Inside I approach a harassed looking black woman behind the main desk, who looks like a shapeless boy dressed up in his father’s oversized uniform, the black-tie adding an unfortunate novelty to the whole outfit.
“I’m here to see Frank.” I say adding, “about a murder.” hoping to provide the required clarification to her bemused face. But nothing. “Tell him it’s Ricki, he’s expecting me.” I say before retiring over to a wooden bench.
Fifteen minutes later I’m finally greeted by Frank, a lean looking Varsity assistant coach with a crew-cut and rolled up sleeves, who points his index finger and thumb gun at me while announcing my name and I’m very surprised by the limpness of his handshake, which appears totally out of character. Walking through the station, I follow Frank as he casually marches us through a plethora of degenerates, a mixture of manic energy and resignation, until we reach the door of a quiet corridor. Inside, the interrogation room is a lot less dramatic than I anticipated with the room resembling a butler’s pantry for disenfranchised immigrant kitchen staff with the non-existent lighting causing me to wonder how anything will be salvable for TV. After he instructs me to sit down he asks why I’m here and I feed him the line before enquiring if we’re recording yet, looking around the room in a frenzied attempt to find the cameras so I can work my best side.
“No not yet. I’m a grab my partner first. You want anything before we start?” And conscious of how long these shoots can take and my unfinished meatball sub I ask for some pizza and a Pepsi max.
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Twenty minutes later Frank returns with his partner in tow, a diminutive Puerto Rican Donnie Brasco named Vasquez, the type of cop who puts away a drug dealer and returns to fuck his wife. Jesus Kris really wasn’t lying about the Mexican demographic…Frank makes the necessary introductions and slides across a can of Coke before making a quip about the vending machine being out of pizza, much to Vasquez’s chagrin. I’m about to ask what happened to my Pepsi Max when Frank clicks the button on his recorder, and does a quick sound check for posterity.
“Testing, testing, 1-2, 1-2-3” He says before rewinding back to check.
“We good to go?” Vasquez asks to which Franks responds with a cursory nod and it’s lights, cameras, action.
The interview begins with a lot of painstaking formalities, date, time etc. and it’s hard to get any flow or rhythm as every answer I give is deconstructed, rearranged, and regurgitated ad nausea. Every answer met with an unquenchable thirst for details, details far outside the remit from which Kris prepared me for, like where I bought the gun, and how did I dispose of the weapon. Halfway through a key monologue I’m once again interrupted by Vasquez who asks me about my legal attorney.
“Like I said to Frank, I’ll give Skip a call when I’m finished my statement. The truth must be told.” I say angling my stronger side to where I think the camera might be.
All in all the process takes about ninety minutes and I’m beyond spent when the interview finally draws to a close. My voice hoarse from having to project, enunciate and talk non-stop, monologues worthy of any Hollywood leading man. I know Kris will probably be pissed at me for going off track and developing my character’s back story and motivation but fuck ’em – I bled for my art. And besides, I provided more than enough memorable soundbites, my own personal favourite being when Vasquez questioned me about why I felt compelled to kill Jorge in the first place to which I replied, “because necessity needs no reasoning”. Once we wrap up I’m brought into a room next door by Vasquez who tells me I’ve one call, and to make it quick.
“Sure. I think I’m losing my voice,” I say clearing my throat, “could you get me another drink? And make sure it’s a Pepsi Max this time.” I say which causes Vasquez to laugh in disbelief, “You got some balls you know that?” He says. Yeah which is why I’m the fuckin’ star of the show and you’re nothing than an ethnic prop – like a pineapple or Cuban cigar. I dial the number and an elderly lady with a slow Texas drawl answers the phone.
“Can I speak to Skip?”
“Skip who?”
“I’m sorry sweetheart I might be 84 years old but I wasn’t born yesterday.”
“I guess he SKIPPED town.” She says laughing so wholeheartedly that I can’t get a word in edgeways, leaving me no choice but to hang-up and dial again.

Next chapter.

Previous chapter.

From the beginning.

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