Dear Diary

Dear Diary, I feel guilty about my suspicions of V's infidelity, but she has been spending more and more time with the pool boy, who looks at her in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I would laugh the whole thing off as a paranoid delusion except for the smiles and laughter she displays whenever he's around. That, and we have no pool.

Dear Diary, The hopelessness and despair grow only worse. Today, V dumped me for a can of fruit cocktail, which she feels can better meet her emotional needs, except for the maraschino cherries, which she feels are "too strident." I walked alone in the park searching for solace but found only arrest, for in my grief I had neglected to don pants.

Dear Diary, Today I met the most beautiful woman, assuming being hit by her car and dragged fifty yards still qualifies as an appropriate introduction. I offered to buy her lunch. She said no, so I offered to buy her a car. She laughed, and the sound was like a thousand dainty angels frantically rubbing balloons, so I asked her to please stop. She said she was busy today, but would be free that evening, so I offered to buy her lunch that evening. She agreed, on the condition that I get her a date and sit at a separate table, in another restaurant. I believe she was playing hard to get, the coy minx. My only regret is that I neglected to get her phone number. She said it was in the phone book. When I said I didn't know her name, she said that was in the phone book too. From the size of her dinner tab on my Visa bill, however, I assume she had a wonderful time and will be running into me again soon. (Hope hope!)

Dear Diary, I was awoken this morning by V throwing rocks at my bedroom window, from the inside. She had let herself in and was begging me to take her back. The fruit cocktail, it seems, was merely using her to get out of the store. She cried and said she loved me and never wanted to leave, and asked to borrow my VISA card "for a sec." She has not been back all day and now I am worried for her.

Dear Diary, A brief ray of sunshine today was quickly drenched by a cloudburst of petty recrimination. At work I was commended for volunteering to keep the coffee urn full. As I share space in my cubicle with the coffee station, it is really no problem. Tragically, I mistook printer toner for decaf and six of my co-workers went to the emergency room. I tried to give the Heimlich maneuver to the ones who were not vomiting, but they protested and shoved me away. The ingrates. Why deny me an easy way to make amends, even if only symbolically? People can be so selfish.

Dear Diary, After spending most of the night fretting over V's absence, I turned on my PC and logged onto a new humor-based bulletin board. Several postings were quite funny and I found that laughter really is "the cheapest medicine", just as mother used to tell me when I was sick or injured. But then there was a posting of a letter I had sent to my email pen-pal detailing the problems V and I had been having in bed. Everything was there: all her excuses for not making love with me, like her doctor saying she was allergic to semen, or that she had to wait four hours after eating. Even the time we were making love and she screamed my roommate's name, then tried to cover by adding "c'mere quick. You gotta see what he's trying to do now!" My pen-pal's betrayal caused me to weep onto the keyboard and now the "" key (the letter after "C") oesn't work, amn it.

Dear Diary, V called me today! But from jail. I reported my credit card stolen thinking it might snare whomever had abducted her, and thus bring her back to me. At least V turned up unharmed. They grabbed my precious as she was trying to buy a condominium, and now she needed bail. Absentmindedly, I used my duplicate card for a cash advance and was arrested also. Happily, we were placed in adjoining cells. She called my roommate to bail her out. They said they'd be back for me later, but never came. I berated myself for not buying her a more reliable car. When I was finally released, I asked them why they didn't come back for me. They said they had but the jail was closed. Apparently budget cutbacks are affecting more than libraries.

Dear Diary, Mother phoned today. Again she claimed that I was a mistake, that she had meant to adopt the boy next to me at the orphanage, who today is a millionaire because he invented a popular brand of chewing gum made from pork waste. So what, I said. My job is important too. If it weren't for me, when people opened their fortune cookies, they'd just get a blank slip of paper. Fine for a bookmark or a terse hold-up note, but not as satisfying as a glimpse into their future. Then she started criticizing my latest work. "'I hope you didn't order the Kung Pao chicken'? What kind of fortune is that?" she huffed. Perhaps she's right. Both V and my roommate have been missing for weeks now, and I fear it is affecting my work. Yesterday I wrote 'V? Is that you? Come back. All is forgiven', and 'Don't ever let your roommate borrow your car, TV, and girlfriend at the same time.' Today I filled 50 gross of cookies with a short personal ad about me, including my phone number. Too late I found that those cookies were shipped to a maximum security prison for their annual Countries You Won't Be Visiting week. Despair.