Dear Journal,

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Thursday, December 8, 2011

11:20 PM. He’s in bed. It’s dark, except for some faint light coming through the bedroom window blinds and the not so bright lamp on his night table.



“It’s me, Journal. ..You were expecting Ryan Gosling?”

“I was hoping for Ryan Reynolds.”

“Yeah, right. Well if you were Scarlett.. Scarlett..?”


“Whatever, the one with the body that won’t quit, I could be Ryan Reynolds.”

“They broke up.”

“Really? Do you have her number?”

“Sure. ..You know, most people would just write straight narrative in their journals.”

“I prefer dialogue. So sue me.”

..How was your day?”

“It sucked.”

“How’s that?”

“People at the office were actually making sucky noises at me whenever I walked by.”

“I didn’t know people could make sucky noises. ..I think the sucky noises were all in your head.”

“Probably. To be accurate, it was more of a look than a noise. ..Not a single person said anything to me except to ask a question about something. Not even so much as a, “Hey, man. Wuzzup?”

“I think you went to work in a beer commercial. Who really talks like that?”

“I was speaking metaphorically.”

“Have you consider breath mints?”

“Cute. ..Wait. Are you serious?” He cupped his hands in front of his mouth and blew into them. “I smell like toothpaste. ..It was one of those days when I thought I would be fired.”

“You’re the owner.”

“I know. That’s how bad it was. I was so pathetic, I considered letting myself go.”

“Elizabeth didn’t flirt with you?”


“Tell me the truth.”


“Why not? Have you run out of pheromones?”

“Probably. Everything has a shelf life. I think I need to have sex more often to make more.”

No response.


“Sorry. I was dozing off. Why don’t you, ..have sex more often?”

“Who would I have sex with?”

“Good point. ..Speaking of suing you, which I’m seriously considering, are you making any money yet?

“Have you noticed that Scarlett Johansson is even better looking naked than with her clothes on? How many people can honestly say that about themselves?”


“What? Are you kidding? Have you ever seen..”

“No, I mean I haven’t noticed.”

“You need to get out more.”

“Why are we talking about Scarlett? Did she have a bad day too?”

“Because I don’t want to talk about the office.”

“Going out on your own was your idea.”

“Really? Thanks for reminding me.”

“Okay. I give up. Tell me exactly what happened.”

“You know the girl I hired a few weeks ago. She writes copy.”

“What about her? Is she flirting with you?”

“Nobody flirts with me.”

“Elizabeth used to.”

“I think she was flirting across the room with Tom and I just walked between them and didn’t realize it, the way you say “Hey” to someone who’s waving at someone else.”

“I’ve never done that.”

“Alice just..”

“Who’s Alice?”

“The new girl who writes copy. I’m worried that she doesn’t fit in. Smart. Pleasant. Hard working, but nobody talks to her much. Nobody’s trying to get to know her, and I feel bad.”

“What does she look like?”

“What difference does that make?”

“You know how people are.”

“Not if I can help it. ..No. It’s a personality thing.”

“What’s wrong with her personality?”

“Nothing. There’s nothing..”

“You know, just because people work together doesn’t mean they have to be friends.”

“I know. ..I’m worried she won’t think we care about her.”

“I, for example, don’t like you.”

“…and yet we work well together.”

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far. ..So what’s really bothering you?”

“I feel alone sometimes.”

“It’s not just a feeling. You’re incredibly boring. My guess is you wouldn’t even talk to yourself if you could avoid it.”

“I think, sometimes, the only reason people like me is that I pay them.”

“You don’t pay me.”

“My point, exactly.”

“Okay. Maybe ‘incredibly’ was an overstatement.”


“Who knows? If you’re nice to the Journal, maybe you’ll get lucky this weekend.”

“Will that help?”

“Not the way you have sex.”


“You’re not saying ‘No’ to pity sex, are you?”

“Of course not.”

“Think about it. Why would someone keep having sex with you when you’re so bad it.”

“Because she’s crazy about me?”

“Don’t get carried away, but something like that.”

No response.

“Wrap it up. I’ve got an early flight tomorrow.”

“Okay. And that completes tonight’s entry into the personal journal of the life and times of..”


“Thank you, Journal. We’ll talk again soon.”

“Feel better?”

“..Good night, honey. ..I love you.”

“Hm,” was all she, aka “The Journal,” could manage with her head temporarily buried face down in her pillow.

“..Do you want me to get a real journal like a normal person?”

“Of course not. ..I love you too.”

No reaction, his head nodding in a losing battle with sleep.


“What?!” His head jerked to attention.

“Turn out the light.”

“Oh, yeah. Right.”


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