SEATTLE — Seattle Police have turned up no new leads in the disappearance of local venture capital principal Paul Chadlett, who has been missing since the end of January. Carmen Best, Chief of Police, issued the following statement this morning during a press conference: “Detectives have uncovered correspondence that appears to be recently written by Paul Chadlett. We are releasing portions to the public. If you have any information or leads as to Mr. Chadlett’s whereabouts, please call us at 206-625-5011.”
“This food diary thing is lame. If it weren’t for Becky I wouldn’t even be doing resolutions anyway. Resolutions are for losers who aren’t chasing their goals everyday. She’ll forget about it in a week. This is dumb… now I have to do homework every time I eat. I’m only writing this because Becky’s watching me right now. Good thing she agreed we wouldn’t share these stupid things until at least a month in, and I’ll have conveniently lost it by then. If we’re still together. She’s great in bed but she’s getting whiny about my weekends with the guys. Whatever.”
“So Becky gave me shit because I’m not writing down how much I’m eating and drinking. This is her stupid resolution anyway, and I reminded her of that. She’s the one who needs to lose weight, not me. She got all pissed and said I can forget about this weekend at Tahoe. Normally I wouldn’t care but Jake and his girlfriend are going to be there, and he’s planning on bringing some blow. Gotta figure out something nice to get her.
“I’m halfassing this stupid thing because she wants me to text her a picture of the diary at work in the middle of the day. Protein shake before the gym in the morning as usual. Chicken breast with a Monster and vodka at lunch as usual. Afternoon drinks out with Jake from Securities, with nachos and a baked potato. Steak and fries for dinner with beer.
“I bet she tries to get cute and quizzes me tomorrow.”
“Tahoe was great. Jake’s girlfriend is a hot piece, I’m pretty sure I was fingering her instead of Becky in the hot tub, but we were all so coked up no one will remember. Becky won’t shut up about the Apple Watch I got her though, keeps talking about how now we match and we’re ‘watch buddies.’ She’s such a tool. I’m writing all this down because Jake asked if I would care if he made a move on her if we broke up and I need to prove to him she’s crazy.
“Had a 6 oz. porkchop and 4 cups broccoli for dinner tonight. Lunch was some shit I can’t remember, but it doesn’t matter because I’m going to Snap her a picture and all she’ll be able to see is ‘porkchop’ in the picture because I’ll use some filter to blur everything else out.
“She’ll think it’s artsy and eat this shit up.”
“Todd was busting my ass because my watch went off reminding me to drink water at lunch. I wanted to punch his smug asshole face as usual but Jake said there’s probably going to be an opening for another venture partner soon and I shouldn’t rock the boat too much. Plus he bet me 500 bucks I can’t drink enough water to keep the damn thing quiet for a week, and Jake knows I don’t back down from an easy bet. I’m already at 4 glasses after lunch alone but I had to leave the Tuesday rally meeting to hit the head. I got my ass reamed for that one.”
“I’m up to 6 glasses now. I should have made the bet with Jake an even grand. This is easy.”
“The CEO bought our lunch at the steakhouse downstairs, and while I was chugging down a glass of water at lunch and updating the watch app, I saw this chick from HR staring at me from across the room. When she saw I caught her looking, she got up and left her seat. I was going to follow her but I had to hit the bathroom (again).
“Realized I hadn’t had a Monster in a couple days. Weird.”
“Becky’s spending the weekend again tonight since she’s back from her brother’s. She’s planning on making some tofu stir fry crap so I better eat some real food before she gets here. I’m already at 5 glasses today.
“We had some nasty red wine for dinner but Becky was all about it. Knocked back glass of water 7.
“I don’t know what just happened. Becky was on my bed watching some nature documentary. I knew if I drank another glass I was going to get up in the middle of the night but I did anyway. As soon as I finished, there was a noise like a gong went off. It wasn’t a gong sound but it was a gong feeling somehow. Becky said she didn’t hear anything and gave me a funny look. I realized she was so cute with her nose scrunched up in worry, and I was suddenly so overcome with energy that I ended up just ripping my pants off and taking her in bed. It was the best sex we’d ever had.”
“So thirsty when I woke up. I felt like I had a killer hangover, but I hadn’t even had anything other than a half glass of wine last night. Becky’s still asleep. I grabbed some water from the fridge and as soon as I drank it, I felt like a rush of color was coming into my mind. Everything was so quiet and sharp in the morning and somehow I wasn’t surprised that it was 5:30. I went for a run and as the blood was pounding through my ears, I thought I heard the gong again, in the background, rolling and deep. I had another glass when I got back.
“Becky just got back from getting bagels but I wasn’t that hungry. I didn’t even notice it was 10:00… I’d been reading a book she brought over about yoga when she got back. She asked if I was going to give her some bullshit about her yoga classes.
“I tried to tell her I was honestly interested but she just stared at me.
“I made some steaks for us tonight. Becky said something about how I actually cooked hers the way she liked this time, but I’m pretty sure I just did the same thing as always. I offered her a glass of water.”
“My days at the office seem like an oiled routine now. I’ve realized I can pace the water throughout the day with small sips, and each one is as cool and refreshing as the last one. Jake paid up this morning, but couldn’t resist some remark about how I’ve stopped getting bottled water from the partner’s lounge and he saw me at the cooler in the lobby. I thought about trying to explain to him how watching the tumble of the water through the air and into a glass was its own perfect zen that you can’t appreciate by drinking from a bottle. I decided not to waste my time. Jake is meager and uncultured.”
“The quarterly projections meeting was today, but I didn’t go. I had come into the office early, before the sunrise, to watch it push back the mists of the morning. I watched, over the next few hours, as the clouds rolled in and burst into a shimmering curtain of rain. The forecast had called for snow but we got a sudden warming spell at the end of the week, which meant instead of flakes we were treated to a cascade of water, plunging down into the city.
“I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and I was everywhere in the quiet but resonant sound of water falling to the earth. I did not open my eyes until the rain had stopped.”
“I got called into the senior partners’ office this morning, and the director of HR was there waiting for us. I sat in an ostentatious leather chair, sipping a glass of water, listening to them talk about the importance of commitment and clear expectations. Their words tumbled off their tongues like so many simple blocks of lead, solid and unyielding. At some point they asked a question. I don’t remember what I said, but it must have been the wrong answer because the general partner suddenly started screaming at me. I sat there while he yelled for 2 minutes, but all I could see was how how a spot in his upper back was so clearly out of alignment, like a drop of black dye that refused to dissolve. After he stopped cursing, I got up, walked over to his desk, leaned over, and tapped quickly but purposefully on his left shoulder. He spasmed and yelped in pain for a second, then fell silent with a mixture of fear and awe on his face. ‘What the fuck did you just do?’ he whispered, but I had already turned around and was leaving.”
“Becky called this afternoon while I was walking along the shoreline of Riffe Lake. She started asking a question about Jake and his girlfriend, but I told her I had taken some time off and hadn’t talked to Jake in a few days. She started going through a guessing game about how I was planning a surprise trip for the two of us and where I was planning to take her. Watching the ripples on the lake, I don’t remember the conversation, only that a piece of me was taking part in it while most of me was elsewhere.
“I realized just now I haven’t been entering my meals in this diary, but I can’t remember the last thing I ate. I can’t actually remember ever eating.”
“My mother called to wish me happy birthday and to let me know my sister Wendy was pregnant. I started to reply that that was impossible, that Wendy had been barren ever since the miscarriage, but realized that this hadn’t happened for them yet. As I hung up the phone I realized I had two voice mails from Jake and one from my boss, but they could wait.
“The sound of the waves breaking on the shore roars through my ears as I drink in the evening spume. My old life seems so far behind me now; I am ready to go.”