January 26, 2004:

"With this I consider all relations between us to be absolute."

Child's handwriting on a post-it note. On the check she'd written below the endorsement field, "By signing I agree that all debts are hereby paid in full."

Fool. La Jollan, born into that peculiar arrogance of the provincial well-to-do, as though their material ease represented some sort of moral superiority entitling them to whatever happens to be wanted at any particular moment.

In this instance it's simply money. Like many comfortable people she prefers not to pay the debts she accumulates.

The irony of course is that by her actions she's proven "bad intent," as the lawyers say. Probably exposing herself to damages if you choose the courts.

You don't. You're sick, you're in pain, you don't want the fight. More, she's your ex-lover's best friend, and your ex-lover appeals to you personally to let it slide. You do.

Yet you wonder if that's the best decision, and for years after you continue wondering. Depression is often times anger turned inward. In this period of darkness and despair your anger at this infant dug deeper than it should have been allowed to.

Mess. Bedroom organized by the proverbial tornado.

In the refrigerator: beer. On the bookshelves: nothing. Below the mattress: condoms in various flavors.

As she wearily climbs the stairs she delicately cradles a chocolate cake in a box, bought on the way home from work. Dinner.

"I had a good day today," she says. "I didn't have to learn anything. I stood at the copy machine making copies."