When I moved to Los Angeles in 2006, I started from scratch with my weed hook-ups. Back then I was a daily smoker in a big way. I don’t think there was an hour of the day that I wasn’t stoned and I couldn’t imagine that there would ever be a day that I wasn’t stoned. I’m not exactly sure how I got connected to the guy that threatened to kill me over a VHS tape and a feature script, but I wasn’t really discriminating against even the sketchiest of drug dealers back then.
If I had to guess I’d say this guy, who went by a name that was something like “Greenie”, was referred to me by a dealer that I was referred to by another dealer when my original dealer got a real job and stopped selling. I would drive down to the neighborhood that LAX was in and wait in the parking lot of Magic Johnson’s T.G.I. Friday’s until he would call me and tell me to meet him in front of the Payless Shoe Source. Then I’d get in his car (so fucking stupid) and chit-chat with him until we seemed like we might be a couple of pals catching up and then he’d give me my weed in an empty Newports box and I’d slip him $40 in an envelope. Then I’d get stoned in my car and drive home feeling like I was really starting to get the hang of this city.
At the time I was working for a premium cable network that had a comedy website that was supposed to be their answer to Funny Or Die/ Huffington Post. Their vision was v. unclear and we were all getting paid a crazy amount of money for writing shitty sketches then hiring decent comedians to perform them for us. I would be stoned pretty much every day at that office and never treated it like a real job because it was so obvious that the whole thing was going to fall apart soon. But being young and naïve and again, new to the city and life, basically, I’d tell people, “Oh yeah, I work at [insert premium channel’s name here.]” and they’d be all like, “Wow, you’re so impressive,” and I’d be like, “I know.”
During one of our chats, Greenie asked me what I did for a living and I told him what I told everyone. It didn’t even occur to me that I might not want to tell my drug dealer where I work and what I do. As soon as he heard the flashy name, he started to tell me about his friend who was in prison for murder (and how he was totally innocent) who had written a movie about his days as a martial artist. He started to pitch the project, basically. I listened politely because like, why not, and then he told me he was going to get me the script to read and give notes on. I explained that I had limited experience with any kind of screenwriting and absolutely no pull at my company. I wasn’t even in the feature department. I wasn’t even in any department, really.
He ignored this completely and the next time we saw each other, he handed me a manilla envelope and a VHS tape that had some sort of martial arts tournament on it. Then he told me that I was now in possession of the sole copies of each of these items and that when I was done, I needed to get it back to him. I told him that there’s no way he should give me or anyone the only copies of anything—legally, logistically, whatever—it just made no sense. But he insisted. Really insisted. As in, I put them back down on his center console and he shoved them back into my hands. And I was 22 and weighed like, 100 pounds and was in a car parked outside of a Payless with a virtual stranger in what I now know is not the safest area.
I took the script and the VHS and drove over to my friend’s house to get stoned and eat his parent’s food. At one point we decided to go to another friend’s place and in my haze, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to bring the script and the VHS with us to show everyone and be like, “haha, check out this thing a murderer wrote.”
I think you see where this is going.
I left the script and the VHS in the back seat of my friend’s car and then a week later, he drove up to Portland to record a parody version of Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick.” He never came back. He full-blown moved there for good and married some vegan stripper.
So I started to get calls from Greenie and he’d be like, “Hey, where’s my script and my VHS?” and I’d be like, “Oh, they’re in my friend’s car. I’ll get them to you.” But I knew that shit was gone for good. I figured I’d just ride it out as long as I could and when things got serious, I would move to a new apartment (he’d made a couple deliveries to my place) and get on with my life.
Then the phone calls started to get more and more serious. He’d leave phone messages in a sing-songy voice like, “Moooooll-yyy. Mooooooooll-yyyy. I know you’re hiding little girl. Where are you hiding?”
And then he’d hang up.
I didn’t tell anyone about this. In fact, this is my first time telling anyone about this ever because, believe it or not, being forced to accept a script written by a murderer as well as a VHS tape of a martial arts tournament is not something I’m proud of. I’m also not proud of the fact that I was buying weed in front of a discount shoe retailer by the airport or that I was hanging out with a person who moved out of state to record a “My Dick” parody, which was actually NOT a parody and more like a part two.
Finally I got the death threat. I couldn’t even listen to the whole thing. I’m a coward, I know. It was like, “Listen to me, you little bitch. If I ever see you again, I will put you to sleep. You don’t fuck with me.”
I’m from suburban Massachusetts. I had never gotten a call like that before. I was running with people that were a little too real for me and for what– $280 dollars worth of weed over a period of three months?
I never ran into him again but every time I drive by LAX I hold my breath in hopes that he’s not still lurking around there, waiting to blow my head off because his friend’s movie is never going to get made.