Time to have a look at what they eat in Dear Diary. I do this with every story I write, have a look at what they’re eating, that is.
Way back when, I took a course in children and young adult literature. It was after I’d gotten my teacher’s degree, but I kept studying for fun (thank heaven for living in a country where education is free). In one course, I wrote an essay on how food in a book showed the characters’ social status and wealth. It was really interesting to write (might not have been as interesting to read LOL) so that’s what I do here. Not to analyse their social status, but food plays an important role in books. It tells something about a character if they eat macaroni and cheese instead of roast beef or if they drink water instead of a glass of expensive wine.
It’s tricky with Dear Diary. It’s written in diary form so the main character summarises his day. Some days he doesn’t write much at all, and most often he’s not very focused on food.
There are a few mentions though, so let’s have a look!
First off, there is mentioning of coffee almost every day. His therapist has told him to list three positive things every day, and at the beginning of the story, those three most often are:
1. My breakfast coffee was okay.
2. My lunch coffee was okay.
3. My walking-home-from-work Caramel Latte was okay.
Later on, when he feels a little better and he’s seeing Lars, there is some mention of food.
So, dinner with Lars didn’t mean going out to a restaurant. He cooks! Or we had some chicken thing with potato wedges and a salad. Gordon Ramsay might not have been impressed, but I was.
Then he continues to be impressed when Lars talks him into working out in the morning before work and promises to get him breakfast.
Then when I was sure I’d puke all over the torture device, the thirty minutes were up, and Lars told me I’d done a good job. It shouldn’t matter, but damn, I wanted to do a good job. For him. See the pathetic swooning? There I was panting and red-faced with sweat trickling down my temples, and he was as gorgeous as ever, hardly out of breath. The universe is against me; I swear.
He told me to shower, and I asked if he wanted to join me. See. Pathetic. He grinned and said he had a class in an hour, so showering would be a waste of water.
Once I’d berated myself in the shower for a good ten minutes, I went out to meet him in the cafeteria and realized once again Lars is too good for me.
He’d made us sandwiches, and not some disgusting peanut butter and jelly thing. No, they were made of sourdough bread with cheese and ham and lots of lettuce. I have no idea what Gordon Ramsay would have to say about them, but I was impressed.
Then when everything has gone to shit, he realises he’s made a mistake. Pushing Lars away was a stupid thing to do, and he wants to explain himself. But after you’ve hurt someone, do you bring something when you go there?
He responded: It’s okay.
It’s not okay. I can almost hear the fake tone through the text. I asked him if he was at home. If he is, I might go there. Or maybe I shouldn’t. Damn, I’m gonna throw up. What do I do? I should bring something, right? But then it feels as if I’m bribing him to see me.
He says he’s home. I asked if I could come by to talk.
If he says yes, do I bring something? Wine? No, not wine. I could stop and buy something… Hot cocoa. Mom always gave me hot cocoa when I was sad about something. I’ll bring a blanket and we can sit outside and have hot cocoa.
He hasn’t responded.
It’s been six minutes. He doesn’t want me to come. Fuck. If he’d wanted to talk to me, he’d texted me back at once.
Shit, the phone buzzed, but now I don’t dare to look. It’s been thirteen minutes. Nothing good comes after thirteen minutes.
It’s taunting me. I keep staring at the phone. Okay, deep breaths, I’m reading it.
He wrote: Okay.
I don’t think it is. It took him thirteen minutes to write one word. And four minutes for me to read it. Sigh.
I’m going. Hot cocoa, a blanket, and enough anxiety to set off a nuclear bomb. If I have a panic attack, I’m blaming Erin. I could’ve escaped this. I could’ve saved both Lars and me the trouble if she hadn’t told me I was an idiot.
I don’t want to be an idiot.
My therapist wants me to write a diary to help me manage my depression. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with her.
All I want is for life to go back to the way it was before I walked in on Christopher and Jason. Or maybe not because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Christopher for cheating on me in our bed, but I want to function as I did before that moment. Before I lost everything.
Do you remember Lars Olsen from school? I do my best to stay away, but it’s like he’s magnetic and pulls me in every time I see him. I shouldn’t be dating. I don’t want to force my crazy on anyone, but he’s asked me to dinner. He deserves a sane partner, so it would be unfair to go, wouldn’t it?
Contemporary Gay Romance: 9,219 words