August 4, 2008:

Lonely landlady.

Broke up with her boyfriend. Father died. Cat ran away. Waits in her living room for our car, for someone to chat with while we unload our groceries.

My murderous alcoholic ex is kinder to her than I am. While she's sober she's generous, not to me of course but to the random encounters Life provides. I'm standoffish, not purely from depression. I distrust this woman.

We were warned. The neighbors told us of her frequent failure to keep agreements. I think they're right. She's selfish the way children are selfish: grasping, in a frantic way that implies she feels she's been martyred. Where she'll get hers, and she'll feel justified getting it.

While my ex chats I resolutely march groceries into the house.

I should be kinder, and more patient. But, not to this one. In time I'm proven right. She breaks her agreements with me in egregious ways that are almost comical in their duplicity. So that I up and move — onward and upward to the next domestic disaster.