January 17, 2018:

We had a pretty tiny world.

Work, school, sitters, home. I had many friends, she had exactly one. My friends weren't meaningful to her 'cos she didn't believe children had lasting friendships. That's another story.

Once or twice a week there was Jack In the Box. She had shrimp. I had a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake. We always went through the drive-up, never inside.

Now and then she'd wash the car. It was a big green 1950s curved-line Studebaker station wagon with torn upholstery through which the springs poked somewhat dangerously. I loved washing the car. We'd be pulled through the automated carwash watching soapy water drench the windows all around us while huge mechanical brushes spun. Always a ritual, where the fine spray of clean rinse water meant we were done. She bought me Necco wafers which I loved into my sixties as triggers for these memories.

Her mother lived on a boat; we'd visit sometimes. She had a brother with a wife and kids; we'd visit sometimes. My father would turn up from time to time, buy me ice cream, and not pay his $60 monthly child support.

I loved school. She hated work.

In the beginning she had college and a piano, but she gave them both up. I don't know why.

That was our life. In a second floor apartment in a yellow building on Yale Street, near Helix High in La Mesa, California, in the early to mid 1960s.