Monday, October 17, 2005

"And another one gone, and another one gone.."

Thursday, August 4, 2005, 6:00pm
Heather's house

My phone rings.

"This is Steve."

"Steve, Paulie."

"Hey, guy!"

"Listen, I'm in my car, and I don't have anything to write with. Can you write something down for me?"

"What, am I your fucking secretary now?"

"Come on, Steve, don't give me shit."

"Hold on, let me get some paper."

I grab a sheet of scrap paper from the pile on top of the three-foot tall speaker in Heather's TV room, and take a pen off the entertainment center.

"Go ahead, Paul."

"Ok, sell my Janus fund, and buy 100 of Tyco. Also pick up some Sarah Lee-"

Paulie is an avid investor. He inherited some stock from his grandfather about 8 years ago, sold it and bought other stocks wisely, and made over 100 grand, and now he thinks he's Warren Buffett. He usually does all right, though.

There is a crayoned picture on the paper, obviously drawn by Casey, of a little girl with a long pony tail and frilly dress, her cheeks filled with oversized blue tears. Below the drawing, in unsteady block letters, it says:


Casey is a real person, with real feelings. Her father obviously is not around much, and that is hurting her. Heather is all she has. It turns my stomach to think that I have stolen even one minute away from her by monopolizing Heather.

If I gave a shit, that would be one thing. But honestly, I don't. I might one day, but I might not, and in the time it would take to find out, Casey would be even lonelier than she already is. How shitty is that?

Besides, I know that, sooner or later, I'm going to get to know Casey better, and we are going to get closer. And, when the inevitable splitup happens, I will have hurt someone who is completely innocent who did nothing to deserve it.

"...and I gotta see if I can get a prospectus on that money market fund-"

I've got to speak to Heather. I've got to break it off before Casey really gets hurt.



"Are you even listening to me?"

"Yeah, yeah, Janus Fund, dump it."

"Never fucking mind."

We hang up.

"Heather, I need to talk to you," I say.