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900 Sq.Ft. Divided by 2
by Mel Bosworth

She left but I stayed, thinking she might return. I sat in a swivel chair and grew a beard. I smoked over one hundred cartons of cigarettes. I wore out a window pane by staring through it too long. By the time it occurred to me that she wasn't coming back, I was in desperate need of a shower and my teeth were yellow. 

Instead of quitting smoking, I decided to start drinking too, my rationale being that everything deserved a partner. 

One day I put a piece of paper on a desk and thought up an advertisement for myself. It went like this:

Lonely white male in search of companion.
Females preferred.
Housebroken preferred, but not required.
Must enjoy smoking and drinking. 
If you don't enjoy smoking and drinking, it is required that you enjoy mine.
Please be attractive.
Fetishes encouraged, particularly fetishes involving disheveled men. 
Lastly, a good heart is a must, although, having a pulse will do. 
All responses will be answered. 

Two weeks passed with no hits.  I considered writing another ad, leaving out the part about the drinking. Drunks are usually burdened with the stigma of being abusive, which I wasn't. The least I could do was put in a line that clarified this. And so I did.

Six months later, Paul and I are doing well. He doesn't eat much and he always comes with his own supply of booze and cigarettes. The only downside is that my closet now smells like an outhouse. 

I should've changed the ad to read "Housebroken required," but I've been letting it slide. It's been nice having the company.