(Twelve years after the event, I'm adding this journal to my webspace...my memory still functions to inform me I wrote of Belinda M, my first girlfriend, raven-haired motorbiking gal, and of a conversation, one of our last, I had with her maybe five years after we broke up. She held out a hand to me for a long time after we finished. Ta Berringer.)

She sounded like a junkie that first time I spoke to her after her brother's accident. That emotionless voice, droning out the words. I could almost picture her at the phone, staring at a speck on the wall for the entire forty minutes we spoke. All the bounce, the verve, the chutz=pah - it had all gone.

Did death do that? Or was it just a symptom of a bigger illness that she'd hinted at. Some kind of protective custody - maybe a relapse in to Valium abuse again - I don't know.