PATRICIA HIGHSMITH -Edith’s Diary. Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 1977. Pocket Books, paperback, 1978. Reprinted several times since. Film: Germant, 1983, as Edith’s Tagebuch (Edith’s Diary).

   Edith has a diary. She got it from her beloved aunt. It’s a very nice diary.

   Edith has a life. A pretty ordinary life. A husband, a son. The kind of son that likes to tear the wings off flies. But hey, you can’t have everything.

   They move to the country from NYC. And that’s okay. Kinda boring. But okay.

   Then her hubbie’s dilapidated uncle moves in to an upper bedroom, needing care, and stingy. But hey. No biggy.

   Then her hubbie leaves her for a younger woman from the office.

   Meh. No big deal. I mean, it sucks, right? But hey. Shit happens.

   The kid grows up to be a nothingburger. A lush. A weakling. A beerbellied wanker.

   But, meh, what can you do.

   On the positive side, there’s Edith’s diary.

   Why put down all the boring stupid things. Who has time for that?

   Rather, put down the life you wish was happening. Similar. But with some perks.

   Say, like, why write about her kid that’s a do-nothing wanker?

   Rather, about her kid’s unrealized potential life: He goes to Princeton, he’s an engineer, he’s successful, he’s got a nice house, a nice wife, and two adorable little children.

   Her diary becomes an alternate life. A life where her hopes and dreams become real. A life much more tangible and fulfilling than her own.

   Becoming a sculptress, she even makes busts of her imaginary grandchildren, so they become real, out of clay.

   She’s beginning to plan for their visit. She’s beginning to speak with them.

   What could possibly go wrong?