With Brianna's head abrasion getting worse, her parents rush her to the ER where a dermatologist hears something terrifying coming from her scalp. When a high school football star begins to experience odd symptoms, his parents take him to the hospital. Stephanie noticed her 4-year-old son, Alex, came home with less energy than usual.
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Paul Franklin and his family thought he had an infected scrape MP3) his knee. Little did they know that they brought home an unlikely souvenir from their vacation. Mark Johnstone is having a very unusual sensation near his scrotum. What could it be? But how did they get there? Monsters Inside Me retells the real-life, harrowing dramas of people infected by deadly parasites as doctors and scientists try to unravel each case before it's too late. Wild Winter Nights.
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Together we have the power to improve the lives of animals in our communities and in the wild. Armes gave a unique promise when taking on any case: He percent guaranteed results.
The mission-style building is surrounded by homes, restaurants and offices, and though it stands out as a bright-white cross between an adobe home and fortress, it is the enormous billboard out front that belies the service inside.
One side has a photo of Jay J. Armes peering through some blinds, a. A waiting room with magazines and couches sits across from the reception area, with the radio playing at a background volume from speakers in the ceiling.
The elevator opens to a room with dark wood paneling and long, low couches. A mannequin of Armes sits on the couch facing the elevator, providing a momentary diversion for intruders if Armes needs it.
Christian tchotchkes adorn his desk and blown-up autopsy photos sit on an easel in front of him. All in all, the effect is like walking onto the set of a spy movie from the s. On a recent afternoon, Armes, now 88, sat behind his desk speaking on the phone with clients in English and Spanish, clad in a pastel jumpsuit embroidered with the Jay J. Armes hangs up the phone, expertly positions a pen in an open hook and takes notes on a sheet of paper atop a file folder bulging with documents.
Another call comes in. Armes yells into the phone at a client who is at a bank trying to withdraw the funds to pay off a kidnapping ransom. He speaks with the person on the other end gruffly, counseling them that everything will be totally fine if they simply do as he says. Armes estimates that his firm has investigated around 5, cases over the past 60 years. The work can become fairly routine — indeed, the bread and butter for any private eye is keeping tabs on unfaithful spouses, Jay III says — but his work has taken him to far-flung locales and each case gives him the chance to learn something new.
Some countries allow outside investigators to do their work, but in some cases they have to straight-up lie about their reasons for visiting the country. Armes proudly boasts that his life revolves around being a detective. Jay III, now 53, is the assistant chief investigator and managing partner of the firm and also runs Brandon Enterprises, a company based out of the same office that sells spy gear, body armor and firearms. The elder Armes says he wanted his son to be an attorney or a doctor, but Jay III had been helping him with investigations since he was in middle school and had his sights set on being a private eye.
By the time he was in college, Jay III was a seasoned private eye who had seen more than his fair share of strange crimes and seedy locations. He was home on a break when his dad was contacted by the Singshinsuks, and he flew with him to meet the beleaguered family.
They had their first big break when they learned that Weber had happened to leave some suitcases behind at the Rasha Guest House. The innkeeper suggested they try a local market, where they eventually spoke with a young woman selling animals and pet supplies who recognized the American. She told them that Weber had recently bought a dog and that she had recommended a veterinarian to him and his girlfriend, Tsom.
But he was still skeptical. The trio circled around the question for the entire day, with Armes and his son insisting that they were working strictly in the interest of the wrongful death lawsuit against Northwestern University.
As they were talking, a tape recorder hidden on the table under a folded newspaper loudly clicked as it reached the end of its cassette. His hand shot out, but Jay III slapped it away. The hint of a gun signaled the end of the conversation. Weber was visibly exhausted and excused himself to go back to his apartment, saying they could continue the conversation tomorrow.
As it happened, Armes had a copy of his autobiography, Jay J. Armes, Investigatorwith him. Once Weber was assured that they were who they said they were, they could work on a way forward that would benefit everybody. With that, the trio disbanded and Weber went upstairs. He was one of eight children five of which survived born to Beatriz and Pedro Armas, a butcher in a local supermarket. Julian was an athletic, hard-working boy, and it was innocent boyhood mischief that led to his accident.
On May 11,Julian and a friend were out exploring and came across a box of railroad torpedoes, small signaling devices effectively similar to dynamite. His friend dared him to pick some up and rub them together. Julian was blown backward by a sudden explosion, and when he came to, he saw raw stumps where his hands had once been. He was rushed to the hospital, and the remains of his hands were amputated just above the wrist. The doctors told young Julian he would need six months to heal before he could start using the apparatuses that would take the place of his hands.
He said that was unacceptable and that he wanted to start right away. The hooks operate like bike brakes, with tension applied to open and close them via a cable anchored to muscles in his arm.
Getting used to the hooks caused horrendous pain and he sometimes felt dismayed at the extreme clumsiness that came with his new appendages. Slowly but surely he mastered the use of the hooks and became adept at writing, dialing phones, and doing other day-to-day activities.
He lettered in numerous sports in high school, trained in martial arts, and, when he decided to become a private eye, learned to fire many different kinds of guns, which were adapted for use with his hooks.
He opened The Investigators in and quickly worked to make a name for himself as Jay Julian Armes. He legally changed his name in He had two daughters with his first wife and then two sons and a daughter with his second wife, Linda Chew, whom he married in and is still married to.
As the prestige of The Investigators grew, Armes became known for his ostentatious displays of celebrity, cruising around low-key El Paso in his chauffeured, bulletproof limousine and keeping a menagerie of exotic animals on his substantial estate. Having been born to a poor family and suffering a terrible injury as a child, it made sense that Armes would play up the success of his larger-than-life persona, and others were eager to help craft his legend.
Police had no leads in the case, and an anonymous individual contracted Armes to investigate the bombing. It eventually came to light that a lawyer for Ideal Toy Corp.
Armes action figure, had hired him to solve the real-life bombing in a way that would conveniently coincide with the release of the toy. Being a private eye has given Armes a flair for deception, a tool he can use to his advantage, since his investigations are not constrained by the boundaries theoretically informing normal police work. Armes is a religious man who at one point tithed 10 percent of his income to the El Paso church he attended, and he has said that any deception he undertakes has an ethical justification — in this case, bringing to justice a murderer and giving peace to the Singshinsuk family.
But over the years, Armes has blurred the lines between fact and fiction so significantly that, in addition to bending the truth in pursuit of criminals, it has become difficult to distinguish between the myths and realities of his own life.
Armes for real? Once the issue hit the newsstands, Armes arranged an interview with a reporter from the El Paso Post-Herald to refute the charges in the article. He presented people who were quoted in the article but who said that Cartwright had taken their words out of context or made things up entirely. Armes practically spits when he talks about the experience, claiming it was a hatchet job orchestrated by the opposition to undermine his run for sheriff.
Despite what Armes says is consistent interest in profiling him, he refuses to have anything to do with Texas Monthly to the present day. In 25 years, when people are not satisfied with the way things come out, they want their money back, and when you know you have done something, why should you? Even Cartwright conceded that Armes did have the chops of a real private eye and that his work on cases typically obtained successful results.
Armes and The Investigators soldiered on through the criticism and were able to continue their detective work relatively unabated. Armes ran as an outsider and promised to whip into shape a department that he characterized as lazy and ineffective. He promised to end police corruption and implement physical fitness requirements for officers. One campaign flier had a picture of Armes alongside John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Indeed, despite the indelicacies of his tenure, Armes did have a reputation for getting things done. Just look at his hooks. All the while, of course, Armes was continuing his work as a private eye and actively getting to the bottom of cases all around the world, MP3).
Back in the restaurant the next morning, the standoff continued. The book had convinced Weber that they were private eyes, but this also meant they had no legal authority so far from home. Armes suddenly pounded his hooks on the table. Plus, with his girlfriend having kicked him out, he was now basically homeless. Thailand may not have had an extradition treaty with the U. On cue, Jay III said he was going to call the local police and got up and walked down a hallway to use the phone in the lobby.
Just remember, you brought this on yourself. Instead, he stood out of view and watched Weber squirm. He returned to the table 10 minutes later and said that the police would be there soon. Weber looked like he might make a run for it, but instead said he needed to go to the bathroom and quickly walked away.
Jay III stood outside the stall as Weber audibly had diarrhea, a common response to extreme stress. This development was reported to Armes, who was elated — they had literally scared him shitless. Ultimately, Weber realized that he had to hedge his bets and accept that The Investigators were who they said they were — bounty hunters who only needed the body for lawsuit purposes. Armes took it a step further: If he told them about Lynda, they would help him renew his passport, advance him some of the expected proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit, and leave him be in Thailand.
Weber nodded and sighed. The father and son resisted the urge to look at each other in amazement. Armes asked his son to call the police back and tell them they were no longer needed. W eber said his path to homicidal action began when he strained his back doing manual labor.
His mother had given him some painkillers, which he said had knocked him out. He slept fitfully and thought obsessively about Lynda. When he woke up, he was convinced that he needed to kill her. He got up and went out to eat with his parents, who were completely unaware what was brewing in his brain. He was dressed in black and carried with him a backpack containing rope, tape and a pistol.
He parked in the quiet lot in front of the dorm, feeling the heft of the gun. Then he put the gun in the bag, walked into the building, and took the elevator nine floors up to her room. Lynda was clad in pajamas and was surprised to see him. She tentatively invited him inside, thinking it was best to appease him and then get him to leave.
Weber stared at her. She stared back uncomfortably. He pulled out the pistol and shot her six times. The homemade silencer did little to quiet the shots, and the deafening gunfire was followed by an equally thunderous silence.
Weber strained his ears, expecting to hear the arrival of curious dormmates or the wail of a police siren, but an hour went by and nobody seemed to have noticed that anything had happened. He had fully expected to be arrested after the deed and was considering killing himself as the police closed in, but now he had to rethink his plans.
He carried the hamper down a flight of stairs and got into the elevator with another student, who remarked on the late-night laundry duties. Weber contemplated killing her too, but the conversation ended without any suspicion toward the bundle, and Weber dragged the hamper out to his car. From there, Weber drove back to Robinson and buried the hamper under some car parts in a local landfill.
Then he went home, parked the car, and went to sleep. He woke up and had breakfast with his family, and Lynda was reported missing the next day. Weber said that he got worried that the body could be easily discovered and decided to move it a little while later. He followed a winding access road as far as he could take it and stopped at a remote clearing.
Saying aloud for the first time everything that had transpired that grim April night, Weber looked deflated and sat back in his chair. He noted the convoluted route to get there and handed the map over to Armes. The meeting drew to a close. The Investigators gave Weber some money for a place to stay and went back to the United States. S oon after they got back to the United States, The Investigators went to the location deep in the Arizona forest that Weber had indicated and were surprised at how accurate the map was.
However, the task Something For Your Body - Diego Cid - Friends EP (File awaited them revealed the unglamorous side of being a private investigator. As it turned out, a railroad had once gone through the area and digging hole after hole yielded only a large pile of railroad spikes.
It would be very difficult to find a metal belt buckle among all the scraps of iron. Armes said that they would not only buy him a ticket back to the U. Of course, this was complete nonsense, as they had no intention of letting Weber go free after they found where Lynda was buried. They would all get what they wanted, and nobody would have to know. O n January 26,The Investigators drove down a barely navigable path through the Coconino National Forest with Weber in the back seat.
He looked out the window nervously, trying to spot anyone who might be hidden among the trees. It was a surreal experience, like stepping firsthand into an old memory. Getting to this point had come together exactly as planned.
From there, the group took the private jet to Flagstaff and drove to the national forest. Alongside Armes and Weber were some men documenting the dig with video cameras, ostensibly for insurance purposes. Eventually, the vehicle came to the spot in the clearing where Weber said Lynda was buried. Weber got out of the car and was mildly relieved to see that the snow was undisturbed, a good indication that nobody was there waiting for them. Still, Weber was more on edge than ever, and he looked around nervously as he walked them to the grim location.
Even to seasoned private eyes who had seen a lot, it was still gasp-inducing to see a foot protruding from the dirt. They gingerly uncovered more of the body, and saw that she was wearing shorts with a metal belt buckle, just as Weber had said. Even the spaces between the trees seemed to be watching him. What the fuck was he doing there? The group got back in the car and retraced their route away from the burial site. Weber watched the clearing recede and sat low in his seat. About MP3) down the road, the trees around the car came alive.
A few agents ran up to the passenger side, pulled one of the cameramen out through the window, and threw him on the ground. When they realized they had the wrong person, they went back to the car and yanked Weber out, then handcuffed him as he lay facedown in the dirt and snow. Armes had initially received a noncommittal response about putting some agents on the ground, but the FBI eventually confirmed that they would be watching for his private plane when it arrived in the area.
When word came that Armes had Weber in tow and would actually be bringing him to the burial site, the agents moved out and got into position. A funeral ceremony was held for Lynda at a Buddhist temple in Chicago in early Februaryand a scholarship was established in her name at Northwestern University. I knew that. But he was someone who wanted to set the agenda. Weber shook his head once in response to something Armes said but otherwise stayed quiet.
But Weber also argued that he was coerced into confessing by The Investigators and a group of four hired Thai agents who loomed nearby during their conversation, and that someone in the group had had a gun trained on him for much of the interrogation.
Given the abundance of evidence against Weber — including his confession and hand-drawn map — prosecutors would almost certainly be seeking the death penalty. The Singshinsuk family ultimately decided to accept a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence in order to avoid a lengthy trial.
Armes claimed some credit for convincing the family that this way Weber actually had it worse. Weber was ultimately sentenced to 75 years in prison — 70 years for the murder and five more for concealing a homicidal death. Weber, who declined to share his side of the story for this article, is currently incarcerated at the Graham Correctional Center in south-central Illinois and will be eligible for parole in when he is O n November 18,a U.
Border Patrol agent named Rogelio Martinez radioed that he was going to investigate an unknown disturbance near a culvert in the rural expanse of Culberson County, miles east of El Paso. Martinez eventually died of his injuries, and although the FBI conducted dozens of interviews and an extensive investigation, the agency concluded that the cause of death could not be determined. Some people close to the agent were unimpressed with this conclusion and suspected that foul play was involved, and they hired Armes to see what he could find out about that night.
As he nears his 10th decade of life, Armes often asks his wife why the Lord still has him here. Every time he expects that the resolution of a case will satisfy the itch to investigate, he finds he is still compelled to take on more cases. I like to solve those cases.
Armes has also run for office a few times since his tenure as a city councilor in the early s. His bid for a city council seat in ended with a lawsuit and countersuit between him, the winning candidate and a judge over alleged intimidation at a polling place.
Two years later, a fight broke out among supporters of Armes and another candidate during yet another council bid. After that, Armes put his political ambitions behind him and focused only on the thing he loves most: private investigating. The elder Armes is at the same time boastful and modest when reflecting on the Weber caper. But there was satisfaction in providing the forlorn family with a definitive answer — and an affirmation of the legend he has built for himself and The Investigators.
After more than six decades in the business, Armes maintains a single-minded dedication to his work. The more I draw on myself, the more I find I have left. O n October 3,a year-old man went to sleep on a green tarp, under plaid and camouflage blankets, in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
A bus camera captured his prostrate form next to a wall on Pearl Street at p. Within minutes, their paths connected, calamitously. By the time police arrived, five minutes after a p. Strewn about were his tooth, a blood-soaked ushanka fur hat with ear flaps, a Swiss Army knife, black boots, a watch, Yogi tea packets, matches and a tobacco pouch.
It was a tree-shrouded location on a dark night with no witnesses. Two miles across town, at p. She reached for her notepad. At the crime scene, Sergeant Tim Haywood paused while processing the evidence. The tragic tale demonstrates how our society often fails the most vulnerable among us, be they homeless, mentally ill, or neglected and abused young people. It illuminates tough questions about the limits of justice, redemption and forgiveness.
The pair arrived on the scene at p. Video at p. The attack occurred seconds later. He was hit in the head with the rock nine or 10 times, the medical examiner testified.
He said he might have hurt someone really bad or might have killed them. He seemed like he was going to cry. Eugene police discovered that the teenagers had passed near the downtown bus terminal, and they worked with security to collect video of them. During the week after the murder and before their arrest, the star-crossed lovers celebrated their first anniversary in the apartment where they shared a bedroom. A life lived decades ago in half a dozen states and reviewed through the lens of grief can be hard to fathom.
But those who knew Ovid Neal recall a man full of verve and adventure. None foresaw the horrors to come. Named after a Roman poet, Ovid — whom virtually everyone, including Detective Curry, seems to have called by his first name — was born in Inglewood, California, on March 22, His father, Ovid Neal Jr. He fearlessly fished a Texas pond, his friend Javed Akhund recalls, even after venomous water moccasin snakes surfaced.
An old photo shows him tanned and in shape, with a small moustache and full head of curly brown hair. Albeit a bit more ridiculous. Senn and Ovid used to laugh until their sides hurt. It was literally the theater of the absurd.
I think he was partly joking, but … that was when I started feeling this need to protect him. The family was financially well-off, but they struggled in other ways. The s and early s was a quicksilver period for them. Roth recalls that they moved to New York as a family inthen their dad moved back to Texas and the kids stayed with their mom.
Then all three kids moved to Texas, then returned to New York. Eventually, the two boys returned to Texas around or Ovid overdosed on six horse tranquilizer pills in Dallas at around age 13 or As things turned out, Ovid even counseled his mother. Ruth Gordon recalls that it was Ovid who helped her stop drinking for good. Ovid spoke to her for a long time, and they prayed together. Sober and sharp, Ovid turned heads when he arrived at Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, in in a shiny red Volkswagen Beetle.
His desk was neat. He had these little rituals, and he loved coffee. I had this desire to feel anchored, like, I need an Ovid fix.
Ovid went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Bible studies and was a triathlete and basketball player. Ovid and he discussed the euphoria that comes from exercise. Much less is known about Jessica Simmons, for whom Oregon officials declined to release records. Born in Las Vegas inKirkpatrick was exposed to methamphetamine in utero but born healthy.
He grew up amidst drugs, gangs and brutal violence in Porterville, California, and Anchorage, Alaska. Kirkpatrick had people who loved and cared for him, court testimony reveals, but his parents struggled with addictions and domestic violence. But I would like to have a talk with you. Have Aurora invite all her friends. My husband will be there to make sure everyone has fun. In Spanish, I could make a man tremble, force a woman to bite her tongue. But not in English.
And I left in silence MP3) silence was what I thought she needed. I was furious and insisted she had to use her piggy bank money to get everyone there. The driver who flirted with me was working that Saturday, and I asked if he could give Aurora a deal on the bus fare for twelve kids. He said they could ride for free if I went out on a date with him. Aurora overheard me refuse and called me a bitch as she dumped her piggy bank into the fare box. When we arrived, Rick shook my hand, patted Aurora on the head, and after asking if any older boys were coming, pointed the children to a pool house for them to change.
Calhoun watched the party from behind the sliding glass doors. Where can I find some young, strong Mexican men? I have a daughter that needs raising.
Rick led him over by the pool, instructing him to drop the boxes amid a ring of deck chairs. I thought I saw Mrs. Calhoun say something, but the sliding doors were closed and there was no one inside for her to talk to. Fat drops of sweat plopped on the pizza boxes while the delivery boy set up paper plate and napkin place settings. Rick shadowed him, touching his forearms while he leaned over a table to grab a stack of napkins, whispering in his ear before he went back to the van for the rest of the food.
When he returned, the delivery boy pointed at his watch. Finish setting the food out, will you? Calhoun shouted. The kids stopped laughing and playing. She took two small steps outside. Rick ran to the pool house for his wallet while the delivery boy sulked by the table. I called the kids over to eat and brought two slices to Mrs.
Outside her window, the blossoms fell, a steady rain into the pool. Calhoun was lying in a curled ball on her bed with her shoes on. Calhoun smiled. Alma Guerrero was a three-year-old girl who lived with her mother in a rough part of Echo Park, on East Edgeware Road. It was in the heart of a patchwork of hills blistered with junkyards and tin shacks made from leftover metal sheared off from the remains of disassembled World War II aircraft.
Alma used to dance with her mother outside El Guanaco, a mercado near Angelino Heights that sold rock-hard Twinkies, Colt 45s, and homemade tacos and burritos in the back.
They walk into the mercado, and after a selection at the jukebox, Madonna dances into the arms of her former boyfriend, a young Mexican guy who has pined for her throughout the video and represents the Mexican roots, the Mexican life she cannot turn her back on. It started when I invited Ana Gomez from church to a tienda descuenta that had MTV inside to attract business, to try on new two-dollar dresses.
When the video came on, I saw El Guanaco and pointed it out to Ana. It was visible on-screen for a few seconds, but she was as delighted as I was to see a place we walked by every day on television.
There was something magical about it, a place in our neighborhood worthy of being on TV, and not because someone had been shot or killed. Two mothers became three, then four. One sweltering Friday afternoon in April, seven mothers—the biggest gathering yet—met on the street corner outside El Guanaco with their daughters. I dragged Aurora there that day; being the oldest, she towered over the other girls dressed in their own Madonna-style outfits.
A portable cassette deck was balanced atop a mailbox, playing songs taped off the radio. Beer bottle shards were kicked into the street by unsteady pairs of high heels, and the girls made a runway out of the curb, jumping, singing, and dancing around a streetlight as if it was a maypole. Their mothers stood around them in a circle on the sidewalk and on the street, clapping their hands to the beat and encouraging each girl to outdance the others Soul Train style.
Alma waved her arms and jumped in place on platform heels until her mother picked her up and swung her around the streetlight in short, ballerina-style arcs. Over the hills, the smog above East Los Angeles reduced across the sky like skin on a boiling pot of milk.
It was sunset, and the mothers decided it was time to go home. I wanted a picture—who would come to a tourist spot without one? A chorus line of Mexican Madonna daughters knelt in front of their mothers wearing fierce, take-no-shit smiles, except Aurora, who resented being there and resented kneeling in front of me.
The idea to come to the corner was mine, to get her out of her room on her spring break and stop her sulking about something that had happened at school, something about a young boy calling her a dirty Mexican and refusing to dance with her at a party. Come with me, I said. Dance on a street corner, Aurora scoffed. Even in her flat sneakers, Aurora would have blocked me out. I can stand with the women. The mothers grew impatient and demanded the abuelito snap the photo.
A short distance away we heard the sounds of sirens and gunfire. In the choppy, rolling valleys of Echo Park, noise boomerangs in many directions. An ambulance siren sounding like it was on the next block could really be half a mile away, or a gunfight could be sending stray bullets right through your front screen door while your ears told you it was somewhere up in the hills.
You could die around here making these mistakes. While the abuelito fumbled with the shutter button, two pairs of headlights approached over the horizon, as if the setting sun had broken into large marbles. Five loud gunshots in quick succession, not firecrackers or popping corn but deep hammer thrusts, cut the fleshy air. Broken glass splashed across the street like ocean spray. The mothers threw themselves everywhere, curled up into tight armadillo balls.
I tried to throw myself on Aurora, but she squirmed out from under me. Madonna played on the undisturbed tape deck as we rose off the ground. The sound of her voice outdoors, in the wake of the gasp-for-air silence that follows gunfire, and the music box with a synthesized dance beat melody—it was like hearing a beautiful, off-key hymn sung by a child in an empty church. As we rose off the ground, one mother joked her husband must be starving for dinner to resort to a drive-by shooting to get her to come home.
We laughed while plucking flakes of glass off our bodies. No drive-by shooting was going to ruin our day out. Alma was lying on the ground. When her mother turned her on her side, blood poured out a small hole in the front of her neck, collecting on the Madonna T-shirt draped across her limp body. She knelt beside her daughter and tried to revive her by breathing into her mouth.
Bubbles fizzled out of the wound. Crowds gathered on the porches and stoops of the surrounding houses, watching and pointing fingers, their words blending into a long, animated parade of shouts, exclamations, and laughter. Little girls made pilgrimages to the corner where Baby Madonna was shot. They left candles, rosaries, pictures of the Virgin Mary, little bangle bracelets, and as the story spread and girls who lived in big houses from neighborhoods near the ocean came to pay their respects, big pink teddy bears and Madonna albums and posters—things a baby Madonna fan would want in heaven.
Baby Madonna was a celebrity whose fame grew after her death, and as a testament to her memory, a mural was commissioned on the side of a building facing the Hollywood Freeway. A girl in a midriff-baring tank top rose out of a barrio in flames, carried aloft on a golden musical staff that snaked across the wall until it reached the gates of a pastel pink heaven with smiling clouds and characters from My Little Pony and Care Bears scampering about on a clean and spacious playground with angel wings attached to their backs.
The argument between Aurora and me was recalled by many of the other mothers at the scene, and the question was asked: Would the bullet have struck Aurora instead of Alma? Did Aurora kneel before the picture was taken, or was she trying to stand? The accusation, if true, could have resulted in child endangerment charges. Aurora and I were called in as witnesses to Parker Center, but our versions of what transpired were so different, our statements were deemed unusable and the case was thrown out.
Still the damage was done. Because the camera was jerked at the time of the exposure, the image was jumpy, and no two investigators could agree on what they saw. Aurora was either being pulled down by me to kneel or pulling away from me to stand up. The young Mexican boy who delivered the pizza would do my job for less money. Calhoun asked her husband to pass along to me a list of his friends and associates who were looking for housecleaners, and in no time I had work lined up every day of the week.
I have done my best to live my life in between those two places, intimacy and invisibility. Men staying over, friends moving in, children moving out; none of this is my concern. If my job is done right, what you find when you get home is a comforting antiseptic, fresh Band-Aid smell, spotless floors, and no evidence another human being, a cleaning lady, was ever there. Cleaning lady?
A hell of a term. To be a good cleaning lady, you must learn to act like a man. On my last cleaning day, I arrived to find a note from Mrs. Calhoun on the dining room table. Opening the blinds for sunlight, I squinted to read the faint handwriting. Confused, I wanted to ask Mrs. Calhoun to explain, but the house was quiet, save for what sounded like rain pelting the sliding glass doors, drop drop drop.
Through the blinds, I saw the jacaranda tree raining crisp, dazzling violet blossoms from its branches atop a floating body in a lavender bathrobe, its legs together, its arms outstretched as if reaching for something.
I plunged into the cold water, wading through the thick swamp of jacaranda until I reached Mrs. The flowers pounded our bodies, drop drop drop, with a sudden violence that blanketed us. My head bobbed for air as I struggled to stay afloat; I was drowning.
All around me was the loud roar of water, a sound that still wakes me up in the middle of the night, screaming. I could not carry us both back to the rim of the pool.
When I surrendered her body, it floated out to the center of the pool and slid under the thick carpet of fallen flowers. Beneath a raining jacaranda tree, the blossoms shuddered and fell.
Choir Of Blasphemy - Blodshunger - Nightside Kingdom (Cassette), At The Crystal Hamster - Albinos - Santa Barbara Album (CDr), Death Bell - Commando Lodge - Death Bell (Cassette, Album), Rib Tips - Andre Williams (2) - Rib Tips & Pig Snoots (CD), Kong Eddie - Jokke & Valentinerne - Frelst! (Cassette, Album), Rock And Come Out, Reinkarnacje (Live) - Kowalska* / Ciechowski* - Moja Krew (CD, Album), Les Musiciens - Les Frères Cheminaud - Les Hommes Des Tavernes (CD, Album), Cosy Prisons - Radio Mix - a-ha - Cosy Prisons (CD), Swimming Trucks In Water Of - Larry Wishs* - Soundtruck Music (CD, Album), Macumba - Various - Mega Club Soleil (CD), Честно говоря - Евгений Гетманский - Легендарные песни золотого Вокально-Инструментального века (CD,, Rogers Reef, Part Two, Yvette Giraud - A Vous Tous Joyeux Noël Et Bonne Année (Vinyl), (Thin) Blue Line Swinger - Yo La Tengo - Camp Yo La Tengo (Vinyl)