town I come from never amounted to much, just a small town over
the hills from L.A., where the sign posted at the town limits reads,
"Small Towns Are Smile Towns." My dad works as a machinist,
turns out repair parts for diesel trucks. My mom clerks household
supplies at K-Mart. She raised five kids, watched three of us leave
home before we turned 18. The last time I saw her she was in the
hospital with a broken hip, bruised ribs and a laceration above
her eye. She claimed she fell off the front porch.
My dad likes to hit people.
I was working at a baby-photo studio called Hansel & Gretel's
when I got into trouble with the law. At Hansel & Gretel's,
the rooms and employees are decorated from the fairy tale. I was
dressed as Gretel. I styled my long blonde hair into pigtails,
painted red dots on my cheeks, wore a green jumper and a little
yellow Gretel hat. I worked there for three years, got as high
as assistant manager, still made little better than minimum wage.
Then I met Wrex.
Sometimes, good girls go for bad boys. Wrex looked like a modern
barbarian. He rode a Harley and wore black Doc Martens laced half-way
up his calves. His black leather jacket parted to a torn white
T-shirt. Two big silver rings pierced his left ear, one his right,
a cobra tattooed his right biceps and the lighting bolt logo of
AC-DC streaked down his butt, the name of a rock group he discovered
too late also meant lack of sexual preference. I didn't know any
better then and thought he was sexy. Unfortunately, Wrex was also
very, very stupid.
One night Wrex begged me to deliver a briefcase to a guy at LAX.
I don't know why I agreed to do it. I think I was secretly bored
with my life and looking for a change. The briefcase exploded
thirty seconds after the trade. The police wanted me dead or alive
after that and the gang that rigged the bomb ordered my execution.
In that split second of detonation I stopped being a repressed
good girl with a boring future and became a terrorist killer and
fugitive from justice. My life changed so dramatically I didn't
recognize it as my own.
I checked into a cheap hotel room and gave myself a bad girl
makeover. I chopped my hair to a ragged cut and died it black,
drank a half-pint of Jack Daniels and pierced my nose with a sewing
needle. I tossed out my good-girl blouse and skirt and changed
into outlaw black. Then I hid among the painters and video artists
living in the wasteland of warehouses outside downtown L.A. I
started to take photographs that I wanted to take rather than
ones people ordered me to take. I thought for a while that I could
be an artist, too.
But then the gang that rigged the bomb caught up to me and a
lot of people got hurt. The rage that had built up in my heart
over the years erupted like magma finding a vent. Two of the gangsters
were shot to death - no witnesses - and the third drove his car
sixty miles an hour into a gas pump. He lost control of the car
because I was chasing him with a Harley and a .38 caliber handgun.
The jury decided that was manslaughter.
The judge sentenced me to seven years at California Institute
for Women. One good thing about spending time in prison, it fills
the gaps in your education. I entered CIW not knowing much except
how to shoot a camera, plus the occasional handgun that fell into
my hands. Now I know all about housebreaking, hooking, extortion
and credit card fraud.
Under California's laws of determinate sentencing, a day was
cut from my sentence for every one I worked. On the day of my
release I drove to Las Vegas to marry Gabe, an English paparazzo
in need of a green card. I married him for money and bought a
1976 Cadillac convertible with a 120,000 miles under it. I didn't
bargain on having an affair with Gabe and I never dreamed I'd
fall in love again. I barely had time to get to know him. He lied
to me shamelessly, involved himself in something he couldn't handle
and some bad people turned him to smoke and ashes. You can read
about what happened in KILLING
I'll turn 30 this year. I live in a small apartment a block from
the beach in Venice. I freelance as a paparazza, selling my work
to the tabloids. I'm hopeful that if I live long enough, good
things will happen for me.
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