When Katy died she left no formal will. She didn’t have anything worth leaving to anyone. A scrawled note on the ex libris of her diary said. “In the avent [sic] of my death, I leave this to Cara. The only person who ever asked ME about my life.”
This surprised me. I barely knew Katy. A couple of people had introduced us. Something along the lines of – “She’s British too. She’s in NY to make a movie. Why don’t you hook up.” We had vaguely mixed in the same circles, but the last time we saw each other had been awkward. Well meaning but clumsy, I had asked about her (much older) boyfriend, who was some old business contact of her father’s. She’d gone frosty, and avoided me for the rest of the night.
I feel bad because we talked about Katy. She was dramatic, and juicy in a way I could never be.
Somehow, the coroner managed to track me down. I suppose my name was in a dead girl’s diary. They had to interview me. I did the interview, told them the little I did know. I left a contact address, and tried to forget about the whole thing. The week after the ruling I received the diary in the post. Feeling crap and morbid about the whole thing, I couldn’t face reading it for several weeks. But then voyeurism got the better of me. She was still remembered, and talked about, often unfavourably, in our group of friends. I didn’t always like Katy, and I certainly didn’t agree with her lifestyle. But I was curious to read her side of the story.
What follows is my reconstruction of the last years of her life. Mainly transcribed from her diary, with gaps filled in by reliable sources. I need to add here that Katy was not a brilliant writer, her hand was that of someone unpracticed, unaccustomed to forming letters, and even writing as a twenty-one year old, her prose was littered with basic errors. I am betraying myself as a snob. Katy was not un-intelligent, but I got the impression she had been a lazy student. She had studied at a good film school in London, but had spent as much time socialising as working. She had cruised by, and got a bit more into it at postgraduate level when she came to NY to work on a couple of indie films. Truth be told, I was always a bit jealous of her. She was rich-ish, which always rubs me up the wrong way. I was an Art History student, struggling on a small scholarship and a plongeur job. But something had always been a bit wrong with Katy. I keep thinking about the last time I saw her. Some gallery event full of moneyed tossers. That old guy she was with. His fat hand resting on her tiny waist as we chatted, like girls, about work, fashion, college, boys we knew. Normal stuff. Stuff people talk about every day.