A Romance Novel by a Man Whose Life Hasn’t Worked Out

Chapter 2: What’s the Point?

Simone lay supine across her bed, completely naked, her ankles crossed and her old wedding ring pressed between her fingertips. She sighed. Things have been so boring since Leopold’s death, she thought. I have all the money a girl could want … but what I really need is a man.

As if by some divine response, there was a knock at the door. Simone slipped her robe on, glided downstairs, and opened the front door to reveal the delivery man on the doorstep.

“I’m here to deliver a package,” said the brown-suited suitor.

“Oh, are you?” said Simone coquettishly. She slid her hand down the neck of her robe and revealed a some of her cleavage.

“Yeah,” said the man. “Just sign this, please.” He handed her a pen and a form on a clipboard.

Simone was disappointed that the man hadn’t caught the innuendo, and only then did she notice that he was wholly unattractive. His bald, flaking head peaked in a dull point like a snow-capped mountain, while his cheeks sagged like a basset hound’s. The legs exposed by his tight brown shorts were pale and hairy, and they were riddled with varicose veins, almost what you would expect to see on Frankenstein’s monster if he ever showed his legs on screen. His gut—well, it could only be described as balloonish. He wore flip-flops. He secretly knew he shouldn’t have been wearing them because his feet had the habit of striking fear in people, and plus it was against company policy, but it made him feel rebellious, and if he didn’t have those flip-flops—as well as his mom’s homemade cooking—he just might have killed himself long ago. Reminded once more of the direction his life had gone, the delivery man shed a single tear, which, due to the amount of crying he’d already performed that morning, had a trace of blood in it.

But Simone was desperate. She took the clipboard and tossed it to the ground. The man bent over and tried to pick it up, but Simone held him close to her.

“Let’s forget about that for now,” she said. “How about you take a … lunch break?”

“Oh, we’re not allowed to take lunch breaks until noon.” His breath against her face smelled—although he brushed his teeth five times a day—like a dead snake.

“Okay,” said Simone, “then how about we just … bend the rules?” She whispered into his ear, “Just. This. Once?”

“And do what?” he blared.

“And—and make love,” she said plainly.

“Oh. I guess we can try. That area hasn’t worked so well since my second divorce.”

“You don’t say.”

“Yeah. In fact, it was the reason for my third divorce. My third wife called it ‘The Hangman.’ Wanna know why?”

“No, I think I can figur—”

“It was because it was always hanging.” He looked very sad.

Simone sighed. “Well, do you want to at least try to have sex?”

“Sure, I guess we can see if it works.”

They went upstairs. It didn’t work.


Christopher Haygood is a writer of outlandish things who is fairly new to the publishing world. His work has been featured in The Short Humour Site, and is forthcoming in The Big Jewel, Defenestration, and the video game humor site Dorkly. His irregularly-updated blog is found at highlevelrefuse.wordpress.com