New Years Day
Interview with a Murderer
It’s New Years Day and the world is hung over. Today seems like a good day to interview an inmate convicted of murder.
J How old are you Brian?
J How old were you when you were arrested?
B Nineteen. I can remember bein' on the bus goin' to prison. I was cryin' and some old-timer told me not to worry because I’d be lookin’ back on this day and thinkin’ it was all just a bad dream.
J You killed someone?
B I shot him.
B He was gonna stab my friend.
J Can you explain what happened?
B We were at a club called , and my friend – a big Mexican dude – got into an argument with a guy who he’d bought an ounce of crystal from. My friend was showin’ off in front of a bunch of women, and he hit the dude. The dude acted all cool at first, he backed off and said that everything was okay. Then he returned with a huge, buck knife and went for my friend, so I shot him.
J Were you drunk or on drugs?
B I was buzzed from drinkin’ a fifth of Jack Daniels. I wasn’t on drugs.
J What happened next?
B It was like...a…lucky shot. I used a .357 Magnum. A .357 Magnum makes a hole the size of a grapefruit if it hits someone. (Brian makes a fist.)
J What did you think when you looked at him and saw him dead with a massive head wound?
B I told myself that I had really fucked up. I regretted it immediately.
J How does it feel to kill a man?
B I had nightmares for months.
J In your dreams could you see him, his dead body, the hole in his head?
B As well as the nightmares, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I replayed it over and over again.
J Are you still having nightmares?
J So you shot him in the club?
J In front of how many witnesses?
B Maybe forty.
J You killed someone in front of forty witnesses, in the State of Arizona and you didn’t get the death penalty, how come?
B I come from a good family. I was in college. I played football. The victim was a biker – a member of the Hell's Angels. He was a known drug dealer and always in trouble. He even had a one-hundred-thousand-dollar contract out on him. The police didn’t care too much about his death.
J How’d you know about the contract?
B My attorney told me. The prosecutor wanted to know if I’d killed him to collect the contract money.
J How much time did you get?
B Fifteen years.
J When do you get out?
J What’s the first thing that you want to do when you get out?
B Go to church.
J What else?
B Put flowers on the victim’s grave.
J Most inmates, when asked that question, say they want to get laid. Is sex a priority?
B No. I’ve been gettin' laid.
J In here?
J With men or women?
B Women. Whiteshirts.
J What’s a whiteshirt?
B Kitchen workers who are contracted from outside.
J How many whiteshirts have you had sex with?
J You had sex with them in the kitchen?
B In the freezer actually.
J What does serving fifteen years feel like?
B Like a rollercoaster. Ups and downs. Its hardest around Christmas time and other holidays because that’s when I miss my family the most.
J Are you in a relationship with a woman?
B Nah. I learnt that relationships make your time harder on you. It’s best to be friends.
J Does killing a man make you view yourself differently?
B Yeah. I feel guilty because of what I did.
J I see. Can you describe what it feels like to be known as a convicted killer?
B Imagine the worst crime or thing that you ever done to a person in your entire life. How does that make you feel? Now imagine if everyone knew what you’d done. How would that make you feel? That’s what I have to live with every day of my life.
J What are you plans for when you get out?
B I’m gonna attend a culinary course.
J And then what?
B I’d like to get a job as a chef…ideally on a cruise ship or for a hotel company. I want to see the world, especially Greece, France and England. Some of the best chefs in the world are French.
J That’s a good plan. No more sex in freezers though!
J Thanks for the interview. Good luck out there.
B I’ll be alright.
(We shake hands)
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