Some of you guys might be familiar with this story for I’ve broached the topic of me being friends with an acquitted murderer/b-list actor before. If you’re not familiar with it, check out my story over at CultureMap. Murder, sex and purple pearl snap shirts. Such a wonderful children’s story for the Holidays.
Being Friends With An Acquitted Murderer (and B-List Actor) Is Not Easy
I was once friends with an acquitted murderer-slash-B-list actor.
He was a sad man, but I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. The sort of man who spent Thanksgiving alone, eating a grocery store rotisserie chicken in the woods of Ojai, California.
The sort of man who owned nothing but a couch, a bed, a guitar and the photos of his long forgotten career taped to his wall.
The sort of man who has no friends.
The sort of man who lived like the characters he portrayed.
The sort of man where you couldn’t tell if he was acting in real life or not.
I met the acquitted murderer-slash-B-list-actor many years ago, when he walked into my office wearing a purple pearl snap shirt and ten gallon cowboy hat. He was there to give my boss a copy of a screenplay that his father had written. The actor was clearing out his storage and getting rid of everything he owned: Emmy statues, props from his Oscar-nominated film —it all went to complete strangers. He tracked down my boss and showed up at the studio gates one day, unannounced. A call informed me that the actor was standing outside — did I want to let him in? Did I? Images of the actor’s mugshot, his furrowed brow and angry scowl filled my mind. Stories of his case and the details made me uneasy. If I let him in will he shoot everyone? Does an acquitted murderer carry a gun at all in order to kill innocent bystanders at a moment’s notice?
I waited with baited breath at my desk and heard the methodical thump thump thump as he climbed the stairs to my office. What the hell was I going to say to this guy?