05/17/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A is for Amy & Adonis: Chapter H


"The last man to make love to me is dead now, too," Eustazia said.

She was trying to cheer up Amy even though Amy was already feeling happy. This made no sense at all - except if you were Eustazia.

U to her friends.

You see, U had a deep desire to sympathize with people who were worse off than she was. It was a win-win. She felt better about her own life - i.e. superior - while also appearing understanding, caring and other-oriented.

Amy, of course, understood this, and knew that one of the best ways of showing she cared about U was to go along with her sympathetic thing.

"Remember Pierre?" U said.

Amy remembered, but she pretended not to hear. She had her nose in a book by the Dalai Lama (and a shrink named Howard C. Cutler) called The Art of Happiness - A Handbook for Living.

The two friends stood in the bookstore at the mall, having already achieved massive shopping success. U had taken Amy to the lingerie factory outlet store where she'd picked up a black bra that held her breasts up while pushing them together. U said Amy looked like a young Sophia Loren without a tan. That only took $20 of the hundred bucks that Grace had donated. So they went to lunch, drank too much wine and were now thinking how they could spend the last $30.

"Remember Pierre," said U again.

Amy answered without looking up. "The guy in the wheelchair?"

"He was only paralyzed from the knees down," said U.

I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness, wrote the Dalai Lama.

"Cool," said Amy, more to the Dalai Lama than U.

U frowned and punched Amy in the arm. "No it wasn't," U said. "It was kind of disgusting. Pierre's breath tasted like roll-your-own cigarettes and fermented licorice. But he had only four weeks to live. It was mercy sex."

I believe that happiness can be achieved through training of the mind, Amy read in the book.

Amy looked up at U, straight in her eyes. "Pierre did have a sexy voice," she said.

"It wasn't like that," said U.

"What was it like?"

"Like having sex with a stranger, with some one you didn't love."

"So?" Amy went back to her book.

"So now he's dead, gone forever, and I'll never have a chance to know him better, to get close to him."

"To have sex with him again," said Amy with a smile. "It must have been good."

By bringing about a certain inner discipline, we can undergo a transformation of our attitude, our entire outlook and approach to living.

"That's not the point," said U.

Amy looked at her again. For the sympathetic one, U demanded a lot of TLC.

"Sorry, what's the point?"

"The point is, now I know how you feel. With Bart being your last sex partner and everything. It must be hard for you."

Amy looked down and read more of the Dalai Lama's book:

When we speak of this inner discipline, it can of course involve many things, many methods. But generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness. That is the way.

Amy nodded still looking down.

U touched her shoulder. "I understand," U said.

Amy bought the Dalai Lama book and one for her mother called How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. She also purchased gifts for everyone. For Bartlette, a rubber hippo for the bath that spat from the front and peed from the back. For Ferguson, a CD called HOT SALSA HITS #4. For Carmen, a Barbie Rescue Helicopter Emergency set. And for U, she bought a navy blue beret in honor of the dead - but not forgotten - Pierre. In honor of what might have been.

Of course, it all cost more than $30. So she mortgaged her Visa and promised herself she'd find a job soon. Or win the lottery.

(more to come)

For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a comic story of romantic redemption. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally.

There are 26 short chapters. But it's easy to catch up. The chapters just take a few minutes to read. And here they are:

READ FIRST SIX POSTS (just click on the one you want)--

Chapter A
Chapter B
Chapter C
Chapter D
Chapters E & F
Chapter G

Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.

I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven