My friend Katherine introduces me to her friend, Inga. “This is Joanna.  She’s just sold her horse, and her husband.” She laughs, but is wrong on both counts—the sale of my horse is not recent. She does not ride so I do not attempt to tell her how I came to part with my horse. Instead I say that I no longer love my ex-husband. When she asks me what I mean by love, I talk about excavating ear canals with foreign objects, toast crumbs, and jerky driving on the Henry Hudson parkway.

“I am frightened that if I leave my architect husband I will have made the wrong decision,” I tell my therapist.

“Whatever decision you make will be wrong,” she replies.

I rent Bad Lieutenant. Ninety-six minutes of Harvey Keitel engaged in NC-17 rated behavior, two frames showing him fully frontal. The image goes fuzzy when I press the pause button.  He has brown eyes, brown hair, and is uncircumcised.  How hateful that he looks like my lover?

The man I love writes,  “I’ve just returned from my last duty of the evening and am exhausted. I’ve been worn out and overwhelmed with travel. Tomorrow another whirlwind.” Why does he not write, “I think of you often”?

For three weeks I write a piece about my ex-horse and ex-husband only to find that they have nothing in common, and there is no point.

People, upon knowing that one is English, assume that one liked Lady Diana. To have to lie is almost as unpleasant as having to speak, or write ill of the dead.

A good lover will write frequently, recalling the details of shared moments, revisiting the last conversation, remembering one’s predilections and anathemas, and averring to a future when the pleasures of the last encounter may be renewed.

I gave up skiing before I’d learnt to negotiate the bumps.

String beans. String beans. I wake up unable to recall anything else.

The man who loves you writes, “I’m going away again today. Back on Sunday. I hope you’re doing well. Thinking of you often. I miss you.”  If he is thinking of you and missing you, why bother with “Back on Sunday?” Why not, “When can I see you?”

The unreliability of mirrors.

How hateful not to be able to remember one’s dreams.

Red roses and baby’s breath is a very hateful combination.

The light one has chosen for the new kitchen, scouring New York lighting stores, is the same as those used by the local Chinese restaurant.

Hateful to discover that the things one found upsetting on Wednesday are forgotten by Saturday.

How hateful to know that in certain circumstances the only person to blame is oneself.

Acts of omission, not commission.

I wake at 2.31 a.m. to the realization that something will have to be done about the medicine cabinet in the bathroom I’m renovating.  As presently located, there is no place for a shelf, not even a tooth-mug holder. The contractor will say, “There is nothing in the plans about this,” and will charge me for the adjustment. Would I mind so much if the end result were not, like everything else, a compromise?  Would I have been safer with an architect?

Knowing that one’s lover owns a dog of a breed one despises is hateful. If his taste is doubtful in this, what about other things?

     The Real Thing is playing at the Barrymore Theatre.  My lover and I see it twice.  Separately.

11:15 p.m. dialogue. I get off the subway and debate whether to take my keys out of my bag or not.  Which is better, to risk dropping them before I reach home, or to fish for them on the doorstep, giving opportunity to a following or lurking attacker?

No news is not good news. It may be bad news: my lover has family obligations; has gone out of town;  he’s had second thoughts about me; he’s had no thoughts about me. Or it may be very bad news: a high PSA count.

How hateful that there is no where in the world to procure corrective lenses that will make a glass half-empty appear to be a glass half-full.

Safety Tips from The NYPD:  “Do shop and travel with companions whenever possible.  There is safety in numbers.”  One in this case is not a number.

Elizabeth Arden no longer manufactures RoseShine lipstick #59 –a reminder, as if one were needed, that the things one loves come and go.

Born in London, Joanna Anderson received her M.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College. Currently she teaches writing and literature at The School of Visual Arts and is an active member of the New York Shakespeare Society, where she has worked as a Teaching Artist. She is currently working on a memoir and has on the back burner a collection of travel essays about journeys taken to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.