I can feel things dying between Fraser and me. I need to get out. He is so controlling he is driving me mad. He calls me everyday to come over. I have to go round and see him. He wants sex, and if I say no he goes into a rage, saying I take advantage of him. So I have sex with him, it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t feel like it used to, so I try to switch off until he finishes. Afterwards I say shall we get some food, and he says how are you going to do that, you have no money and you can’t cook. I need to get a new boyfriend. He throws thirty dollars at me and says get yourself some food on your way home, I’m not hungry. So I leave and pick up Japanese food on the way back home. But I don’t feel like eating it so I leave it on the countertop. I hate this flat. It isn’t my home. It’s Fraser’s flat. His spare flat. Who even needs to own two flats in Manhattan. So I call TJ. He comes over with some pills and we have sex on my sofa after taking some strong Valiums which he got from across the border. Would Fraser mind that I am having sex with TJ? I don’t think he would care.
How’s your mum? Asked TJ. She’s still in the mental home. It’s sweet of you to remember. I said.
I had an auntie once who was mad. He said. We went out on the balcony and smoked. I want to send her some flowers, I said, but I don’t have any cash. TJ pressed $100 into my hand. Call me any time you need anything, he said.
The next morning I went to the florists, I felt woozy. I thought about asking the lady in there if there are any jobs going, but I knew they would probably pay about $4 an hour, and I was behind on my Uni work. I had an essay to finish, and I needed to be on set almost every day for the next month. I sent a big bunch of lilies to my mum. Then I called Nosey Erica our old next door neighbour, to see if there was any news. She said your mum is safe. What did she mean by safe? She was still on heavy medication, but was allowed to walk around town with her social worker. Erica had spotted them in Starbucks. How did she look? Thin. Said Erica. Just Thin.
I googled my dad. There were just some news stories about his disappearance. Saying that he had defrauded his clients and run off. This isn’t true. What happened wasn’t his fault. The market turned against him, and he lost his money as well as theirs. Everyone forgets this. He lost everything. No wonder he needs to hide. He has no money, and everyone is chasing him. Maybe he has changed his name. It hurts to think about it. I look in my bag for Valiums but I can’t find them. I must have left them at home. I go to work on the set and try not to think about it all.
Film is the only good thing in my life right now. I am collecting shells and lanterns for a grotto I need to make. And I went to MAC today with the makeup artists to pick out colours.
My mother used to say that behind every car-crash of a woman, there is a deeply unpleasant man. I used to disagree with her on this, saying that women should shape their own destinies, and not blame men for their problems. She would say, “that’s all very well Cara, but you have a nice, generous father, and no-one has ever locked you in a Cambodian rape-camp.”
Then she would go back to smoking her roll-up and reading Simone de Beauvoir.