K is for Killer Page 16

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"Little over two years. Right after I started doing this show. I was in Seattle before that, but the damp got to me. I heard about this job through a friend of a friend."

"Is your background in broadcast?"

"Communications," he said. "Radio and TV production; video to some extent, though it never interested me much. I'm from Cincinnati originally, graduated from the university, but I've worked everywhere. Anyway, I met Lorna when I first got down here. She was a night owl by nature, and she started calling in requests. Between cuts and commercials, we'd sometimes talk for an hour. She began to drop by the studio, maybe once a week at first. Toward the end, she was here just about every night. Two-thirty, three, she'd bring doughnuts and coffee, bones for Beauty if she'd been out to dinner. Sometimes I think it was the dog she cared about. They had some kind of psychic affinity. Lorna used to claim they'd been lovers in another life. Beauty's still waiting for her to come back. Three o'clock, she goes out to the stairs and just stands there, looking up. Makes this little sound in her throat that'd break your heart." He shook his head, waving off the image with curious impatience.

"What was Lorna like?"

"Complicated. I thought she was a beautiful, tortured soul. Restless, disconnected, probably depressed. But that was just one part. She was split, a contradiction. It wasn't all the dark stuff."

"Was she into drugs or alcohol?"

"Not as far as I know. She blew hot and cold. She was nearly hyper sometimes. If you want to get analytical, I'd be tempted to label her manic-depressive, but that doesn't really capture it. It was like a battle she fought, and the down side finally won."

"I guess we all have that in us."

"I do, that's for sure."

"You knew she did a porno film?"

"I heard about that. I never saw it myself, but I guess the word was out.", "When was it shot? Any time close to her death?"

"I don't know much about that. She was out of town a lot on weekends, Los Angeles, Sun Francisco. Could have been one of those trips. I really couldn't say for sure."

"So it was not something you discussed."

He shook his head. "She enjoyed being tight-lipped. I think it made her feel powerful. I learned not to pry into her personal affairs."

"Any idea why she did the film? Was it money?"

"I doubt it. Producer probably cleans up, but the actors get a flat rate. At least from what I've heard," he said. "Maybe she did it for the same reason she did anything. Lorna flirted with disaster every day of her life. If you want my theory, fear was the only real sensation she felt. Danger was like a drug. She had to boost the dose. She couldn't help herself. Didn't seem to matter what anyone said. I used to talk 'til I was blue in the face. It never made any difference as far as I could see. This is just my observation, and I could be all wrong, but you asked and I'm answering. She'd act like she was listening. She'd act like she agreed with every word you said, but then it washed right over her. She went right on doing it, whatever it was. She was like an addict, a junkie. She knew the life wasn't good, but she couldn't make the break."

"Did she trust you?"

"I wouldn't say that. Not really. Lorna didn't trust anyone. She was like Beauty in that respect. She might have trusted me more than most."

"Why was that?"

"I never came on to her, so I wasn't any kind of threat. With no sexual investment, she couldn't lose with me. She couldn't win, either, but that suited us both. With Lorna, you had to keep your distance. She was the kind of woman, the minute you got involved, it was over, pal. That was the end of it. The only way you could hold on to her was to keep her at arm's length. I knew the rule, but I couldn't always manage it. I was hooked myself. I kept wanting to save her, and it couldn't be done."

"Did she tell you what was going on in her life?"

"Some things. Trivia, for the most part. Just the day-to-day stuff.

She never confided anything important. Events, but not feelings. You know what I mean? Even then, I doubt she ever really leveled with me. I knew some things, but not always because she told me."

"How'd you get your information?"

"I have buddies around town. I'd get frustrated with her behavior. She'd swear she was playing straight, but I guess she really couldn't give it up. Next thing you know, she'd be picking up guys. Twosomes, threesomes, anything you want. People would see her and make a point of telling me, worried I was getting in over my head."

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