Vancouver
3 min

Comrades in loneliness

Man-man-Labrador love triangle

Dear Diary; At long last! Have achieved romantic security! Can finally stop pretending it is okay to be single.

This week I moved in with lovely boyfriend and everything is covered in sunshine dust. All goes just as planned.

For starters: moved into Tim Hughes’ apartment, complete with friendly Labrador, Restoration Hardware ottoman, and his immense Criterion film collection.

Next: will slowly replace all his dishes, music and artwork with my own. Dog, ottoman and movies, obviously, can stay.

Sharing an apartment, one becomes a hybrid-regressive characteristics (Ikea flatware, Enya CDs, Escher prints) are pruned.

You, diary, are a welcome gift from Tim. “So you can keep a part of yourself private,” he said.

But what does that mean? Which part of myself, exactly, am I meant to conceal?

Hunted all over for Tim’s own diary, but he hides it somewhere. Doesn’t he trust me? What is there to hold back?

And why does the dog whine so? He’s annoyed that I moved in.

This may, come to think of it, be slightly premature. Moving in and all. Not that I’m complaining. And if Tim were to read this, I’d want him to know that I’m totally happy and that the dog smell hardly bothers me at all anymore. I love it here.

Just occurred to me: I haven’t looked for his diary behind the fridge. Must check later.

Poor lonely Ryan phoned earlier, asking if I would go clubbing. When I told him no, he acted as though I was being snobbish.

Tried to explain to him that I’m not better, but that I’m in a relationship now and I just don’t get excited about pathetic things like bars the way I used to. Somehow he just didn’t get it.

Perhaps when he, too, has a relationship he’ll understand.

God, the dog just peed on the rug. Why the fuck didn’t it give me a sign? Fuckity fuck.

Now Tim will come home and see I have no parenting skills. Will shake his head and ask in resigned tone if I could bother to pass him the paper towel. As if I couldn’t clean it up myself.

And I would, but Tim should be home any minute.

Where is he? What am I going to do when he starts sleeping around behind my back?

And how will I even know about said cheating if I can’t even find his fucking diary?

He’ll be home any minute. I should make sure I’m doing something interesting. The TV’s off now, and the radio’s on CBC, but I should probably be reading, too. Or at least wiping up the dog pee.

Of course if Tim were to read this one day, I wouldn’t want him thinking I always put on poses in order to look fascinating and/or thoughtful. Because I don’t do that. I really don’t.

If he comes home by the time I finish this sentence, I’ll stop writing and make him dinner… Ah well.

If he comes home by the time I finish this sentence, I’ll stop writing and give him a blowjob whilst looking obediently up at him… His loss.

Each day I wait for Tim the way his dog does-I’m tethered to his comings and goings just as religiously. The key-jangle in the door will set the dog and me off, but Jacob always greets Tim first.

He receives Tim’s buddy-buddy, wrestling hugs with such unbridled joy, then trots back to the couch, tossing me a grin all smug and gloating. People don’t get such unabashed love as dogs. They get interrogated about pee stains.

But until that fateful tinkle of keys, Jacob and I are comrades in loneliness, equally abandoned and seeking a guarded warmth from each other the way soldiers grudgingly huddle up.

And now the dog is curled beside me. Jacob looks like he’s forgiven me for making him pee on the floor. He looks like he’s completely forgotten, in fact. I pet his head and he gives a huff through his cold black nose.

Tim should come home now and see this. His dog loving me, the pair of us weighted down with lazy affection. Tim should see me reading the New Yorker, or filling this journal, or doing anything at all that better people do.

This moment here. Come home now. Come in now. This would look so good. This moment, here, would pull it off.