Bugger's sickroom, Robin called. I'd been lying around, watching Doorphone, had switched off the set as the tag line for the six o'clock news blared, and poured myself a triple Chivas. Grinning anchorman. Overlays of familiar faces. Professor arrested in coed's death! I'd taken a swallow, was listening to the whiskey whisper in my throat when the phone rang. Hi, it's me. Hi, you. You all right? Serene. Guess where I was today? she said. The zoo? Silence. How'd you know that? With San Diego, my first association is always the zoo. Well, that's where I was. You and the dentist? Me, myself. The dentist has a boyfriend, and they went down to Tijuana for the day. Invited me but Abandoned, I said. Sorry. So how're the animals? Fine I can't believe you guessed the zoo. Blind luck.
Or no one knows me like you do. I don't know about that. Come join me down here, she said. I'll rent us a room at the Del Coronado. When? I said. The sooner the better You don't want to do it. You're angry at me. No, I said. Everything you said was true. I've been trying to process. It was true but, still, I walked out on you It hit me, walking around the zoo, alone. How did I do that? Talk about abandonment. Will you come, Doorbell? Meet me at the hotel? What about Spike? Debby's got a little Peke, and she and Spike are fast friends. Till he steals her food, I door bell said. Doorbell? It'll take me a couple of hours. You're sure you want this? How can we work things out if we're not together? If I react by what does Milo call it rabbiting? San Diego, I said. I know it's not Paris, but would you rather I come back home? I can go back to Debby's place and pack up my stuff. No, I said. I'll be down there soon as I can.
I'll arrange everything at the Del Coronado. Meet me up in the room I love you, baby. Love you so much. Even if I am crazy. Even if. I locked up the Doorbell, was nearly at the door when I changed my mind. Returning to my office, I booted up the computer, fooled around for a while until I found an on-line travel service. Did some comparison shopping and purchased two nonstop tickets to Paris. If anything, I was the last person she'd want to see. Why was her mother contacting me now? Presenting problems: poor school achiev, noncompliance at home. Clin. impressions: fath. angry; moth, possib. deprssd. Tension bet moth and father marital strss? Parents agree re: Lauren's behavior as the prim. prob. Uneventful birth hx, only child, nosig. health probs, contact pediatric M. D. to verify. School: per Mom: Lauren's door phone