“first to dream of immortality”

Excerpt from Chapter 7 of LONELYHEARTS 2016:

(in which Miss Lonelyhearts tries to make things work with a man he met online, who looks a lot like his ex-boyfriend, “The Bow-Tie.”)

He poured me another glass of wine and asked about something he’d seen on my profile. The website prompted you to answer questions so it could calculate your compatibility with people. (Ours was 63%.) Once you answered a certain question, you could see everyone else’s answer to the same question. One question asked: ‘What is your main motivation in life? A.) Love; B.) Success; C.) Family,’ and I forget the last option. He’d seen that I chose ‘Love,’ and asked me why. I’d also seen that he chose ‘Success,’ but I wasn’t planning on saying anything about it.

I told him that I didn’t mean romantic love necessarily, that I meant it more as a spiritual force. I admitted it was something I didn’t have a clear idea of yet, then brandished my phone to look up some facts and build a case for myself:

‘It’s like Sinclair Lewis wrote: ‘[Love] is the morning and the evening star!’ Well . . . okay, so, he was paraphrasing Robert Ingersoll, who went on to say . . . ‘[Love] was the first to dream of immortality’ . . . So, yeah, I just don’t think I’ve ever really felt that before, ya know?’

Thankfully, he wasn’t listening. As soon as I stopped rambling, he informed me why he chose ‘Success.’ He’d been groomed to take over his father’s insurance firm, and was already an intern there. His answer implied that ‘Success’ had been chosen for him.

On the way back to the garage, we passed a man on the sidewalk who was likely homeless. He asked for money or food. My date continued walking a few paces away from me, but then noticed my arm was no longer holding his. He saw me give my leftovers to the homeless man, and immediately began screaming at me. His anger echoed and people stared. He bought that food for ME to enjoy, he yelled, ‘not some lazy fuck.’

‘GET A FUCKING JOB!’ he screamed at the man, who weakly offered the box back to us, which only made my date angrier. ‘LIKE WE’RE GONNA FUCKING EAT IT AFTER YOUUU TOUCHED IT!’

I managed to wrap myself around him from behind and calm him down. I kept repeating ‘I’m sorry, baby, it’s all my fault; I’m sorry, baby’ while kissing and rubbing him. At the time, I was oddly touched that he cared so much about it; but looking back, I think he was only so upset because I would’ve felt a stronger responsibility to sleep with him if I’d eaten the leftovers of what he bought. That’s also probably why he’d been so generous with the wine.


You can also read the full FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS here!

Love always,

real cover

Be gentle; this is only a tentative cover.

Miss L.

Open your heart to me?

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