“So how was jail, Julie?”
“It was the best experience of my life,” she says.
“How so?” I ask, looking puzzled.
“It made me stronger. It made me tougher. It taught me a lot. After you survive in a place with no heat, no hot water and where everyone is trying to kill you or rape you all the time, you can make it anywhere. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
She tells me this even as she’s trying to convince me that she was wrongfully imprisoned and charged. Hhhmm… Perhaps Frank Sinatra’s song should be updated to: “If you can make it in a New York jail, you can make it anywhere.”
She tells me it was a set up. She tells me the people in the bar picked a fight with her for no reason. She tells me the judge and lawyer were all conspiring against her. She never stabbed anyone. “I didn’t even know who this bitch was. She came at me out of nowhere,” she says explaining that in her 5’2 stature, weighing less than 100 pounds, wearing uncomfortable 6’inch heels, a skimpy, tight leopard-print dress and carrying a purse that had nothing but her phone and ID in it, she looked completely defenseless. Maybe so. She tells me these “ghetto kids” were just picking on her and had set her up. She tells me the police didn’t want to hear her version of the story and had thrown out the tape from the bar, which would have proved she was innocent. She tells me. She tells me. She tells me…
But I keep asking questions, because I don’t believe her. The story doesn’t make sense. Then I remember that none of the stories with this girl ever made sense and I need to stop trying to get to the bottom of things. Let her tell the story. You’re not writing an article. You’re writing a story. Take the journalist hat off for once. Or just angle it ever so slightly to the side to make her story plausible.
Ok, she was put away wrongly, she threw away her plans to be a surgeon because she has this blemish on her record now, but she learned a lot in jail. She became “tougher” she says. “Everything happens for a reason,” she says. God, I sure as hell hope so, I think, as I sit in front of a now slightly more voluptuous (from a recent pregnancy) and unnecessarily surgically-altered Barbie.
She has bleached blond hair. She seems to have had everything done. Her lips, her hair, breast and ass implants, a fake tan. The whole nine yards and then some.
I think back to the girl I knew when we were teenagers. How beautiful she already was. How she didn’t need to deck herself out to the tune of Amanda Lepore. It was so unnecessary. I think even further back… to when we were toddlers at a resort town in France and were playing around on a beach. I seem to recall we were chasing dogs along the shore, or maybe the dogs were chasing us. I can’t remember, exactly. We ran. We laughed. We were naked. We were innocent. There are pictures of this… somewhere.