a third time.  Exit stage right… bus is actually in the other direction…stage left instead.


I’m thinking about cities as I listen to random indie bands on my headset while walking to the gym.  I always like how each one has a distinct smell to it, much like a person or an animal—it’s some sort of olfactory fingerprint.  Vancouver’s semi clean streets for example have that sweaty smell of gasoline and greasy fish.  You never know whether you’re getting close to a gas station or getting take-out.  The salted air mixes so well with the sweat of wealthy yoga moms and new-age gurus that it creates a sort of cologne for the city, pheromones maybe, detectable only to those who don’t totally fit in here.  I can definitely smell it.

My gym (or “Wellness Club” as the girls at the desk try and get everyone to call it) is a mirror festooned fishbowl of a place planted in a neighborhood that is the epicenter of aspiring actors clad in LuLuLemon pants.  I manage to venture here every week or so (whenever I feel as though I’ve recovered from the last visit) to hopelessly try and tone my arms, firm my waist and sculpt my buttocks.  I’m actually skinny.  Not just “I wish I could fill out these jeans more” skinny, but really, really “I ate at a friend’s house” toothpickish.  Most girls say that they want to be rail-thin but don’t realize that along with skinniness comes the loss of any breast, hip or ass shape—essentially all the things that make a woman look different than a man.  They are mere fantasies for the truly scrawny girl…for me.  I look like a 6-year-old boy and I doubt that any one of the curvy girls in here trying to sweat off her cellulite wants to look like Justin Beiber.  From what I can see, most of the hard-core mattress-actresses studying their scripts on the cardio machines have all magically developed the ability to remain ultra thin while maintaining their “endowments.”  You could put plant pots on those chests.

Two Liz Bell model twins walk past in matching workout outfits with a personal trainer who is holding a clipboard.  They’ve backed her into a corner behind one of the machines and are telling her that her technique is “all wrong” and that they achieve rippling abs differently.  Trying to phonetically spell single syllable words perhaps.  One is now demonstrating on a mat in front of the instructor and she looks completely pissed off to have to deal with the two of them.  I feel for ya’ sister.

Realizing that I’ve been staring at the pair of twins humiliate the personal trainer and not having done much in the way of actual exercise, I step onto an ominous looking machine, called the Iron Trek.  In an attempt to look like I’ve done this before, I start pressing buttons randomly to see if I can get the thing started.  I can tell there are others present (the fat girls mostly) who want to see how this thing works too so I am now the guinea pig.  The Iron Trek screen is telling me that I have just burned 422 calories, my heart rate is 190 and my workout is complete. Apparently the machine can detect fear, hence the calorie consumption without my actually having moved.  I am sweating bullets though because I have been on this thing for a good minute and a half and haven’t figured it out.   I can feel that people are starting to whisper.

Pedal things rumble…

Momentarily I get the sensation that I’m on a winged animal soaring bird-like high above the gym, dropping seagull turds on the Liz Bell model twins and large-breasted anorexics.  The sensation is short-lived because I get thrown back against the railing behind me—the machine’s treads have unexpectedly erupted with movement and are now cycling on at a sonic speed.  The somewhat retarded grin on my face has surely fooled my fellow gym-goers into thinking that I either meant to smear myself on the gym wall or that, though a seasoned fitness queen, the machinery has malfunctioned and caused a scene which is no fault of my own.  I exit the gym quickly, under the cover of a drink from the water fountain.  Who really drinks from the fountain? I mean honestly. I don’t think anyone bought it.

I walk the long way home from the gym, the daytime sky dimming into an evening behind me.  There is still enough of the generic waning afternoon sunlight to illuminate the face of a tall woman leaning on a railing at the back of a strip-club on the street.  I’d place her somewhere in her mid-thirties, though it could just be the roughness of her occupation that has desiccated her skin so much.  She looks at me, her peroxide-dry hair, teased into curls is blowing in the light cool wind.  I smile, trying my best not to look like a condescending yuppie.  She looks away and closes her eyes to the dull sun, her foundation thick and clearly visible over fine crows-feet, laugh-lines and small acne scars.  Laugh-lines might not be what she would call the etchings on her face.  I imagine that she’s danced the floors of this and every other low-end peeler bar in the city, working the same perverts for cash over and over.  She dances for rude men who wear tee-shirts that say things like “Your Girlfriend Asked For Seconds,” or “Ask Hercules,” followed by an arrow pointing to a sub-standard penis.  She has to smile and get the crowd riled up when the announcer calls for the men to “load the stage with loonies so we can get this hot bitch in the shower!”  This woman has probably never been in love, not real love at least, but she watches romantic comedies with her cat and does long for someone to rescue her.  She once wanted to be a nurse but can hardly remember that now and has resigned herself to the grimy stages of Vancouver’s bars.  She hasn’t complained in years.  It’s just a job so why bother?

The breeze lifts her feather light hair off her shoulders again as she finishes her cigarette and returns indoors.  God doesn’t love this woman, she would tell you he gave up on her long ago and she him.  My walking is quick, trying to make up for the fact that I skipped out on the gym.  I also pass by a man eating in a tiny Italian restaurant.  He’s alone and sipping from a glass of red wine and doesn’t notice my looking at him as he stabs a fork at some pasta but doesn’t pick any up.  Fork down.  I love despondency but hate being sad.  The paradox makes it interesting.  I love cigarettes but hate smoking.  I love music but hate the bands that make it.  I love reading but hate having read.  It’s paradoxes like this—these little nonsensical anaphora I love…but hate that I find so appealing in life.

There are so many un-extraordinary things that I feel contribute to my personality in an extraordinary way and I am thinking that I just need to find a way to capitalize on them.  I’ve been dwelling on these so much lately so that as each one presents itself in crystal clarity, I find it almost impossible to escape the usual depressions that subsequently arise from realizing my own mediocrity: these “things” being a testament to it.  Some writers can make things interesting, I know that.

If I allow myself to go there (and I often do out of habit if I’m not distracted by something else) then I’ll become like every other self-obsessed writer: pondering my own existence to the exclusion of all else and never coming up with anything original or worthwhile to put down in a book.  Why would anyone read anything I have to say?  Then again why wouldn’t they?  What else do they have to do?  Turn something ordinary into something wonderful.  If you can be that introspective about your experience then your readers will adore your every word.  You’re just like them after all.

While I go over in my head all of my idiosyncrasies and my somewhat obnoxious habits, Jamus pops up once again.  His tell-all bio idea seems so simple: sad people with awfully simple lives, quick uncomplicated journals paradoxically detailing very complicated neuroses.  Bestsellers.  Fame. I walk more quickly towards home, my music having long since stopped.  I notice that I’ve been listening to the seashell hollowness of the headphones and it’s oddly comforting.  I decide to call Jamus, I have the best idea: something he’s been waiting for.  Something I’ve done already over and over before, in billions of ways with billions more outcomes, all within the cool un-judging walls of my imagination.  We’ve all done it.  Admit it, we’ve all done it.


The curser blinks in taillight fashion on my computer screen.  WRITEsomethingWRITEsomethingWRITE.  WRITE something Katherine!  Put down something!  Anything!  Pretend your life depends on this…or pretend your death does.  Pretend the fate of the world rests in your having to say something profound…now.

I have a giant bottle of water next to me and a package of Matinee Ultra Lights that I haven’t opened and can’t seem to get myself to, seeing as my apartment would smell for weeks afterward should I actually light and have one.

…some perspective.

I jot these two words down to begin my little diary, or my book, or my journal.  My guarantee.  After all, it’s exactly the meaning of these two words that everyone will say I lost…when this is all over.

I consider the classes that I am still enrolled in and how funny they’ll seem…later.  It’s not as if attendance is taken anymore and all the classes are too big anyway.  No one I’m sure will notice that there’s been one less person present, or one less person has been handing in unlearned homework.  I cut most of them out via the online student service and it forms a straight stitch of W’s, embroidering the screen next to the course numbers of each class listed on my record.  I am though saving the feminist literature class taught by the angry lesbian.  It’s good for a laugh, especially now that I don’t give a damn about the grades and I have always (though maybe incorrectly) considered myself something of a feminist.  My inspiration and the words of genius I’m wanting to come up with for my “journal” don’t seem to be taking any sort of root on the initial pages of my slightly too expensive sketcher.  I’ve already cracked the gluey purple spine of it so I decide to continue with writing my resume:


page 42

“The only difficult thing is inventing a sensation that isn’t there.  Everything else can remain the same, the basic plot or whatever, it’s just the emotion that you need to infuse into it—that you need to worry about.”  Jamus observes.  The comment is so obvious that I nearly loose all respect for him and his intelligence.

“Hasn’t it always?  I mean, isn’t that what writing is about?  The invention of emotion from noting but inspiration?”  He stirs one of his metal chopsticks in wasabi and soy sauce then, as if completely ignoring my question:

“Once I realized that one had to develop interest out of the ordinary I set about making my ordinary extraordinary.”  The dim look on my face is dimming further, I can feel it in the relaxing botox-ean paralysis of my forehead.  “I wanted to publish what would be the most shocking testament to tragedy.  Ordinary people who are so miserable that…” The waiter comes with more green tea.  I am now so interested in what Jamus has to say that I barely notice the full steaming cup in front of me. 


“Katharine, even the most miserable people I know are able to cope with their own unhappiness for the most part.  They are bitter people, often jaded and lonely, but they’re coping.  They take prescriptions, they drink, they have affairs and whatever else and those are their strategies to ‘deal.’  But there have to be, or more importantly, there are sadder people than these.”

“You just don’t know them?”

“In a sense.  I don’t currently, or never did.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Jamus.”  He gives me a look that you might give to a dog that just caught its own tail in the chasing of it and bit down hard.

“If you kill yourself Kate, if you hated yourself so much that you’d end your own life, then truly, you’re the saddest person I know…knew.”

pages 40 and 41

“I’m planning to get lost and deathly ill, chasing a religious cult in India after I discover that my Mom was born a man and I have an identical twin I’ve never met.” I tell him and he smiles.  I do as well, though now I’m slightly concerned about the free criticism that has been offered to me by His Highness.  He smoothes his left eyebrow with his thumb.

“Essentially Kate, what you need to do is you need to inject tragedy or comedy or action into things that are typical and ordinary.  This is of course if it is indeed tragedy or comedy or action that you want to convey.  If that’s your theme and if your predominant emotion is say, a grief-stricken one, then you’re half way there. For what that’s worth misery is what sells books.”  I’m totally nonplussed.

“How do I do that?  I mean, what if nothing about me is even vaguely tragic?”  I pause for a moment, embarrassed for saying something so inane.  Jamus casts his gaze to the open street at the front of the restaurant.  He rubs his bottom lip with the same thumb used for the eyebrow. He’s planning something.  It’s percolating—hitting the back of his tongue and waiting to spill out in a genius tapestry of prose …I’m right.

He begins: “The sun was often so hot, so dry, that even in the very wet city, things, inorganic objects even, seemed to disintegrate and shrivel up before my eyes.  Each day existed solely to me on the plus and minus of my pay-cheques and on the trivial fantasies of my waning (or truthfully, my entirely diminished) love-life.  And, though the year had not been a good one, and though the sun continued to evaporate life out of the glistening city and out of myself, I couldn’t help but think simply, ‘if she returns, I promise I won’t ruin it again.  I’ll be good.  I’ll behave.  I promise I will.’”  I can feel a vibration move through my being.  There’s an excitement in my groin as well, telling me that the words I just heard were something special.  I haven’t blinked for over a minute.  Jamus clears his throat then sips his sake and I can smell the acetone fragrance of it wafting toward me.

“Where did you even come up with that?”  I ejaculate the question onto the table and just now call to mind that breathing is an essential function.

“The hostess, she walked out of my field of vision.  Something ordinary became tragic I suppose.  Injection.” I consider how Jamus, by simple observation is able to make dumb, pedestrian things profound and by doing so is highlighting what a shitty writer I am.  He can do what most writers and filmmakers can only dream to do.  The hostess is now talking to the cute waiter.  I wonder if they’re dating, or if she knows how fascinating she really is to us, to Jamus.  Even more importantly the gears in my head spin and churn to try and concoct some tragedy or profundity of my own.

page 39

“I totally understand.”  It sounds like I’m trying to console, neglecting the fact that Jamus already has a successful career.  I sip tea.  A young waiter, not appearing to have more than a whiff of Japanese blood in him, takes our order for sushi.  Vegetarian Roll, Avocado roll, Kappa Maki.  My vegetarianism is so impressive.  Jamus orders something I can’t hope to pronounce.  Cute waiter exits stage left.

“Tell me more about your writing Kate, what do you focus on?  What sorts of characters do you involve yourself with?  What do they do?”  Jamus’s question seems not only silly, but also nosey, like this was some sort of interrogation.  Though it has been a while since someone asked me something about myself so this could just be how people show interest in each other. It’s difficult to discern these sorts of things after only having conversations with people like Estelle and her entourage, who are as likely to ask you a personal question as they are to jump in front of a bus.  I answer Jamus anyway, just to see what it’s like.

“I write about very fantastical characters usually: men who fight, women who love.  People you watch rather than read I guess.  Lately things have shifted a bit.”

“To?”  Jamus stays fixed on me holding the Sake cup delicately between his thumb, index and middle fingers.

“Well, to myself.  I figured that maybe I could write more convincingly if I based my characters off of me.  That’s what they keep saying isn’t it: start with what you know?  You can’t just…well, I can’t just plunge into things I don’t know anything about and try to pull it off as a decent story.”

“That’s a good jumping off point.” Jamus says and I can tell, he’s hesitating.


“I think that now, with everything that’s been published, there just isn’t much to write about anymore.  It’s why films have six or seven sequels before the stories are considered exhausted.  It’s kind of pathetic actually that in every creative field we’re just rehashing old material and reselling it.  But people don’t really like surprises unless they’re really great shocking ones.” The beautiful hostess is arranging menus.  She looks up at me and smiles.  Back to menu arranging.  A few more people shuffle in, they pull her from the easy task that she no doubt would rather do and she seats them and answers their stupid questions about what part of Japan she’s from and what the characters on the rice paper screens stand for.

“So you’re saying that I’m not interesting enough to base any characters off of myself?”

“As it stands now, yeah that’s what I’m saying: you aren’t—but then again I don’t really know you.”  Oddly enough, I’m not at all offended by this.  And stranger still, I am coming to believe Jamus doesn’t know how to not be honest.  It’s like, his job.  I rummage around in my head for an example of a perfectly ordinary protagonist.  Nothing presents itself.  Sushi arrives, cute waiter looks tired.  Mental note on impeccable timing of the sushi.  The seaweed is bound so tightly around the rice that it glistens in the waning afternoon sunlight.

pages 37 and 38

On Robson Street.

Huricana blends in with the rest of the stores and restaurants in the plain buildings on the street, at least it often does in the cool uncommunicative days of autumn and winter.  Summer however, with its high white skies and smashed, sun-bleached clouds, brings about the removal the street-facing wall (it’s more of a garage door) and the cedar interior is revealed to all who pass by.  Inside, the reddish wood lines the wall in typical British Columbian style, less Japanese and more Coast Salish.  Following the North American fascination with all things fusion, the translucent screens that divide many of the rooms, bordered in Black pine, depict images of tidal waves and proverbs written in Japanese characters to recollect an idea of the “old country.”

Our hostess is devastatingly beautiful as all Japanese descendant women I’ve seen are.  She has thick, jet-black hair tied tightly behind her head and held there artistically by two black lacquered chopsticks (oh c’mon).  She has no idea what a pore is (maybe an urban myth?) and wears only lip-gloss to further accentuate her already full and flawless mouth.  I expect her to speak delicate Japanese, low and quiet to Jamus and he, the wealthy editor of a successful publishing house, would understand and reply without so much as a hint of an American accent.  She doesn’t, but rather speaks better English than I do, and while she does so I catch small glimpses of a glistening mouthful of wire and elastic.  She can’t be a day older than seventeen.

Listen young one, in first rule of Kung Fu, you must learn Or Tho Don Tic.

I chuckle at my own wit again.

Jamus and I are seated, shoeless (I say a prayer to a Shinto god to mask any foot odor I may have missed in the shower this morning) behind a particularly beautiful egg colored screen.  He orders Sake and green tea—the snob.  I have tea and water; the beer has been forgotten.

“You write.”  The dice words tumble and clack clumsily across the table.

“I often am.”  Jamus winks.  The punning nature of our conversations needs to stop I decide—it’s  no longer cute and it’s starting to just piss me off.

“It was a question: Do you write?  You asked me the last time we met if I do and I’m bouncing the question back.”

“I used to.  Dabbled a bit.  Mostly I just like to read and think of things to write and tell other people that they can’t write.  I never really do myself anymore, my ideas don’t…actualize, I suppose.  I could think of a billion different things to write about, then write a billion different prologues or first chapters or outlines, then I’d quit.”  I am starting to think that Jamus is talking less about his own writing history, and more about my own.  A renegade tealeaf drifts aimlessly in the handle-less cup that arrived miraculously while Jamus was talking.  I start to realize how hot it is in the restaurant and I can feel my always-shiny forehead start to push past the thick powder I dusted it with earlier.  I feel like I have a coating of syrup on my face and become wickedly self conscious of how I must look to this very together gentleman that I happen to be talking to right now.

And We’re Back: page 36

Splakka splak pulls up to a stop, I think evilly of the drool in the slow people’s mouths heaving from the back of their throats to their teeth as the coach rocks forward.  I chuckle at my own uninhibited wit. Three people, a pretty pair of sisters and a generic man get on.  Girls sit in my immediate vision, man continues into my peripheral.  He sits beside me—like there aren’t any other seats.  Bastard!  Pervert!  My GOD!  Why don’t you just sit on my la…

“Hi Katherine.”  It’s the editor.  Lord DimensionApart has placed himself once again in my presence, and The Universe I believe, is mocking me.


“Very good but I said hello.”  It dawns on me that indeed he’s right.  This is the second instance in which I’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time.  I feel like I might appear to fit in with the rest of the randoms on this bus and that I am making more and more of an ass of myself in front of this very powerful man (who for some reason is taking a bus and not a chauffer) the longer I wait to explain my lack of communication skills.  I think I told him I’m a writer—he’s not going to believe it.

“Yes as in hello.  How are you?”  He smiles, beautiful white, straight, shiny teeth making his somewhat ordinary face look immensely attractive.

“I’m good actually.  Thought I’d get out for some lunch and enjoy the weather.  What are you up to?”

“Sushi at Huricana.  And beer I think.”  My own calmness surprises me and I smooth the top of my dress over my legs.

“Yes.”  Now I’m confused.  Perhaps he’s mocking me.


“What you’ll say when I ask to join you.”  I smile wide, feeling a slight vibrating tingle behind my cheeks and forehead.

“Yes.”  He looks pleased, like a man who won a very small and useless prize.  Splakka splak rounds the corner and we get off—the two of us, The Celebrity and The Peanut.

The Interlude

Hello readers,

My sincerest apologies for not updating pages in the last few days.  I’ve been away from home for a bit and will resume updating when I return on the 2nd.  I hope all is well with you and thank you so much for reading.

page 35

There’s a sushi place downtown, Hurricana—best in town apparently, and it’s built to easily serve those going solo.  One thing that I’ve never had a problem doing is eating by myself.  I guess it comes naturally.  Anorexics have no idea what they’re missing.  The white-blue sky yields to the intensity of the sun and the nearly 30-degree heat.  In the subconscious gears of my mind an idea is in development that a beer would accompany my sushi better than green tea.  My conscious agrees.  The rickety splakka splak of the bus is only audible if you’re listening for it and I, the impatient youth, always am.  The sound comes and the bus that travels with it appears to be the complete physical embodiment of the noise it’s making.  Material onomatopoeia: it sounds the way it looks.

The bus is sparsely populated with Vancouverites, most of them slightly retarded I think, or almost crazy—silly hats and slept-in hair on some.  Most have slack jaws that vaguely mouth the names of the businesses we pass: Talia Designs, Primo’s, Eddy Vance Sportswear.  Their smell is that of a liquor-store stockroom: sour and cardboard-y.  Jesus, these people are just begging to be locked-up and institutionalized.  The bus driver also appears “off,” masking his one mildly lazy eye under the guise of a squint.  He smiles though, a rarity in Vancouver transit workers.  I don’t know if I do in return though.  The buildings we drive towards seem to rise directly out of the water that they are so closely built to, basking in the heated slant of the almost-summer sun.  Little bronze men, carved looking, young and strong, teeter along the wood planks and concrete of the growing buildings, the reflection of the sky in the oceanic glass cooking their skin into the finest, smoothest leather as cranes pirouette overhead.  It’d be easy for them to jump should they desire to do so.

page 34

My own works remain single and unloved.  I am solitary.  I am opting for a nap instead of hitting the gym.  Rest does my writing wonders and it might help to clear my skin.

pages 32 and 33

I mourn my poetry and my writing.  I think of the collection of words, rejected on the pages of my notebooks and journals, sick with melancholic sentences, weaving in and out of realism like blue yarn in a quilt a distant relative made.  Moreover I think of loneliness—how the words that I have labored over have come to embody what it is that I long for.  It’s a package seeking a destination and a loner finally searching for a social outlet.  My thoughts themselves are fragments of melodramatic prose.

I’ve started seeking out tales of misery.  I’m not sure exactly why.  Maybe just to give me some creative inspiration, or to give my own life experience (or lack thereof) some perspective.

There was an article that I read a few months back in the newspaper discussing a murder that was committed in Yaletown in a beautiful blue high-rise typical to the area—very exclusive.  A true event so wrought with obsession and romance that it spurred on my own writing of passionate affairs…for a time.  It was regarding a man living on his own in that exclusive complex: a one-bedroom suite, tastefully furnished, most likely not by him.  There were pictures on page 2.  His career was finally unfolding in a successful manner: a new position at an advertising agency in the downtown core, a recent promotion with a substantial raise and great benefits.  He could attend classy events, had a charge account and a company car.  Any Greek would tell you he was a man poised for tragedy.  Someone we’d love to see fail.  Enter the woman—three years his junior, Blackfoot, Japanese and Swedish descent, a graphic artist new to the agency and to the city.  She discussed many ideas with him, he helped her out in her first few weeks—they worked on different floors.  She asked him out for a drink, he had originally thought to decline (nib…company ink, etc etc), but accepted in the end.


He discussed how he, walking home from work, would stop to pick up strawberries from an organic market: three plastic containers of them.  Arriving home he would pick through each container, selecting the reddest, most attractive berries, the remaining not-so-attractive berries would be saved for his cereal.  Washed in icy water and hulled, he placed the perfect red fruit in a porous metal bowl in the fridge.  She would arrive.  He would open white wine, something he “had kicking around.”  She would eat the strawberries, knowing that he’d selected the best (it was that obvious).  This, she would later tell him, “was very kind,” something she had appreciated and wouldn’t forget.  Their lovemaking was soft and wonderful, lasting through the night and into the morning.  Bed, kitchen, floor, living room.  They would explore both age-old methods and modern therapist tested ones and, upon waking, they would shower in his enormous terracotta tiled bathroom, candles would be lit everywhere.  The water droplets would form tiny mirrors refracting the candlelight and airbrushing away any impossibly small imperfections on her body.  He was blind to them from the beginning though.  He recalled the way the lukewarm water would give them goose bumps on their shoulders.  She loved him he thought.

Her lip-gloss was sweet, “shortbread” in flavor, lasting on his lips through their days at the office and he always resisted licking it off completely.  He wanted it to last the day.  This wasn’t meant to be forever.  He said she spoke of former lovers and he listened, his throat dry.  He would smile and try to not act jealous.  Deep down he knew that she had wanted him to be.  She told him about her romantic past, not really considering whether or not he wanted to know about it.  Then she stopped visiting his office at work, then his home.  The phone ringing was never her anymore, he would later tell reporters.  She would nod to him only in the office but never spoke, he would stand alone in the halls of the building, under the hum of the fluorescent lights as days relaxed into nights.  He wasn’t really waiting—just…hoping.  Some would call it hope.

“You can’t imagine,” he was quoted, “it’s impossible to describe to someone that dark feeling.”  She went missing.  Was found.  Stanley Park, half uncovered out of the shallow three-foot grave. His arrest publicized.  Deadly Romance, the papers read, Killed for Love, Crime of Passion.  He won’t do any more interviews—he’s already a celebrity of sorts.  All media footage shows him crying, his face grief-stricken, blotchy, uncovered.  Hands cuffed, orange coveralls, bloodshot eyes, downturn mouth.  The citizens of the city, his neighborhood, were furious with him.  I however, allow my heart to break for him, if only a little.  Every human needs that I think, even if it just proves to myself that I can be that evolved.