A couple of months before I split up with Alice I started a new job. The company was called Ultra Tec. They are a manufacturer of gem faceting machines and other high precision specialized gadgetry for various hi-tech markets. My function there was to set up, program, and operate multi-axis computer numerically controlled cutting equipment.
All right... look. I have started writing the following part and abandoned it and started again several times already. I could not decide whether or not to include certain details. I have decided to go ahead and tell almost all. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
After Alice and I had been broken up for a few months I met a girl named beatrice at a bar called "Knuckle Heads" in San Clemente. We hit it off pretty good right off the bat. We started spending a lot of time together. We started dating.
She lived in a mobile home park on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. She told me that she was divorced and that her estranged ex-husband was away over seas. After a few weeks she suggested that I move in with her so we could both save some money.
I moved in to one of three bedrooms in the trailer. She said that she didn't want to sleep in the same room because the memories of her "ex" were just too painful. This seemed a little weird to me but whatever.
Almost immediately after I moved in she started acting peculiarly in the sense that she would only want to have sex for a two or three day period every month. The rest of the time she would be friendly but would always come up with an excuse. She spent a lot of time in her room.
Right from the get go I started hearing strange noises. I had figured that it was probably racoons or possums seeing as how both were in abundance in the area. Then one night I heard what sounded like her talking to someone else in her room. I went to see if everything was okay and she told me that it was just the TV.
After a while I started thinking that I was hearing noises coming from her bedroom when she was in the kitchen or the living room. I dismissed this as paranoia. Must be the neighbors or something. Or I was losing my mind.
One day after hearing this stuff for a few months I decided to ask her about it. She freaked out and told me I was insane. She later apologized and said that she had been hearing it to but didn't know what it was. Maybe animals under the house she said.
After about six months or so beatrice and I were watching TV one night and I swear I heard footsteps coming from the direction of her room. I leapt up and ran back to her room to investigate. There was nothing there except Beatrice hot on my heels.
Once again she flipped out and once again she apologized. Later that night I thought I heard her arguing with someone in her room. It was very hushed but I was sure of it.
The next day when she was out at the store I went down the hallway and opened the door to her room. I went back to the living room, turned on the stereo and sat on the couch. When the television was turned off you could see her room in the reflection on the screen.
If I thought I was crazy before... then I knew I was crazy now. I've never been so scared before. After a couple of songs had played I saw a figure dressed in camouflage creep silently passed the open door to her room, enter the closet, and slide the door shut.
I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. Either I was completely out of my mind or there was someone in the closet in her room.
I collected as much of my senses as I could. I went to the kitchen and grabbed the biggest knife I could find. With my pulse racing about double the norm I crept down the hallway till I got to the closet. I slowly reached forward with a badly trembling hand and threw open the closet door. There standing before me was a closet full of clothes.
With sweat dripping off of my face I moved aside the clothes in utter disbelief. With the exception of a couple of boxes on the floor there was nothing there but neatly hung garments.
Then I saw it... on the floor of the closet was an area where the carpet had been cut in a square. I tested it carefully with my foot and it became obvious that it was a trap door leading under the house. I didn't open it but rather went back into the kitchen and put the knife away.
Whoever it was apparently meant me no harm. They could have killed me at any time while I was sleeping. But now they might know that I know that they're there.
Beatrice's "ex-husband" was a counter-sniper instructor. That is to say that he trained already skilled snipers how to detect, hide from, and eliminate other snipers. His name was Jack.
But Jack was over seas. Therefore it seemed logical to deduce that a jealous ex-husband was having one of his students gather intelligence on his home situation. The truth turned out to be so much stranger than that... and the timing too.
I made up my mind to get the hell out of there while the getting was good. Beatrice came home a few minutes later. I didn't mention what had happened... not a word. Later that night after beatrice had retired for the evening I packed up my stuff and prepared for my getaway.
The next morning I was awoken by someone talking with the next door neighbor. "B" usually slept in so I got up and went out to my car. There must have been maneuvers or something because the usually quiet street was bustling with activity.
I left the base and drove a couple of miles to the Seven-Eleven to get some coffee. At the store there was an unusual amount of people standing around. I got my coffee and walked rather nonchalantly to the counter.
When I was paying for my joe some guy tapped me on the arm and said "are you seeing this?" The crowd in the store was there watching the television. I looked up at it just in time to watch the second plane crash into the World Trade Center.
I watched the tube in horror for a few endless moments. Finally I decided I'd better get to stepping. I stood at the door in shock for a second after I walked out the door and saw the marine sitting in the passenger seat of my car.
I tried to act like I wasn't surprised... I don't know if it worked or not. I got in my car like nothing was the matter. I was too scared to look at him.
He said "your leaving?"... I said "yah... ya think?" he said "my name's Jack" and extended his hand. All I could think was HOLY SHIT! as I shook his hand. The guy was a killing machine after all.
He said "I'm afraid we owe you an apology." he asked me if I would give him a ride back to the base. With some degree of trepidation I agreed. Neither of us said anything on the way back.
When we returned to the pad "B" was inside crying with a fervor. The three of us sat there in their living room while Jack explained that he had been bivouacked under the mobile home for the last eight months... while Beatrice was trying to get pregnant... WHAT THE F#?%.
They had been married for several years. They were still very much in love. They had had seven... count them... seven miscarriages.
Out of frustration or an apparently desperate, overdriven, psychotic, maternal, paternal, parental, procreative, whatever. They had concocted this absurd scheme to obtain an infusion of non-familiar sperm. I was the unwitting would be donor.
Suddenly it all made sense... well... sort of. They had actually chosen me before I ever met Beatrice. About a week before we met I had encountered a young marine while I was playing my guitar at the beach.
Artistic ability, a scientifically inclined mind, a good sense of humor, and being on the rebound from a relationship, were apparently my qualifications... I had wondered why he had asked me so many personal questions... I had thought he was either a cop or gay. He had been one of Jack's students doing recon.
I had told him when and where I would be playing guitar next and Beatrice was there waiting in ambush. I guess we only had sex when she was ovulating... I thought I had fallen in love with her and she new it... she had said she loved me too... I walked out their door whistling "Norwegian Wood" by "The Beatles", my eyes welling with tears, and set out to destroy myself.
I recoiled into my car on 9/11 2001 and wound up moving in with a friend of mine named David a month later. He used to go out with my sister in high school. Everyone who was living there was ingesting copious quantities of crystal meth... myself included.
I don't know precisely how many days I had gone without sleep. I can't tell you what was going through my mind. I honestly don't remember. Safe to say it probably wasn't too kosher.
Reality can be something very subjective. When completely absorbed in a delusional system... when you snort the fine line between fantasy and reality off of a cookie sheet because a mirror's not big enough any more... what's actual and what's not can become an indistinguishable blur.
What I can tell you is that in early 2002 I took an eight inch long boning knife and stabbed David twice in the back. He had done nothing to deserve it... of that I am sure. I'm so sorry David please forgive me...
I just don't remember what I was thinking or why I did it... neither can I tell you why David tried to stab himself in the back two more times, after I did, cutting his thumb open in the process. Your guess is as good as mine.
All I remember was thinking "God please forgive me for this"... then I hit him twice with a knife almost long enough to come out the other side and he didn't bleed at all... there were no internal injuries, there were no stitches... NOTHING!... I praise the lord that he didn't get hurt... divine intervention?
After spending eight months in jail I plead guilty to all four stab wounds in order to get out. I had never even hit anyone out of anger before. Never been in a fight in my whole life. Now I was a felon with a strike. I would eventually complete three years of probation without incident.
Once again a free man, with eight months of sobriety, I checked myself into a sober living house till I could get back on my feet. I went to work at a little restaurant in San Clemente called The Village Mediterranean Inn. My second day there something happened and my whole future changed.
She was absolutely stunning. Four feet ten inches tall. Shoulder length, wavy, black hair. She weighed a hundred pounds and had one silver canine tooth on the top left of her mouth. Her smile could stop time.
I was never one to believe in love at first sight... but I knew the minute I saw her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. As I got to know her these feelings were affirmed, more and more, every day. A more perfect match may never before have existed on this world.
We were married about a year later. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. But I don't think anything could have prepared us for what we were about to go through.
Eight months after we were married Teresa received a phone call. She has three beautiful daughters who had been Living with some relatives in Mexico. They were taken away from the people they were staying with by the Mexican Government. Apparently they were being mistreated. She would have to leave to go get them back.
Once she left she couldn't come back. She had been in the country illegally. She left on the fifth of may 2004. I went to mexico and visited her a couple times and I sent her money as often as I could. All we could really do was wait for her papers to go through... and pray.
P.S. for what it's worth Beatrice and Jack delivered the first of their two children right before I was released from jail.