“The killer awoke before dawn
he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived
Paid a visit to his brother
and then he
He walked on down the hall
And he came to a door...and he looked inside…
'Father?` 'Yes, son...`”
After being kicked out of the house, Stan went to a motel. He was not prepared to deal with his parents yet. He knew that was the next step. He would be moving back into their house with his tail between his legs, and he had some `splainin’ to do. The Thanksgiving wedding was obviously off. Michelle let him keep his key so he could come back and collect the rest of his things, but she did not want to be there when he showed up. A few days later, Stan came back to get his items.
Then the bombshell of bombshells hit. The Hiroshima of Stan's life. The anonymous letter. Whether it was the same "P.I." who mailed him the earlier letter, Stan did not know. Whoever it was sent one to Karen in Walnut Creek. It told her that Michelle, the “model” who was supposed to marry her ex-husband over Thanksgiving weekend, was in fact a porn star and hooker. Her daughter, Kaitlyn, was being left in the care of a “deviant sex slut.”
Kaitlyn had flown up north for a special weekend with her mother and her husband when the letter arrived. She was supposed to fly back to Los Angeles the next day. She had started her freshman year at Redondo Union High School just a few weeks earlier.
Karen could have spared Stan - and Kaitlyn - a lot of grief by not telling Kaitlyn exactly what she had learned. But she loved the chance to destroy Stan. She hated the fact that he had maintained his good lucks, his full, blonde hair and athletic physique. She hated the fact that he had been successful with women while she was a frumpy cow. She hated the fact that he had enjoyed some notoriety as a writer while she went from job to job, never able to hold on to any of them because eventually her bitchy behavior always became too much for any boss to put up with. She hated the fact that Stan was scheduled to marry the most beautiful woman she had ever seen, while her second husband was 60 pounds overweight and had a head that looked like a giant meatball.
So she told Kaitlyn all about Michelle, explicitly detailing that this woman gave blow jobs for a living with countless strange men. She emphasized the fact that Michelle had sex in front of a camera and millions of men throughout the world and on the Internet masturbated looking at her. That she was paid for it, and that made her a "whore." That she specialized in orgies and group sex and anal sex, and that Stan was even worse than she was for being with a woman like that. That Stan was a terrible human being who lived a life of lies, and the whole Taylor family was like that. Rich, privileged people, she told Kaitlyn, lived the worst, most deviant kind of lives.
Then she called Stan. Stan was packing up his belongings when the phone rang. The tone in her voice was the voice of hell. It was not the voice of a human being. There was evil and malice in it. It scared Stan more than anything he had ever heard. Having his father scream bloody murder at him, or to hear Jim Ambers tell him he would “never pitch for Rolling Hills High again” was nothing compared to Karen’s voice. Stan saw something while listening to Karen's tirade. A vision flashed before his eyes. It was just for a second but it was unmistakable. What he saw was hell. The real place, a place he could physically describe. A place of both flame and desolation and utter hopelessness. He could not put his finger on what it meant, but he sensed that in Karen's voice came a message from this place. He was either going there, or she was doing the work of Satan. Probably both. It was not a human feeling that terrified him to the bone. He sensed that the worst thing that could happen was now a possibility. It scared the "hell" out of him, and even as the torrent of words flooded through the receiver, Stan knew this was a wake-up call. He had to put himself on the right track, or he was on a highway headed to disaster.
“I’m going to the papers with this,” he heard her say. “I’m going to the courts to see to it you never see Kaitlyn again. I’ll have you arrested and brought up on child endangerment charges. Your parents will find out. I’ll ruin you. You deserve to be ruined. Hal’s taking a job in Milwaukee. We’re moving there next month and taking Kaitlyn with us. Fuck you.”
Hal was her meathead husband. Stan still did not know what the hell he did for a loving. Stan could say nothing. There was no way to accurately describe the way he felt when the words poured out of Karen’s mouth. His head clenched in a vice, so tight he could hardly breathe. It was his worst nightmare. Furthermore, Stan just knew that his Karma was as bad as it gets right about that time.
He was a Christian, but he also believed that there was something to the mysterious “Karma” that people liked to refer to. There was, at least it seemed to him, to be a currency of good vibes and bad vibes that worked in concert. When vibes as bad as this were in the air, he knew he was in deep and would have to dig a long way to get out from under the negativity. This was his Triple Witching Hour.
He had been fired from his job. His fiancée had found him cheating after setting him up to fall, and called off their impending marriage. His ex-wife had discovered the worst possible thing about him and now it looked like he really might have his daughter taken away from him, forever maybe. Had he actually broken laws? Could this be a police matter, as Karen had indicated? In his state of mind, he figured that it might be. Stan felt that when it came to luck, a strange duality existed for him. He was lucky in all the usual ways a man is lucky, what with his looks, his health, the circumstances and opportunities presented to him throughout his life. But something else was pulling against him, something he could not quite put his finger on. It was the kind of thing that made him think that Karen's threats of having him arrested somehow had validity. It was as if he had not actually broken any laws, but an alternate universe existed in which special exceptions were made just for him. Call it the “Stan Taylor Codicil,” which was part of the larger Federal law that Stan was now "convinced" was on the books.
“Good things will not happen to Stan Taylor,” Stan envisioned the law as reading. Sure, it had passed Congress in one of those clandestine “midnight” sessions, probably sponsored by Teddy Kennedy. Both the Houses and Senate had passed it, the President had signed it, the States ratified the bastard, and now the fucking Hague had made it international. He half expected somebody from Interpol to arrest him on grounds that “We’re here to see to it that you feel as miserable as we can make you feel.”
He now had to pay for his sins and his luck. His looks, his loving family and the home he had been raised in. The great good fortune of being an American, growing up in Palos Verdes Estates during good times, that had to be reversed now. His good health and athletic ability? Those were not gifts. They were loans. The bill collector was at the door. He had lived an interesting life, traveling and meeting gorgeous women, but all of that was sinful behavior on borrowed time. Now he had to pay the piper.
“Fuck you,” Karen had finished the conversation, and boy was that on the money.
Stan had one thing left, and that was the Billy Boswell book project. On the face of it, it was still a thriving possibility. Boswell was ready to break the home run records. He was finishing up probably the greatest season in baseball history. Some publishers had told him if he broke the record, they would consider the book deal. He now was under The William Morris banner. That had to make a difference.
But Stan knew that the Karma was working against him. The crap had hit the fan, and the flow of events, the sheer momentum of bad luck was irreversible. If he could land a publisher, he would make at least $250,000 up front, and if it was a major best seller, a lot more down the road. He needed it like air. It was the only thing he had to grasp onto. He tried to tell himself it was still there, waiting. But he knew better.
The painful act of moving back into his parents’ house had added to his sense of doom. Shirley and Dan had grown tired Lake Tahoe. They still had the cabin, but no longer lived there full time. They were back in Palos Verdes Estates, hunkered down like hibernating bears, when Stan hauled his sorry ass back home. Shirley was sympathetic, but Dan was six feet, four inches of pure asshole. He looked at Stan when he came through the door, his mouth curled into a tiny little puss. It was not a human face. It was the face of hate.
Everything had come down on Stan like a ton of bricks at the same time. He had a press credential to Dodger Stadium, but did not have enough energy to see Billy Boswell go for the record. He watched Boswell on television hit numbers 71and 756 on the last day of the season at home, to become the single season and career home run champion of all time. Boswell also broke Hack Wilson's record for runs batted in with 191. He had batted .390. His slugging percentage was an all-time best .886, his on-base percentage of .600 breaking Ted Williams' 1941 mark. The Dodgers finished the regular season with 120 victories, tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs' record. Boswell had outdone himself, and he was part of one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. 2001 was simply the greatest season any player had ever had.
Sitting in front of his TV, in the room he grew up in, surrounded by childhood trophies and plaques, Stan thought about Billy and how they had been such rivals when they were young. Now look at them. Why? Why was Billy so great? Was it just random luck, to be born with so much talent? Billy worked very hard at his craft, there was no doubt, but he was so good that everything he did in baseball seemed imbued with magic. Had he been one of those guys who had made a deal with the devil? Stan thought about what he would say if the devil appeared before him and offered him that kind of a deal.
"I believe in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and I reject Satan," Stan said out loud, and he meant it. He looked at the screen, where Boswell was being accorded greater hero worship than he ever had. Stan put his theological musings aside and hoped for some worldly good to come out of this. Now was time for Sidney Bertelstein to go to work. He sent out proposals to all the big publishing houses. A week later he called.
"They all passed," he said.
Stan knew they would. Good things don't happen to Stan Taylor.
“I suppose this means you’re not my agent anymore,” Stan told Bertelstein.
“That’s right,” The William Morris man told him.
“You know,” Stan told him. “You’re performance in helping get this deal done reminds me of a Robert Downey, Jr. movie from the 1980s.”
“Oh, yeah,” said Bertelstein, “which one?”
“'Less Than Zero’,” replied Stan, “because that’s how much help you were. You know what you assholes do? You just wait for guys like me to bring you deals, like Manna from Heaven. Then you take your 10 percent. As soon as this required some aggressiveness, some sales skills, some hard work, you dropped it like the 'Snodgrass Muff'.’”
"What the hell's the 'Snodgrass Muff'?" asked Bertelstein.
"Look it up," said Stan, hanging up the phone. Having effectively burned his bridge with The William Morris Agency, Stan looked out his window. He no longer saw his ship coming in. He was fairly sure he could see oblivion.
Boswell had led Los Angeles through the league play-offs and on to the World Series, where his three home runs propelled the Dodgers to victory over the Yankees in six games. Billy was named MVP of the Series.
The day after the Series, Stan called Matt. If Stan had any cards left, it was Boswell. Somehow, if he could get Boswell to agree, maybe they could do the book together and make it a success without The William Morris Agency. Maybe they could find a smaller publisher. Maybe Boswell, with all his millions, would pay him to write it, and self-publish it. After all, the concept, which was for Bos to tell his story, could still be done through Stan. Who better?
“You lied to us,” said Matt. “You also went around and wrote articles for Rolling Stone and S.I. saying Billy 'authorized’ you to write his autobiography. He never signed a thing with you. Billy doesn’t want to have anything more to do with you.”
Stan just hung up the phone. He was so numb from everything that had gone wrong that this latest hit was just more of the same. It was, in fact, expected. It was all a part of that new law. Good things don't happen to Stan Taylor.
Stan settled into life with father. Life with father and mother, actually. It was not a pretty experience. His failures had piled up so high he needed wings to stay above it, and he still kept secrets from them. What would they say if - and when, he guessed - they would find out that Michelle had been a porn star, that Karen knew and that Kaitlyn was being kept from him for this reason?
Stan had given them some BS excuse about Kaitlyn suddenly deciding to stay in Walnut Creek because she wanted to sing, and they had a better choir program at Las Lomas High than Redondo Union. He told them Michelle had left him, but never gave them real reasons. None of this went over too well with Dan, who had never really changed from the father who felt it was his divine right to know every detail of his son’s private life. They loved Michelle. She could do no wrong in their eyes. Stan had to be at fault.
So mostly it was just extended, horrid silences in the Taylor household, which more resembled a morgue than a family home. Shirley and Dan had never changed. They still were the kind of people who needed to find something and somebody to blame. For years, they had blamed each other for every little thing they could think of. Now they had good old Stan, back in their crosshairs. What an easy, available target he was.
When Stan had moved back to L.A. from New York, he had lived in their house for over a year, until moving in with Michelle. During his time in the house, however, his parents had been living in the Tahoe cabin, where they went when Dan retired from the law firm.
But they found Tahoe boring and cold, and they no longer skied. They had to put chains on the car. Dan liked to fish, but he did not need to live there year-round to do that. Shirley missed her artist friends and tennis buddies. 37-year old Stan had no place to hide.
There were good reasons to be back in the house, though. Stan had some dough left over from the Times and his freelance work for magazines, but he felt the need to save as much as he could. He needed a base of operations to sort out his life. It was easier to move back into his old room, and salve his wounds. He knew his mother was going to give him a hassle over every little thing, and that his father would dip into his special vocabulary. "Cocksucker," "asshole," "son of a bitch." Stan wondered if he might have come up with a few new terms for him. But he knew something else, and it was important. When it was all said and done, however, his parents were probably the only people in the world who truly cared about him. His parents, and Kaitlyn. He refused to give up on her. He had an uphill fight on his hands, but he would get back into his little girl's life. There was love between them that nobody, no evil, not all the bitchy Karens in the world could destroy. He also knew his parents would not be around forever. He decided to be thankful that God had arranged for him to be around them.
Stan also made the first real, concentrated change in his lifestyle. He found volunteer work mentoring kids at local schools, and began to really get into his church. Instead of just going on Sundays, he started to become involved in various church activities. He prayed that God would forgive him his many sins, and vowed that he would straighten up and fly right.
He stopped watching pornography and going to strip clubs. He gave up drinking and stopped going to bars. He did not pursue women. They were just bad news. Femme fatales, he called them. He did not want bar women, hookers, or any other women. No more glamour girls who wore their souls on their faces. He decided to pay penance. He was in very good shape. He had always worked out hard in the gym, and ate healthy foods. Now, he strengthened his routine, almost as if he sensed that he was going to be facing a test, a crisis, maybe even a personal war of some kind. He would need to be in the best possible shape to deal with it. He would have to be operating on all his cylinders - mind, body and spirit.
Why had so much failure and disappointment come his way? He wanted to know the answer to that question. He knew he had not always done the right thing, but he had generally tried. He had never meant to harm anybody. He had been such a golden boy at one time; a USC sports hero and promising professional pitcher; a Marine officer and law student; a loving husband and father; a homeowner and aspiring political figure. What had happened? He had taken chances. The sports agent career had not worked out, but not for a lack of effort. He had shown great promise as a writer, getting a stage play and a screenplay produced almost immediately, and finding work in Hollywood.
He thought he had found paradise when he lived with Michelle and Kaitlyn. When he became a sports columnist with the Los Angeles Times, his path was clear, with no obstacles blocking him. Of course, he had underestimated one big obstacle called Larry Wishborn. Many men would have folded their tent and given up after the Times firing, but Stan was determined that the “kid stays in the picture.” He had gone after the Boswell book, and succeeded in landing the greatest athlete in the world, in the middle of the greatest season ever, to authorize him to write his autobiography. He had managed to get The William Morris Agency to represent him.
Still, so many things had fallen apart. As George Patton had said, “This must be an act of God!” But would God allow him to fulfill his destiny? What was that destiny now? What lay ahead? Stan thought back to his days at USC, when G. Gordon Liddy came to speak on campus. Liddy had described his darkest days, when he was handed a long prison sentence for his Watergate crimes. But Liddy had said that he still had his education, his intelligence and his will. This had been enough to pull him through. Dealing with father made it difficult, but Stan would pull his courage up, he would wipe away the tears and tell himself that, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” He was determined to begin formulation of some plan that would land him back on his feet.
But Dan could set him back. Oh, that man could set him back. All the memories, all the darkest horrors of his childhood were re-visited. Finding motivation and inspiration around Dan Taylor, at this juncture of his fractured life, was extremely hard to do.
Dan would stay up late. He had always been an avid reader, but now he had to force himself. Reading had been a tremendous inspiration to him, but it required a kind of intellectual discipline that he was struggling to regain. He found himself surfing the 500 AT&T digital cable channels now available, seeing half-ass movies that were not as well written as unproduced scripts he had penned.
The Taylor’s owned a dog, a black Gordon Setter called Daisy. They had owned Gordon Setters for over 20 years. This was their third dog, and it was a puppy when Stan moved back in the house. Stan loved dogs, but he had had it with Gordon Setters. Since his senior year in high school, three different Gordons jumped on, pawed him, and licked him. None of them could be trained. They would just look at him, like the idiots they were, and when called they ran in the opposite direction. This latest Gordon was too much. She jumped on everybody, all the time.
“Off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, get off, GET OFF, OFF, GET OFF, GODDAMMIT IT ALL TO HELL GET OFF! Off. Get off. Goddamn it all get off of me! Gaddamn it all to lousy hell get off me!”
His parents would utter this at the dog. Every day. Day after day. Hour after hour. Over and over again. The most tiresome and aggravating constant utterance. This was it. It was torture.
Stan would try to pet the dog. The dog would lick and bite. The dog would never just submit to being petted. Stan would try, be unable to, and give up.
“Pet the dog,” Shirley would say, her voice shrill and horrid.
“Nightmare,” Stan would say.
“Go on,” Dan would say to the dog. “Get off.”
Stan would never yell at the dog. He never hit the dog or hurt the dog. When the dog would virtually attack him, big as a horse it seemed, all saliva and tongue and paws, Stan would simply endure it. He would turn to avoid taking a direct lick to the face. He would place his knee so as to fend the dog from jumping on him, especially if he was wearing decent, clean clothes. If he let the dog on him, his clothes would immediately be fouled. He never kicked the dog.
“Stop kicking the dog,” Shirley would scream.
A few minutes later, Shirley would slap the dog, causing it pain. Stan would simply observe this. He would sigh, and endure his circumstances.
I got nobody to blame but myself, he would think, and of course he was right. Some how, in some crazy, foul way, it had come down to the point where he, a whip smart 37-year old with a first class education and marketable skills was living in his parents house with a slobbering animal who barked and scratched and made noise. Constantly, all day, every day.
His parents’ bedroom was just above his. Stan had never much noticed, growing up, how creaky their floors were. He did now. They had wooden floors, partially covered by a carpet. Every noise sounded like wood being screwed and twisted. The dog did something, constantly, that Stan could never quite figure out. It sounded as if somebody was lifting her off the ground, and dropping her onto the wood floor, whereby she sounded as if she was jumping, over and over and over again, on the floor. It sounded as if she were an octopus with 15 legs. It sounded impossible that one animal with four legs could make so many pounding, screwing sounds on the wood floor directly above his head. It sounded as if somebody had a hammer and just pounded the floor, all the time.
This would go one every morning from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. It went on all the time anyway, but 5-9 in the morning is, well, not a good time for somebody to hear these sounds. Since Stan was often up late, he was usually in deep REM sleep when it started. It got so bad that it seriously affected his health. He quickly became a zombie.
His parents did nothing about it. It was as if they were just being discourteous on purpose. They might as well have yelled down, “Fuck you, Stan,” whenever it happened. Stan just endured it. It was his fault, and he had himself to blame. The pawing, the wood screwing noise, the cacophony.
“Off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, get off, GET OFF, OFF, GET OFF, GODDAMMIT IT ALL TO HELL GET OFF! Off. Get off. Goddamn it all get off of me! Gaddamn it all to lousy hell get off me!”
Or something like that.
Noise was the one constant in the Taylor household. Dan was by now an inveterate political junkie, sitting for hours in front of the Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC. Stan called his home the 24-Hour Noise Channel. He would go to Mac's to get some respite from his parents, the tirades, and the Gordon Setter. The minute he returned, he would get a full dose of it.
“Goddamn liberal asshole,” Dan yelled at the TV.
“You fucking neeger” would occasionally come out of his mouth if a particularly militant black activist came on the screen. (For some reason Dan occasionally pronounced “nigger” “neeger”). Jesse Jackson was his favorite target.
“No good stinking fucking Goddamn fucking cocksucking lousy cocksucking fucking asshole Goddamn it all to hell…FUCKING COCKSUCKER Goddamn it anyway!!” was regularly spewed by Dan, often when Stan would be quietly reading the paper and drinking coffee. Dan would engage in this lengthy swear word barrage when he did not know anybody was listening.
“That’s very impressive,” Stan would blithely say to him. “I really believe that you’re use of the English language is the most impressive and beautiful rendering since Shakespeare’s time. I really wish Kaitlyn could be here to emulate it.”
Dan was never embarrassed by it. He never apologized. It never occurred to him he was wrong, or that he should not say or think what he said and thought. He was not wired to ever think that.
One time, Dan and Shirley took off for Tahoe. They were due back on Monday. Stan was in San Diego to hang out with Mac and his brother, taking some respite from the 24-Hour Noise Channel. Shirley and Dan did not know he would be gone for the weekend. Stan returned on Monday afternoon. He checked the answering machine, and there was a message from a client of Dan’s that had been on the machine since Friday. Since nobody had been there, it had gone without being picked up. Dan was no longer going in to the office, but he handled some workload part time, mostly doing wills, estates and tax work.
The message from the client was that her plans had changed, and she could not make the Tuesday morning meeting. Stan knew his parents were unreachable on Interstate 5. He called the cell number, but as he knew it would be, it was not turned on. So he wrote the message on a piece of paper, and left it on the machine. When Dan came home, he saw the message. He would not have come home that day if he had not had to be at the meeting.
“Goddamn you all to lousy fucking hell Goddamn you Goddamn you all to lousy fucking hell…Goddamn it Goddamn cocksucking Goddamn you Goddamn you…Goddamn I hate you, I hate you, Goddamn kid, Goddamn fucking kid, Goddamn cocksucker, Goddamn fucker I hate that kid, I hate that kid, Goddamn it all I hate that fucking kid. Why didn’t you call me Goddamn it why would you not?? Goddamn I hate that fucking kid, I hate that kid Goddamn it all to hell Goddamn I hate you, I hate, I just fucking hate you.”
This would be for starters. Dan would yell and scream until he got too tired to scream more. His horrid screaming would take the form of pleadings as he lost his voice, the decibel level reduced only out of exhaustion. It would morph into variations of “With all I do for you you can’t do this for me,” or “You treat us like dirt under your feet,” and “You’ll be sorry some day for the way you treat us,” and so and so on.
Again, the fact that it was Dan (and Shirley would jump in with both feet, too) who was mistreating their gentle son, who never yelled at them, never said a cross thing - who just endured them - the fact it was they who treated Stan so badly, never crossed their mind. They lived in a black-is-white, white-is-black world, an Alice in Wonderland kind of upside down place in which the worse they treated Stan, the worse they told themselves it was Stan who treated them.
Stan never had a chance to even tell his father that he had been in San Diego, which was why he had not gotten the message in the first place to call them. Once they began to explode he just decided they did not deserve any explanation. Stan Taylor would sit in his room and cry. Stan missed his daughter so badly that he felt like screaming to the Universe. He asked God why he had been placed in this predicament. He convinced himself he had sinned too many times, and that happiness was an elusive son of a gun that would not find its way into his life. Test in this world, happiness in the next. He had nobody to talk to, nobody to tell his feelings to. He could not talk to his parents. Even if he got them when they were not calling him a cocksucker, he knew that all information, all feelings he ever uttered to them, any opening or vulnerability, was something that later would be used against him. No information was good information with them. Even if they showed sympathy now, it could be turned around on him later. Stan lived in a bunker mentality, shielding himself from these terrible enemies who wielded hateful rhetoric at him at the drop of a hat. Nothing had changed. He was still their whipping boy.
Why, Stan asked God, did Dan deserve to have had everything fall his way all his life? He had been able to finish law school, whereas Stan had dropped out to try and save a failed a marriage. Dan had kept his marriage alive, while Stan was, for all practical purposes, a two-time loser. Dan had a good son who had never been taken away from him. Stan had to endure his sweet Kaitlyn being ripped from him. His heart was broken, his life torn asunder. His dreams were dashed - writing, the Boswell book, everything. Why?
Stan found that everything he did in the house was criticized. He would come in to the kitchen and grab a snack.
“Why are you eating that?” Shirley said.
“I like the way it tastes,” Stan replied.
Shirley would come home and find Stan cooking food.
"Why are you cooking?" she asked.
"Because," Stan said, "I'm hungry. So here's what’s a gonna happen. I'm gonna do that with which I must do so that, in the soonest time possible, I'm not hungry. That falls, and quite simply, in that category of things I'm a gonna do!"
Stan would blow his nose with toilet paper, and put the used paper in the toilet. He would not flush it, precisely and for the purpose of saving water.
“Why do you leave the paper in the toilet?” Dan asked.
“To save water,” Stan said.
“Goddamn fucking smart ass kid,” Dan replied.
Shirley was very messy. She would leave the kitchen a pigsty. She would spoon out the dog food, then leave the spoon with the remnants of it next to Stan’s lunch. She would eat right out of the jar, leaving little pieces of butter and spittle on the jam. Stan would take a spoon and remove the pieces of butter and spittle, into the sink, and only use the layers beneath that.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m removing the pieces of butter and spittle,” he said.
“Why?” she asked.
“Choice one is to eat your butter and spittle,” Stan said matter-of-factly. “Choice two is to not eat your butter and spittle. I choose not to eat your butter and spittle.”
The logic of that was never evident to Shirley. She was just pissed that Stan had knowledge that she left butter and spittle in the jar instead of unknowingly eating it.
Shirley would talk with her mouth full of food, and Stan could not understand what she said when she did that. Stan would have to ask “What?” and Shirley would just get mad. They would ask Stan a question when he had food in his mouth, but he never spoke with his mouth full, so he would chew and swallow first before speaking.
“Goddamn kid,” Dan would say.
Shirley constantly cooked things that Stan did not like to eat. Stan never complained. Shirley would see that he had not eaten it.
“Since when don’t you eat that?” she would ask.
“1972,” said Stan.
They would be watching television and something would happen, causing Stan to say, “People who say things like that are assholes.”
“Are you calling me an asshole?” Dan asked.
“No,” said Stan. “I said people who say things like that are assholes. If a description of negative things reminds you of yourself, you’ll have to address that with your own conscience.”
“Fucking kid,” Dan replied.
Dan was appalled at the way whites and blacks were depicted on television. Whenever somebody needed to be a foil, a dumbass, a dupe, it was the white male.
“It’s disgusting how the media caters to the...damn blacks,” he said. “You know, I’m so happy that we have the blacks to save us from ourselves. The tough-as-nails black police captain who keeps the white guy in line. The black scientist who’s ethics are the only thing that saves the lying whites from destruction. The black teacher who keeps order when the inner city white boys cause trouble. What a joke.”
Stan would come upstairs in the morning for his routine of coffee and the newspaper. Dan would have the paper spread out on a table, with all kinds of items on top of it - sugar, cream, coffee mug, water. Stan would have to carefully remove the section he wanted to read from under all of that. Dan would usually not have the courtesy to make the paper easily accessible.
The house was a constant cacophony of sound, three televisions blaring with news and sports. Dan had a TV in his bedroom that blare late at night, or early in the morning, waking Stan up or preventing him from sleeping. Dan would not have the courtesy to think about that. Stan would just endure it.
Dan would have to walk the dog in the middle of the night. The dog liked to dump and piss all over the house. Stan was reminded of an old song from the 1950s or early ‘60s that went, “Wishin’, and hopin’, and dreamin’,” only he changed the words to “Pissin’, and shittin’, and crappin’”, and called it Daisy’s Ballad.
Dan had a sliding glass door to his bedroom, and it sounded very loud when he would violently open it above Stan’s bedroom, waking him up.
“Dad,” Stan asked Dan one day, “would you be more gentle when you open that sliding glass door in the middle of the night, please?”
Dan agreed to. He was gentle for about two days, then forgot about it and either discourteously or unthinkingly opened it loud and hard all the time thereafter. Then the dog would run downstairs on the wood porches, each resounding step violently waking Stan from REM sleep. Dan would have the dog right under Stan’s window, and he would loudly swear at the animal.
“Goddamn it all to lousy hell hurry up,” or “Goddamn it stop that,” or “Goddamn it all to hell come here,” all right under Stan’s window, with no concern for Stan sleeping.
I deserve it, Stan said to himself, covering his head with a pillow. So he endured it.
The loud TV’s would blare with “Hannity and Colmes” or the “O’Reilly Factor”, with Dan yelling at the screen. Loud, cacophony. Daisy was given a rubber bone and allowed to play with it on the wood floors above Stan’s bedroom when Stan tried to sleep, or on the wood porch almost above his bedroom. It sounded like a jackhammer. Nobody had the courtesy to stop Daisy from making this racket so Stan could sleep. Stan endured it.
Stan normally would not sleep in, but the dog would make so much racket until midnight, and start again at five, that sometimes the only peaceful time would be after nine in the morning. So, he sometimes had to make up for lost sleep by sleeping in until 10 or 10:30. This of course would cause shit storms. He endured them.
Stan was living under their roof and had “nothing’ comin’,” so he took it in silence. He said nothing. He revealed nothing, because to speak was to give them ammunition. His silence was cause for shit storms, but Stan had calculated after years of experience with his parents that the shit storms were less when he said nothing than when he opened his mouth, and might accidentally reveal something that could be used to fuel a tirade against him, or in the future. That is how he knew how to survive life with his mother and father.
He constantly picked up after his parents. They left all their plates and jars with the tops off, and foodstuffs and crap, all over the place. Stan’s job in life was to clean up their constant messes. Dan would make Quaker Oats every morning and leave the pot unsoaked. Stan would have to use his fingernails to scrape the dried oats off the pan, and he was convinced his old man cooked with glue.
They left drawers open. Stan would enter the kitchen to cook lunch, and it would take 10 or 15 minutes just picking up after them, organizing to make the kitchen suitable for him to cook in the orderly fashion he liked. He endured the situation. Shirley and Dan never appreciated that Stan kept the house clean and was their virtual maid and dishwasher. They just swore at him, as if his cleaning up exposed crappy facts about them, and how dare he have knowledge that they were mess hounds.
“Where there is chaos, I create order,” Stan would say simply.
Stan would clean a pile of their dirty dishes and, when he was done, the floor might be wet from spillage.
"Can't you towel up this water?" Shirley asked.
"You're welcome," Stan replied.
"What do you mean, 'thank you'?" she asked.
"I mean that I have identified this moment as that moment in which you should say to me, 'Thank you for cleaning up after us,'" Stan replied. "Since that is what you should say to me, then I simply reply, 'you're welcome.'"
Shirley hated Stan's logic. He had the ability to identify her faults through accurate interpretation of facts.
Stan could not tell them what Wishborn had done to him. To do so would open himself up to real problems. First, Dan would go on a tirade about Wishborn, and Wishborn being black would result in a racial diatribe that Stan neither wanted nor needed to hear.
So Stan just told them he had lost his column because the paper had to cut back after losing revenue from the recent dot-com fallout. Dan would rail on about how affirmative action had made it impossible for a white man to hold a job. Stan endured it. He did not agree with it, at least not in full.
Stan felt, in principle, there was some justification for racial preferences. Not quotas in the traditional affirmative action way, but rather a sensibility on the part of employers to be more inclusive of minorities. However, his experience with Wishborn had soured him somewhat on this concept. The realities of life were such that any white man who was passed over in some way to favor a minority was not a “principle,” or a “theory,” but a real flesh-and-blood person with a family to support, bills to pay, and ambitions. In the end, a pure merit-based consciousness was the only real way to go through life, but it seemed that it would never happen that way.
Stan could not tell his parents about Kaitlyn. What was he going to say?
“Karen won’t let me see Kaitlyn because she found out Michelle’s a porn star who had her porn star friend come over for some ménage action.”
So he just said Michelle had left because they had decided they were no longer right for each other, and that his loss of the job with the paper had created strain on the relationship.
All the things Stan had built up to deflect Dan’s criticisms seemed to have been wiped away. All his good works were for naught. His failures were still bright. The defunct sports agency, for one. Dick Maslin and Elrod Miller were regular subjects of conversation, which usually was steered in such a way as to blame Stan for bringing these characters into their lives. Then there was Dave Casey and the lost 10 grand. That's just great, Stan would think to himself.
He endured it because they were right. He deserved it. All of it. All the crap that could come down on him. He had been selfish. He had sinned. He was paying for his misdeeds.
Stan also felt guilt over the feelings he harbored over his folks. He could not wait for them to go to Tahoe so he could be without them for a while. Amazingly, he would find himself missing them after they were gone a week or so. He loved them no matter what. Some day he would wish they were around to harass and heckle him. They were a pain, but they were his pain. Nobody else even cared.
Stan thought a lot about Larry Wishborn. He thought about exacting revenge. But how? Besides, Stan’s Christian faith taught him to turn the other cheek. In this dog-eat-dog world that he lived in, Stan asked himself if he was too soft to compete with the kind of cutthroat characters who had crossed his path. Somebody else would have cut Wishborn off at the pass, or figured a way to make the Boswell book deal happen. But Stan had not. Maybe his reward would come in the after life. But even there Stan had great fears that his lustful, misogynistic ways would not be forgiven.
Do I hate women? he asked himself. Indeed, he loved sex, but did he have some kind of deep-seated psychological feeling. Girls had intimidated him as a kid. He had been scared of them, scared of their rejection. He had to ask himself if he had treated them as sex objects out Freudian revenge. Stan had to own up to what he was. He had to take responsibility for himself. He had to ask if the way he lived had ever really done him any good. He had to question whether now, with Kaitlyn being taken from him, he was paying the ultimate price.
Stan lived in reality. He despised “inspirational celebrity stories.” Stories about rock stars who overcome their crack cocaine habits and come back to their kids after abandoning them for five years. Stories of actors who finally get a hit after a string of duds, and talk about how they kept their chin up during the tough times. Athletes who say they “never stopped believing even when nobody gave us a chance.”
“The Sporting News predicted you’d win it in March,” Stan would yell at the radio.
He would scoff at some sports personality talking about a 32-year old former Super Bowl hero who had to retire because of injuries.
“I can’t imagine what he’s going through,” the sports personality would say.
“Christ 'o’ mighty,” Stan would exclaim. “He accomplished his ultimate goal, he is a millionaire set for life, well respected and able to work in or out of the game.” He would go into a faux whine of a voice. “Oh, do you not imagine what he’s going through? Is he dealing with hardship?”
Some gorgeous 25-year old girl making $200,000 for hosting a stupid show on MTV would appear on the front section of Parade under the headline, “How I gained the courage to cope.”
“Lord,” Stan would moan.
“How about being 37, unemployed without prospects, have your kid taken from you, living at home with your parents, run out of money, and have your hopes and dreams dashed?” Stan would intone. “Huh? Cope with that?” Stan despised prick athletes on strike. He was angry with a lot of things.
Dan would open Stan's mail and ask him personal questions.
"In the immortal words of Lynyrd Skynyrd," Stan replied in a stentorian tone, "Don't you ask me no stupid questions, and I won't tell you no liiieees."
"Goddamn fucking Kid, " was Dan's stock response.
So Stan prayed. He told himself he was in the wilderness, he was being tested, and he was paying his penance. He endured. Stan sought spiritual guidance from his pastor at the Episcopalian Church, Duane Larson.
"Reverend Larson," Stan said, "I'm at a cross-roads. I feel like I need to make changes in my life, like I've made mistakes, some of which are so small yet devastating. I've lost most of the things that are important to me. I feel like others make mistakes, bad moral choices, and they go without repercussion. But me, I think everything I do comes back to haunt me, like I'm being held to some higher standard, like more is expected of me than others."
"Maybe more is," Reverend Larson said. "Maybe you are more capable than others, so God requires more of you. They say God gives you only as much as you can handle."
"Reverend," said Stan. "I've committed many bad sins. I'm embarrassed to even say it."
"All of us sin," said the Reverend. "You're secrets are safe with me and not to be judged."
"I'm addicted to pornography," said Stan. "Lately I've sworn off it, but it's always in the back of my mind. It's gotten me in big trouble. Years ago I started watching it and became obsessed. I became obsessed with an adult film star and kind of stalked her, and got to know her. We fell in love. I even brought her to church. That was Michelle."
Larson's eyebrows rose.
"Really?" he said.
"She left me," said Stan. "We were supposed to be married. I guess it's just as well, but my ex-wife found out about her and took my daughter away from me. I've abstained from drinking, bars, women - but I’ve lived a hedonistic life. I lived like a Bohemian. Sex, alcohol, parties. I didn't respect women. Maybe I never will. I think I still have things from my childhood that make it almost impossible to look at women as normal people. Their objects of sex to me if they’re any good looking. It's not healthy for me to think like that."
"Prayer can help you change, Stan," said Larson. "The fact you recognize these things in yourself and seek out help to correct them are great signs. You are a thinking man and a man of conscience. Evil manifests itself in many ways, and one of those ways is through socio-path behavior. People commit acts of crime without remorse, without guilt. You feel guilt and ask yourself to do the right thing. You are a human and so it’s a struggle, but you recognize when you do wrong. That’s a very important step."
"So here's the $64,000 question," Stan responded. "What do I do to make my life better?"
"Keep the faith," said Larson. Stan did. It was not easy.
Stan noticed that all the sports predictions he had made when writing for the L.A. Times had come true. Jim Painter had ridiculed his predictions left and right. Stan knew Greg Papa, a Bay Area sports talk host and the voice of the Oakland Raiders and A’s. Papa had once told Stan that he had inside knowledge that Jerry Rice would be signing a free agent contract with the Raiders. Stan broke the story, saying he had heard it from a “Raider source.” Painter ripped him for it, saying, “Papa’s not a source, he’s a member of the media like you and me.”
Who is more closely associated with the Raiders than any other member of the media and who assured me it was a done deal, Stan had thought to himself before apologizing to Painter for his unprofessional conduct.
Sometimes Stan left notes for his parents, informing them of some small thing or another.
"Why do you leave notes?" Dan asked. "Can't you just come and talk to me?"
"If I wanted to talk to you," replied Stan, "I wouldn’t have left a note.”
Conversely, Dan would seek him out to give him heat about some kind of garbage.
"Put in a memo," Stan cut him off.
"Goddamn kid," Dan said.
Daisy kept crapping all over the place.
"Looks like a dog shit festival," Stan remarked.
Time passed and the tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. Stan's lack of employment was at the heart of the problem. For a long time, Stan did not have the energy to put himself back out there, facing rejection in a competitive world. Eventually, he up-dated his resume, put his writing samples together, and began to get back in the game. He started writing political pieces dealing with America's War on Terrorism, in response to the 9/11 attacks. He sent feelers to the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and to out-of-state papers like the New York Times. He tried for work with magazines. He tried to get work in Hollywood, on TV shows like "Arli$$". He tried to get Lon Robertson to get off his ass, to no avail. He received more form letters of rejection. He tried to network. He emailed old contacts. He tried everything he could think of. He got nothing. He went to work at a video store. He got off work and cried while driving home. Then he lost the video store job because the store closed its second location and no longer needed him.
Stan tried to contact Kaitlyn. Karen was true to her word. She and her husband had moved to Milwaukee and taken Kaitlyn with them. Stan never heard from Kaitlyn. Not a phone call, a letter, or an email. Nothing. He tried to call her. Karen would not let him talk to her.
"Go stick it up your ass," she liked to tell him.
Stan cried and cried and cried. He thought about going to the courts, or to get a lawyer to help him. He agonized. On Sundays he prayed for guidance and divine intervention. He hated Karen thoroughly and completely. He told Reverend Larson about it, and asked for forgiveness for feeling hate.
Stan also missed Michelle. He missed her love, her warm embrace, and her wicked sexuality. He was so lonely he could hardly stand it. He called and left a message. She called him back and said, "You need to lose my phone number."
Stan wrote his Uncle Charles, explaining how he needed employment. Charles called and said he would "see what I can do." He never did anything.
Billy Boswell had won the 2001 National League Most Valuable Player award. Stan observed his career from afar. He still loved baseball, but his life had sunk so far that he found it hard to truly "love" anything any more. He lived his life as if in a haze, numb to color and perspective. He refused to let himself get emotional over things. His passion for sports, for USC football, for all the things that had once stirred him and made him feel alive; his love of life, of fun, of women and friends, was gone. He never went out. He had no social life. He just lived with his parents and prayed to God.
2001 turned into 2002. The Winter of Stan Taylor's discontent. As Spring broke, Stan hoped that perhaps he would find passion. His natural inclination for optimism would inspire him to make his comeback. That was the theme of his life. He was the Comeback Kid. He had always won out in the end. He was not a quitter, his old man had taught him that.
The Major League teams went to their Spring Training camps. Stan read Larry Wishborn's stories from Vero Beach, and asked God to curb the hate he felt for him. When the teams broke camp, baseball again was big news, and Billy Boswell was the biggest name in the game. Early in the season, Stan was eating dinner in the family room with his parents. Dan turned on Fox Sports' "Best Damn Sports Show Period". The guest was Billy Boswell. Stan watched, and something caught his eye. Sitting next to Boswell was Larry Wishborn.
What the hell's that asshole doing with him? Stan asked himself.
He soon found out.
“I would like to announce,” Boswell told Tom Arnold and the other hosts, “that I am going to write my authorized autobiography with Larry Wishborn of the Los Angeles Times.”
“We have reached a deal with Random House,” Wishborn said. “Billy and I are splitting a $2 million up-front advance. We’ll be working on the book all season, and in the off-season, and it is due for publication by Opening Day, 2003. We also have agreed to a film deal with Universal Studios for an additional $1 million, split between Billy and myself. I will be writing the screenplay, based on the book I co-write with Billy.”
“Goddamn blacks,” Dan muttered. “They just stick to their own kind.”
Stan was mortified. Arnold then introduced a top Universal executive, who appeared via monitor from another location. He gave details about the upcoming “Billy Boswell film project…based on Billy’s and Larry Wishborn’s book.”
There were questions about who would play the lead, whether Billy would play himself, a la Muhammad Ali, and when the movie would premiere. There were questions about how Wishborn came to be involved in the project.
“Wasn’t former L.A. Times sports columnist Stan Taylor involved in this project at one time?” asked Chris Rose.
“Mr. Taylor and I had a parting of the ways,” Billy said, with just a slight sneer on his face. Billy went on to say that his book would be a “tell-all” tale.
“Will it detail your marriage to the adult film star Desiree?” asked Lisa Guerrero.
“Absolutely,” said Boswell. “This will dispel all the myths that have dogged me about that episode in my life. It’s time for the truth to be told.”
Stan just stared at the table.
“You fuckin’ people,” he muttered.
Then the phone rang. Dan answered. It was Mac. Mac had a funny sense of humor. He knew how much crap Dan liked to heap on Stan. Mac thought it was funny, so he liked to invent things to "stir it up."
"Hey, Mr. Taylor, " Mac said, "I just called because I heard Stan didn't take that job."
"What job?" asked Dan.
"With that reading school," Mac said brightly. "I heard they offered 40 grand but Stan wouldn't work for that." There was no reading school. Mac had made it up to get Dan fired up. Good old Mac.
Dan Taylor's face became purple with boiling rage.
"He'll call you back," he told Mac, and hung up the phone.
Dan walked over to Stan, and stood over him like the Colossus of Rhodes.
"How come you didn't tell us about that job?" he accused.
"What job?" asked Stan.
"Goddamn it all to lousy fucking hell," said Dan.
"Dan," shrieked Shirley.
Stan looked at his father with no reaction. He had no idea that Mac had pulled this "joke" on him. He was so used to these outbursts that he just endured it.
"Yeah," he said, the way Eastwood said it as Harry Callahan in "The Enforcer".
"Don't you give me any of your Goddamn shit," said Dan. "How dare you live under my Goddamn roof and turn down a job?"
"What job?" asked Stan, very casually.
'GODDAMN IT ALL TO LOUSY FUCKING GODDAMN IT ALL I HATE YOU YOU FUCKING GODDAMN FUCKING -.”
"Please, no," said Shirley. "Stan, how could you?"
Stan just stared at his parents. More of the same.
"Pass the barbeque sauce, please," he said.
Dan looked like he was ready to strike his son.
"Goddamn you all to hell," he said, and he was crying with hate. "You fucking asshole kid, Goddamn you lousy all to fucking hell, I hate you, Goddamn you I hate you."
"I love you," said Stan. Forgive him, Father, for he knows not what he does, he prayed.
"You disappoint us," shrieked Shirley.
"You fucking lied to us you cocksucker...you...cocksucker..." Dan cried.
"'Cocksucker,'" Dan said, as if he was a professor of linguistics. "That's quite a word. Especially when applied by a father to his son. Can I borrow that? Because I just have not called Kaitlyn a 'cocksucker,' but I really should. I mean, I need to be more like you, so my first step is to call my daughter a 'cocksucker.' And if I have not said this before, might I compliment you on your excellent use of the English language. You are a very impressive individual."
Dan's face was beet red. His forehead exploded.
"I want you out," he cried with venom and hate and evil. "You lousy rotten ungrateful cocksucking fucking Goddamn prick Goddamn you all to lousy hell."
"That's quite a concept, Dad," Stan said. "`Goddamn me all to hell.' For eternity with Satan, huh. That's a very nice thought. I appreciate it."
For 10 minutes Stan ate his dinner in silence while his mother and father took turns screaming and berating him. He…just…took...it. The way he took kids' abuse in junior high school. The way he always just took it. He prayed under his breath. He considered suicide. His father hated him so much, with such force, such velocity.
What have I done to deserve this? Stan asked the Lord Jesus Christ. He got no answer. He began to cry. He thought about Kaitlyn and Michelle and Larry Wishborn and Billy Boswell and…his father with disheveled hair when he was a kid. He thought about all the times he had been a snot-nosed brat. He thought about how it felt to pitch a perfect game. He thought about how it felt to make love to a beautiful woman, to party with good friends, to interview baseball's greatest player in a private office in a Manhattan strip club while keeping Howard Stern waiting. His life passed before his eyes. He thought about why his father hated him, and he also knew his father loved him. He snapped, the way he snapped when his father tore the door off the car in high school.
"I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU," he screamed at his old man. "I'VE DONE EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER ASKED AND ALL I'VE EVER GOTTEN WAS SHIT, BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE? YOU...ARE...AN ASS HO-AHL! HEAR ME? AN ASS HO-AHL."
Stan accentuated the word "asshole" to make the second syllable sound like "ho-ahl."
"So just fuck you," Stan said. "You want me gone. I'm gone."
Stan Taylor decided to commit suicide. He did not want to live anymore. He went to his car and drove to the cliffs above Portuguese Bend. He got out and looked at the Pacific Ocean. To the north, the L.A. Strand extended in a classic, endless stretch of beach from Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan, on up to Santa Monica, winding around to the distant Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu. He could see the late afternoon sun shining off of Pepperdine University in the final minutes of dusk. He approached the cliffs.
Just throw yourself, he said. He edged closer.
I'm gonna do it, he told himself.
Stan stopped in his tracks.
"Kaitlyn," he said, "where are you?"
He looked around. Nothing. Then he saw her. A vision on the ocean's horizon. His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, holding Kaitlyn's little hand.
"Don't do it, Daddy," said Kaitlyn. "I love you, Daddy.
Stan stared at her. She was with Jesus. He looked at the water, but it was not water. It was the eternal flames of hell. He saw lost souls and heard the wailing screams of the forever lost. He stared back at the horizon, but Christ and Kaitlyn were gone.
"Don't forsake me," he said.
He ran to his car and drove to the nearest pay phone. He called Karen in Milwaukee.
"Hello," said Karen.
"Is Kaitlyn all right?" asked Stan.
"I told you not to call, asshole," said Karen. A vision of hell again flashed before Stan's eyes.
"Please, is she safe?" asked Stan.
"Of course she's safe," said Karen.
"You're sure?" said Stan. "Is she with you now?"
"I'm looking at her," said Karen, "but you won't ever be doing that again, you fuck-."
Stan threw the phone down and drove to Mac's.
"Mac," Stan told him, "don't ever call the house to stir up the folks again. Mind if I crash on your couch?"
Stan stayed at Mac's a few days. Then he stoically returned home.
"I'm sorry I called you an asshole," he said to his father. "I apologize."
His father just stared at the television. Over time, things calmed down. His father ranted about how “this nigger Wishborn” had “stolen” the book from Dan, and he was equally furious at “that Goddamn spoiled millionaire nigger Boswell. I never liked him. He was always an uppity pissant ever since little league.”
Stan had nothing to say. He was in a funk. He felt his life was over. Where could he go from here? Could he rebound from this disaster? How could life reward Larry Wishborn with such a thing after the way he had gone about backstabbing Stan?
Nice guys do finish last, Stan told himself. Still, he thought about Robert Evans’ line, “the kid stays in the picture.” He thought about how Liddy had stayed in the game despite being in prison. He thought about how Nixon had rehabilitated himself in the public eye after Watergate. He thought about what his own father always told him.
“Never quit,” Dan had said. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
But this latest hit was so devastating in consequence as to render him almost paralyzed.
Two days later, Stan turned on the television, and there was Desiree Boswell, Billy’s ex-porn star wife. She was still quite a sexy broad, wearing a low cut top that revealed substantial cleavage. Her female attorney, Haley Bursten, accompanied Desiree.
“What’s your reaction to your ex-husband writing a 'tell-all’ book that will blow the lid off your marriage to him?” she was asked.
“My ex-husband is a liar and a cheat,” she said. “If he chooses to discredit me publicly, I can play that game. I have enough on him to put him behind bars. You ain’t heard nothing yet. What came out during the divorce was nothing. I have enough on him to ruin him, and everything he’s ever built up with this baseball career of his. He’s made all this money and had all this hero worship, but if the public were to know half the truth about him, he would not be allowed to be a public figure anymore.”
“Can you detail some of the things you are talking about at this time?” she was asked.
“Ms. Boswell will have no further comment on this matter,” said the attorney.
Stan stared at the screen.
No, Stan, don't do it, Jesus said to him.
Forgive me for I have done, Stan replied, and for what I am going to do.
By The Doors
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism