Lou is back at Union. He explained that he had called me over the summer about finding a place to live because his parents kicked him out of their house. He took them to family court, and the judge ordered that they let him live there for the rest of the summer until he went back to college. He said it was a nasty situation, and that they turned off the water to his second-floor apartment so he couldn’t shower or flush the toilet. I feel bad for him, and grateful for my supportive, loving family. Mad as my parents were at me about Gino, they would never desert me like that.

I really do try to be good and not disappoint them; I’m respectful, stay out of trouble, and whatever I do that they won’t approve of, I keep hidden so they don’t have to deal with it. I know enough not to get caught smoking. My mom used to smoke, and my dad still talks about how much he hated it. After they got married, my mom went to kiss him, and he pulled away. She asked what was wrong, and he said it was like kissing an ashtray. My opinion is that it was completely unfair for him to have not complained about it until after they were married. After that comment, she stopped smoking, cold turkey. She gained a lot of weight, but her breath smells fresh. I don’t smoke often, and only when I have a drink. I brush my teeth and wash my hands a lot, and always have gum. So far, they haven’t noticed.

Kathy is always busy with her boyfriend and working, so I don’t get to see her much. My dad is not thrilled that I hang out with Lou sometimes when I’m not at the restaurant or in class. My mom seems to like the idea of me dating a Union guy. I just want to be friends, but Lou wants to get serious. I wrote him a long letter explaining how totally screwed up I am, and that I just can’t be in a relationship. He seems to understand, and says he is willing to give me some time and space and not rush things. At the same time, it’s kind of like having a puppy dog following me around waiting for me to play with it, or pet it, or something. Anything. The only difference is that sometimes this puppy dog named Lou gets impatient and growls when it doesn’t get the attention it wants. I don’t blame him. I just think he is wasting his time with a messed-up person like me. He can do so much better. I told him he should find someone else.