When I lived in Illinois I knew a guy named Chet. This was a suburb of Chicago, a place for wealthy white computer technicians and barely surviving landscape corporations, so the name wasn't mocked. Chet, Dakota, Tora, Toreador, all names chosen by rich parents who needed to sound like they'd been somewhere.

Chet was fantastically good looking. It's difficult to convey to you with black letters on a white screen. I'll let my difficulty with expression suffice as the strongest superlative. His features were sharp, he was made of angles, like if Euclid designed his own child.

Chet also had a girlfriend; her name was Lisa Smith. She was a half-Egyptian, half-Norwegian girl with a remarkably plain name. Lisa and I were good friends but Chet and I didn't get along. I called him pretty, he called me a fag, we were both right.

Chet had quite a temper; one time he backed me into a glass case depicting the strife of the Native Americans that was on display for "We give a shit, really we do" month. We had two or three months like that.


He backed me up against the case, his eyes glowed with some kind of inhuman rage. He was angry because he felt I had fucked his girl. I did my best to make sure people knew I didn't fuck girls, his or anyone else's.

A few weeks later we were all at a party and I saw Chet become very very angry with her. They went out into the garage to fight. What happened instead was that he killed her. He hit her with a large tool, I don't remember its name. It was in an anger induced by a chemical with the bizarre tendency to build your body but destroy your mind.

Then, while sleeping that sleep that we shall all one day sleep, he fucked her.

He tried to hide her body in his car but his parents found it the next day.

He went to court.

He got natural life in prison. He was a guy who held his head up high, a guy with a puffed out chest, a guy who never allowed anyone to get away with insulting him. A friend of mine, Pablo, knew this. Before the end of Chet's trial, Pablo saw him, took him aside and imparted the following: "Hey man, my whole family's been in and out of the slammer my whole life. Lemme' give you some advice. Just keep your head low, make some friends, don't open your mouth until you have the power to back it up." Not surprisingly, Chet shrugged and told him that he didn't need help.

My friend Jonathon visited one of Cook County's fine correctional institutes recently. Jonathon works a special job with the police department of Chicago but won't tell me what he does. He said that he saw a man, a man with a perfect body wearing a dress. He said the man's legs were covered with scars, "Tags," Jonathon said, "he was property. He was not just somebody, but a couple of people's bitch."

"His face," Jonathon continued, "was perfectly angular too. Except for where I could tell his nose had obviously been broken several times. Also, he didn't appear to have any front teeth."

An honest question that I can't help but ask, Justice?

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