Because it's easy to be whoever you want to be from you computer chair.
The shower stall felt smaller than I remembered, and I wondered how much I had gained this time. I washed, quickly, trying to remember to get in all the little places that moisture liked to hide. I rinsed the small amount of graying hair I had; the doctor said lack of nutrients had started my balding much earlier than most.
I redressed in what my sister called a "cow-dress," an old house dress that could fit a cow... like me, I walked barefoot to the kitchen and pulled out a frozen pizza to pop in the oven, then decided to raid the half-eaten quart of Ben & Jerry's while I waited.
After tossing the pizza in the oven I headed for the computer desk, switching on the "Halstead News at Eleven." I threw the dirty dishes that littered the desk in the trash as I sat down at the keyboard.
"You've got mail," popped up on the screen as soon as I turned it on and I knew that it was the young man I had been talking to for days after posting my personal ad on one of those cheesy love hookup sites; my heart raced a little more than usual as I opened the mail.
"Dear Abigail," I read, "I am so glad that we have finally been able to forge the relationship that we have. I have often worried about the morals of the people I have spoken to on here; wondered of their honesty." I smiled, "I can't stand the people who lie about who they are, it drives me insane. I know you have told me about yourself several times, but I love hearing about you, tell me some more. What do you look like, your ad only gave a few brief details. Is it too soon to ask? What do you do for a living? Not that it matters, you could work at McDonalds and I would still talk to you." My mind raced as I tried to think of something I could tell him, "Always, Dan."
"Dear Dan," My fingers began to fly over the keyboard, "I am so glad that you finally asked! I am about five foot tall and am what my sister calls 'supermodel thin,' but I don't see it that way. I have large green eyes and waist length blond hair. My parents say that I have the most beautiful mouth that they have ever seen."
I paused long enough to stuff that fairy tale mouth with a dripping bite of ice cream, "I work for myself, as an editor for the local newspapers. I contract with them for individual jobs. It is really a great career as I get to travel quite a bit." I sat back and stared at the screen, amazed that I felt no guilt in my lies, after all, my add had said as much and I hadn't felt guilty then. "I love to go horseback riding," as if I would ever be able to find a horse strong enough to carry me," and I currently am planning a trip to learn to scuba dive." I figured that was enough for now, and wanted to turn the subject onto him, "So what about you? Where are you from? Anything exciting going on?"
It had taken me weeks to get up the courage to join "Hearts Aflame," the online dating service that cost me a whopping sixty dollars a month. But I had placed my add, curiosity getting the best of me. I had written: "Athletic blond bombshell with a stable career, seeking smart, funny stable man for lite conversation and possibly more." Nothing more. That had been it.
And then Dan had answered. He seemed to be all the things that I would want in a man, sweet and funny and sensitive. He was a pediatrician, and so obviously loved children. I had hoped to forge a relationship with him, keeping him online long enough to find a diet that would help me lose at least fifty pounds, and hopefully quickly.
The timer on the oven went off with a loud "ding" and I rushed, as fast as my lumpy legs would carry me, to fill my plate. Before I even left the kitchen I heard a beautiful voice from the living room, "you've got mail." In the spirit of getting back to Dan, I decided to forgo the plate, taking the whole pan with me.
"Dear Abigail," My sweet Dan had come through once again, "I live in a small town called Halstead." The pizza in my throat suddenly felt like lead as it slid mercilessly into the pit of my stomach, "There really isn't anything to do, although neighbor-watching can be quiet fun. I live next door to the most disgusting pig," I dropped the pizza as my heart thumped loudly, "she must weigh three-hundred pounds. She leaves her curtains open," Yeah, mine were open, "and I have to sit and laugh. She eats more than ten men should, and then sits at her computer as if the man of her dreams is in it. Her hair is almost gone, what she does have left is almost gray."
I could feel the tears building, "She works at McDonalds and has for as long as I have lived here. But once she gets home, she changes into these sheet-looking dresses that would probably fit a cow." A sob escaped my throat as I forced myself to continue reading, "I bet the woman sits on her computer every night and lies to some nice guy about how hot she is. You wouldn't do that though, would you my sweet Abigail?"
Word Count: 999