Jane lived in a house so large, it took up two lots on two of the most expensive streets in town. The entrance was on one side, “but we don’t even use that as our address”, one which for most status-seeking types would have been the zenith of their personal life.

Next door was a tacky faux-Chateau with a heated driveway and a yellow Lamborghini Spyder, but Jane’s house could have been transplanted from Mullholland drive. It had a magnificent pool, fenced in with wood, and the hilltop setting made you feel like you were partying at the home of a wealthy studio executive.

Jane’s parents were doctors, and spent most of their time elsewhere. Her siblings were straight out of an Abercrombie catalog, and between the 4 of them, they left Jane with feelings of inadequacy that even her radiant smile and feminine giggle couldn’t mask. Having the figure of a pin-up model from another era didn’t cut it in a family of swimmers, runners and calorie counters. If it wasn’t for the 3 Diet Cokes she drank every day, she might have gotten a return on all the time invested in the elliptical machine.

Water-bottle bongs bubbled in the background as Jane and I waded in her pool, lit up by the floodlights and the moon, and she told me about meeting her ex at rehab. It sounded like a typical story you’d hear on Loveline, the co-dependency, bulimia, pills, the gentle, scared soul lurking underneath, constantly being forced to attend to someone so clearly sick while the healthy ones in her life pretended everyone had a clean bill of health.

In her cavernous basement, happy-go-lucky Jane exhibited the passion and neediness exclusive to beautiful, broken women. Afterwards, the questions unfolded and the expectations were implied. As one who tends to shy away from projects, I tried to leave her better than I found her. I’m happy to say that every time I hear from her, she’s better than last time.