“What do I think love is?” Benjamin Valencia repeated the interviewer’s question from his steel chair in front of the camera. “Love isn’t the fairy tale nonsense kids think it is, but I think even kids know that stuff is just bullshit. Sometimes real love comes around for a person though. I was still a kid when she came around for me. I had just turned 19, and I was working at Jake’s Garage on the north end. I’ve always been good with my hands, always known my way around an engine. Anyway, she was maybe 16 going on 24 when she brought in her 82 Pinto. It was 1983, so I could tell she was a good girl; good girls always drove newer cars back then. It wasn’t until two days later, when I woke up after a night of cocaine and fucking, that I realized just how bad good girls could be.”
“Her name was Claudette, and she was in her senior year of high school. And for some fuckall reason- my grease smelling, tobacco smoking, shit-grin self got lucky enough to catch her attention. Not just in a lets-fuck sort of way either...but there was definitely some fucking. She’d turn me on in ways beyond all that though. Sometimes she’d just say my name with a little emphasize on the end, “Benneeee” or something. I don’t fucking know. It just lit me up. She was the real deal. Love was it, with a capital I-T. I don’t care what people think now, looking back. It was fucking love. Not that fairy tale nonsense, but real, raw, sexy as fuck, love.
The first time I knew I loved her, beyond just that puppy- lust bullshit that happens at first, was probably only a week after I met her. We were sitting on my cousin Jimmy’s couch, that’s who I stayed with back then. Her parents had kicked her out, said if she wanted to act like an adult she could see how it felt without their money. So she was crashing there too, and we were sitting on the couch one day and she said to me, “Bennie, if I decided to go home and finish school and deal with the bullshit for another couple months, would you forget about me?”
And I fuckin sat there completely bewildered at the concept that I could forget about her. It blew me fuckin away. First off, Claudette wasn’t forgettable; I’m sure the whole fucking world has realized that fact. But second of all, she was worried I would forget HER? She somehow had it in her cute little head that she was the lucky motherfucker to be with me. Man, she had it so fuckin wrong. I don’t really remember what I said, probably some lame as bullshit like “I love you” or something. But after that, there was never a question of who was lucky. It was me, and she knew I thought it and she still thought it was her, and seriously, that’s what fucking love is. Not just at first either, for-fucking-ever. I still feel like a goddamn lottery winner. It’s been what…, 23 years? Twenty-three years since I’ve seen that girl, and I still get warm and fuzzy on the inside, rock hard on the outside--if ya know what I mean.
But the time when Claudette and I realized what our love meant, cause that’s the real question you want to fucking ask, let’s be real- When did we realize that our love meant I’d be waiting to die for taking the lives of some shit-stain motherfuckers? That moment was October 1984, out at the old Weldon junkyard. We were out there with some buddies; she had finished school and was even taking some classes at the community college. Her parents had tried to accept me as a part of her life (my parents don’t fucking matter to this story) and we were shacking up in a little one bedroom near the river. It was the sort of life you don’t want your kids to have, in hindsight. In the moment though, it was a good fuckin deal. So this one night, we were drinking, smoking some weed, maybe some X was going around - those nights blur a bit - and this one fuckin jerkcock named Stevie was there, running his goddamn mouth.
Let me just make this already long fucking story a bit shorter and sum Stevie up as the densest brick anyone has ever met. So he was walking around the bonfire spouting off about how some dude that I don’t even fucking remember owed him a lap dance from a skank at the club or some fucking stupid unimportant bullshit. And it was even more fucking stupid because no way did Stevie ever have his own goddamn money, let alone any to loan someone, right? And I said as much to him and he got all mouthy talking bout how he had some money and I didn’t know shit.
Well, it settled down. I wasn’t really the type to fucking hit a dude despite what the entire world probably thinks. We just let him ramble to some other folks and a few of us started on about something else. Then Claude takes me by the hand, tellin me with her body that she wanted me to herself. I know I was drinking that night and it was so many fuckin years ago, but I remember walkin with her behind a stack of crushed cars and realizing all over again how lucky I was to have her. She fucked me pretty good in the dust that night. But the real shit had only just started at that point.
The newsstories say I was the mastermind. Like I tricked Claudie into shit. Anyone with half a brain can see that’s fuckin ludicrous. It’s highly unlikely anyone thinks I’m the smart one of the two of us, not to say I’m a fuckin idiot or nothing though. Anyway, so for the sake of this conversation, let’s just have you remove the idea that Claudette was an innocent fucking kid in this story.
So she was pullin her jeans back up, her perky tits still out, and with that unfair cock teasing mouth of hers she says to me, ‘I wanna teach Stevie a lesson’.
‘Okies’ I said, ‘How ya gonna do that?’
‘Promise you won’t get mad?’
I pulled her close, grabbin’ those titties as I laid a kiss on her pouty fuckin lips, ‘Why the fuck would I get mad? He’s a piece of shit,’ I laughed it off.
She giggled, got dressed, and skipped off while I sat against a metal clump and lit a cigarette. Winston shorts.
It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes, because I was only just about to flick that cigarette away when I heard her laugh from around a corner. She was whispering and I could hear a guy’s voice. My blood started to heat up, though I couldn’t figure out why in the hell she’d be up to something like fuckin around with another guy when I just made her come all over the goddamn place. That’s when I realized it was Stevie. His fuckin voice was annoying already, and I was instantly a million times more pissed off than I think I have ever been in my life before or since. I started to head over there but Claudette rounded that corner just in time and had her finger pressed to her lips, you know, telling me to shut up.
‘Oh Stevie, don’t you know anything?’ She said as she giggled and disappeared back around that corner. I listened then, realizing she was up to some-fuckin-thing. And in the span of ten minutes, that girl, fuckin clever shit, had convinced Ol’ Stevie to tell her where he had some money stashed (something like $1300),to strip down to his boxers (mind you I guess she had some hand in that…literally, but let’s not fuckin dwell), and ready to do whatever she fuckin wanted. Then I hear her say to him, in that sweet sexy-time voice chicks do, ‘You wait right here, I know what you need.’
Then she came around the corner again and kissed me so hard I was swallowing her tongue. I was confused a second and I just stood there. She leaned back from the kiss and showed me what was in her hands, obviously picked- up while her mouth was fucking mine. She had a crow bar… and to be honest, before I knew what I was seeing, she was gone again. Then I heard a weird thunk noise & a loud moan. Then some more thunks. I finally took the steps around the corner and saw that sexy cunt covered in blood standing over Stevie, his dick hard as a rock and his face not even recognizable. It was the most disgusting and most horrific thing I have ever seen. I fucked her right there next to him. She came so fucking hard; I remember her hair was sticky with Stevie’s blood.
As you know that was only our first. Those four years were some wild fucking times though, believe that. And as fucked up as that shit is, the whole package…that’s love. So when someone asks me what love is, I say: it’s Claudette. Her red hair, her knobby knees, the way her upper lip curled under when she laughed, the way she loved to be bad.
She did love it too.
I know people think she didn’t. She probably still does though, truth told. But she’s not stuck in here, like me. Talking to stupid shits like you who want to tell more stupid fucks out there the sorted details of a twisted man. It’s easy to think I’m the evil that inspired Claudette’s past. And that’s really fuckin okay, because she doesn’t deserve this life. She deserves a real life. I think she got one too, heard she had a family and some horses up near Chicago.
I haven’t seen her since I first got locked up though, cause that’s fuckin love too.
I don’t mind having done all my living before 23. I don’t mind being in here, barely able to look out there. And I really don’t fucking care if people think me a monster. Every one of those fucks who label me is probably a fuckin’ monster too. We’re all monsters. But at least I can say I had love. So when they push that button tomorrow…” his voice trailed off, “well fuck. I’m done.”