“I Freaking Love You!” by Nathan Leslie

Aug 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

“Love is not just assigned to one other human. Your love isn’t just for the missing piece to your puzzle.” —Elite Daily, Emily Brookshire

I love you, sunshine. Good morning! Thank you for being there for me every day, to wake me up and warm me and force me to buy overly specific lotions and SPF50. I love you!

Oh, and I love you, orange juice. You are the best kind of juice there ever was. Even in the really old days they could only dream of orange juice and they probably had to settle for grapefruit, which (and I love you too, grapefruit juice) is just not quite as orange juicey.

I love you, toast and toaster! The two of you go together, almost like bread and butter. It’s like you were truly made for each other. But what’s in a name? When it is all working in synch there, it is a thing of beauty, you crispy toast and toast maker deluxe!

Oh, shower head, I love you so much. You make my world spin. Without your warm jets of water none of this love would be possible. Please accept my deepest most unconditional love from the bottom of my heart.

Pillow, my SleepRight pillow—I am not supposed to be back in bed with my head resting on you, but it is just an expression of my undying love for all that you do for me. And, I mean, you don’t really have to do anything other than just be there and take my slobber! I love you so much!

Simple, not fussy work shoes—I love you with all of my heart. You allow me to trudge to work and I can avoid burning little corns or blisters into my skin to do so. You match everything and anything (or at least you don’t clash so obviously). I love you!

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the shiniest of all? I love you, mirror! Because you never lie and it’s good that someone doesn’t because there are a lot of others who really do.

Good morning, car that won’t fucking start! Oh, I love you. I still love you, despite your morning crankiness (and sometimes afternoon and/or evening crankiness). But you transport me! You delight me with your ten year old, faintly fecal-odors! I love you so freaking much it hurts!

Hello traffic, my love! Where would I be without you? Without you I would not possess this balance in my life of love and frustration. Without you I would have all of this excess time at work to do shit and to think about things. Without you I would have time for morning exercise. I love you so much for putting it all into perspective.

Hello administrative secretary from hell, Shelly. Nobody likes you as a result of your continuously bossy mannerisms and haughty bearing, but I still love you! I love you and your acrid attitude so so much. Who else would tell us minions we are unworthy to even speak to you and who else would shoot us the stink-eye if we even so much as glance at the coffee pot (even though we remain four pay grades higher)?

And there you are, computer that freezes up when I turn you on. I love you most of all because I too freeze up inside quite often. It is as if you are mirroring my exact inner state. Yes, I have to restart you time and time again, but what else would I do with my day other than wait forty-five minutes for you to get your stupid gigabyte whatever shit together. I fucking love you!

Mr. Hendrickson, I love you, also. Well, you know that probably from yesterday and the day before and the day before that, but here I am reminding you one more time, just because. I’m sure your wife tells you that she loves you, but I can promise you nobody loves you more than I do. It’s not a romantic thing, rest assured. My love for you is as a result of getting reamed out publicly in several recent staff meetings, which I love. What else says love than this kind of treatment? It is really the purest form.

Terrible life, I love you more than life itself. That sounds like a circular statement or a kind of redundancy, or both. But trust me, nothing could be better than your terribleness. It makes me want to try harder, better. It makes me want to count my blessings for once.


Nathan Leslie won the 2019 Washington Writers’ Publishing House prize for fiction for his satirical collection of short stories, Hurry Up and Relax. Nathan’s nine previous books of fiction include Three MenRoot and ShootSibs, and The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice. He is also the author of a collection of poems, Night Sweat. His fiction has been published in hundreds of literary magazines such as ShenandoahNorth American ReviewBoulevardHotel Amerika, and Cimarron Review. Nathan’s nonfiction has been published in The Washington PostKansas City Star, and Orlando Sentinel. His humor has been published in Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Defenestration, and Maryland Literary Review.

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