Monday, March 21, 2016

CriMemoir by Marietta Miles

Marietta Miles is the author of Route 12, a two-novella collection brand new from All Due Respect books. I asked her for a CriMemoir piece and got this doozie back. I had to check with her to make sure that names had been changed and enough detail obscured to keep me from being sued for libel.

As a personal aside from the editor I'd just like to say, Fuck that guy.

Otherwise, fuck yeah, this is a piece worth reading. Give it a go and then check out her fiction.

CriMemoir by Marietta Miles

Lost in Los Angeles, thousands of miles away from home, I lived surrounded by people too busy to see me. From myrtles, magnolias and mom making dinner, to palm trees, traffic and people who could care less. 

No matter, I was young and fearless. I was steel. 

L.A. was crowded, fast, and exciting. L.A. was unreal and I had sunset sized dreams. Discover the next Nirvana. Get them signed, make them famous. Work A&R for some cool indie label. Travel around and listen to music.

I wanted to have my own apartment, maybe a house with a courtyard and a lemon tree. Send my tight-lipped, twitchy-eyed, cat-hating roommate back to Pasadena. 

Until then, I was working as a receptionist for the second hottest radio station in L.A, filing health claims for the employees and making coffee for the executives. Living catless with my angry little roommate. 

One weekend my best friend from Virginia came for a visit. She met me at work around 5:30 so I could show her around the station. The top two floors were programming and promotion. Glass walls encased cubicles and offices. Red and gray carpeting ran throughout the halls. Pictures of on-air staff and different bands lined the walls. 

When she and I stepped onto the elevator Davis Lee, Music Director, and his record-label buddy also walked on.

“Where you going?” He offered to hit the button for us.

“Sales and AM, please.” I answered.

Why the fuck would you wanna go there?” Davis Lee looked at his friend and laughed. “Nothing but old guys down there.” The friend bobbing his head to an imaginary beat, grinning. 

“Showing my friend around.” I said.

Davis Lee was an important guy at the station. He had two secretaries. One smart and one pretty. He stalked the hallways, chain smoking, and flicking ashes in the potted plants. 

Once, while walking a coffee service to the conference room I caught a glimpse inside his office. Tall, locked cabinets hugged the walls, even covering up the windows. A nasty blow up doll was hanging in the corner. Pictures of naked women taped to cabinets and walls. There was a remote control car, a Patriots poster, and stacks of CDs, music magazines, porn, and comics.

It was almost 6:30. The two men had worked late but seemed wired and ready to go. By the time the doors opened on ground level, they had invited us to join them. I asked how much cash we might need and they laughed. “L.A. is our treat.” My near-empty bank account was grateful.

After climbing into his BMW, we cruised through Hollywood and into the hills. We entered through a security gate, to a driveway and parked. The house hid behind a wall of stucco and Spanish red tile.
They led us through arches to a porch with a pool and a fountain. They gave us drinks and showed us the balcony. Past several telephone poles and blinking streetlights, we could see the sky changing from pink to blue, lights of the city winking.

With no warning or sign, everything around me fell to black. Noises sounded far away and foreign. I heard myself cry. I heard someone laugh.

I came to, lying on a floor, not sure of where I was. Feeling my way down the dark hallway I found a small room with the door open. I couldn’t see. I looked and looked for a light switch.

My guts twisted, almost knocking me to the ground. Leaning against the wall, I held onto whatever was in my way. I felt something with a handle and a chord. It rolled away when I fell.

My muscles tightened. Tears streamed down my face. Everything inside my stomach came up or came out. I ran from the room and down the hall. I tried to call out to my friend, my throat so sore I couldn’t whisper.

I found her, lying on a lounge chair on the side porch, alone. He kicked her out when she said no too many times. She looked for me but became confused and then sick. 

She wiped my face with her shirt and righted my dress. We held hands and walked down the strangely quiet street. She had kept her purse while mine was lost. From a bodega on Sunset, we called a cab and eventually made it home.

She cut her trip short, leaving the next night. She promised it wasn’t my fault.

I chewed my fingernails, cracked my knuckles but Monday came anyway. Still dazed, I walked to my desk only to find it cleared out. I was told to go to the conference room.

 “We’re moving you to the AM station.” Davis Lee and the program director sat at the far end of the conference table while I stood in the doorway.

“They need another secretary.” AM radio. The all-talk station. News, lost pets and tradio. I could feel my face growing red, tears rising. He just stared at the papers in front of him.

I had no savings, no credit. I had nothing. I meant nothing. I was lucky I still had a job. 

After work, I sat in my Toyota and watched him drive off, a pretty girl in the passenger seat. I wasn’t the first girl he tricked. I wouldn’t be the last. I left Los Angeles soon after, heading home, tale tucked between my legs. 

I’ve filed my time in L.A. fairly far back in my memory bank. Still, a small part of me takes dark solace knowing Davis Lee won’t forget me. The girl he sent running home. Because, you will remember a roofied-up redhead defecating in your broom closet.

Marietta Miles has published stories with Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama and Revolt Daily. She has been included in anthologies available through Static Movement Publishing and Horrified Press. Please visit her website or Facebook for more stories and further information. Her first novel will be available in spring 2016 through All Due Respect Books. Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, she currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two

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