She was a mess. I suppose I was as well, but in my case I was just passing through psychological squalor; she made her home in it (and continues to live there to this day).
She’d have liked folks to believe
she’d left her mother’s to live with her father as a step in a “right”
direction, a choice born of the desire to put the world right and foster
a new beginning. We knew. She’d have gladly been on her own were she
able to support herself and her various vices, but for the moment hoped
that she could leach off her dad as her mother had finally shown her the
If I were not living at his house at the time, a victim of
my own financial hubris, I’d never have met the girl; but as it was I
owed my benefactor so I tried to act as a go between, a diplomat charged
with relaying messages from one misunderstood side to the other, and as
a watchdog for the girl who for some reason seemed to relate to me. I
suppose Candy found me a novelty, an elder who’d treat her as a peer.
Luckily she never understood I was simply playing my part. She was as
much my peer as I am a rocket scientist.