1. Then came Megan, then Serena. Both beautiful, in different ways; Megan like a car accident, Serena like an orchestra warming up. Megan moved to China and never came home, Serena developed this suspicion that I couldn’t read—long story—and tested me by communicating only by text until one day I realized I no longer missed the sound of her voice.
  2. Monica's nesting made me nervous
  3. Rebecca liked me but loved her husband. Loretta was too old fashioned. Ivy had pale, translucent skin that tore easily, like a dragonfly wing. She died in a fire.
  4. Kathleen, Becky, and Dolores all died in fires, too. Separate incidents. You lose four girlfriends to fires and you can’t help but wonder what you’re doing wrong.
  5. Shelly was a classically trained actress. She left me for a dramaturge. I still don’t know what a dramaturge is. It sounds a little like the title of the person who would be in charge of drama on a planet that the Starship Enterprise would encounter.
  6. Captain Kirk would be doing whatever and he’d get captured by these guards—the guards would have those drama masks, the sad and happy faces, on their uniforms—and they’d haul Kirk off saying, “We’ll see what the dramaturge has to say about this!”
  7. Josephine cheated on me. Marissa cheated on me. Marilyn cheated on me. Clarissa and Candice cheated on me with the same guy. What I get for dating conjoined twins.
  8. I dumped Casey, Allie, and Hannah, each for no real reason. I just woke up and felt like dumping that day. Would have been easier if they had by chance woken up that same morning in the mood to be dumped, but no luck
  9. Maybe I should stop there
  10. Wait, I forgot to tell you about Angelica. She blamed squirrels for all her problems. Hated them, used to carry around a little bag of cashews sprinkled with poison.
  11. When I broke up with her I said, maybe I’m old-fashioned but I think the man in the relationship should be the only one carrying around dangerous nuts. Glib, I know, and I could tell it stung her. I regret it now. She had some demons but she was at heart a sweet girl.
  12. There's been a lot of women but in not telling you this to brag
  13. f I was bragging I would tell you about Natalie, whose prehensile tail made sex scary and exhausting and quite frankly ruined me for sex with tail-less women for about six months after she died in a fire.
  14. Shit, that’s five that died in fires, isn’t it. How have I not been questioned by the police yet?
  15. I told many of these women I loved them and some of the time I meant it, although I’ve learned that when you tell someone that you never really mean it the same way twice. And I’m sure there have been other men in your life since we last spoke but I kind of hope there hasn’t been. I hope there’s been just one
  16. I hope he’s kind and shares your interests, but not in a competitive way; that he’s not afraid to share his feelings but doesn’t do it constantly, that he likes to travel and has a job he can leave at the office.
  17. I hope he has an injury—physical or psychological—that prevents him from functioning sexually.
  18. I hope that when you laugh with him it’s never forced
  19. I hope you own a fire extinguisher