Who Is Anthony Stephens?

The Life and Death of a College Grad

17-22

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Interview with Graham Baker: Part 1

Who Is Anthony Stephens?

Graham Baker is a private investigator and bounty hunter in Jacksonville, FL. Over the past few years, he has frequently been an object of interest in the public eye due to the high profile captures of various celebrities on the run from the law, including but not limited to: Lindsay Lohan (cocaine possession), Lil’ Wayne (gun/marijuana possession), Charlie Sheen (domestic violence/probation violation), and Andy Dick (sexual battery). Mr. Baker works out of his office in Downtown Jacksonville which overlooks the conglomeration of buildings surrounding St. John’s River on Florida’s northeast coast.

16 July 2011

– Yes, sir. Dealt with pseudocide[1] on many an occasion.

[Mr. Baker chuckles] It’s a science. Not for everybody, I’ll tell you that. It’s kind of like—alright, put it in layman’s terms, it’s kind of like a one night stand where the girl ends up pregnant, you get me? A drunken, spur of the moment decision that drastically changes at least one person’s life, depending on whether or not the guy sticks around, but he’s not thinking like that when he goes in that room, right? He just wants to get laid. [Mr. Baker chuckles again]

– It’s the truth, hombre. And, in the same vein of thought, most pseudociders, they’re operating off of instinct. They don’t care about the consequences, they just want that one night of peace. We’ve all got the fight or flight plan built in to our DNA. Some people have just got different triggers than others. But what most people don’t realize, the most difficult thing about pseudocide is you’ve got to leave everything behind. I mean everything.

– Most people don’t think about that when the idea pops into their head. Or maybe they do but they don’t really know what it means. They see the bills piling up, their boss is on their ass day in, day out, they got a girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or husband at home whose treating them like shit, loan sharks are breathing down their neck, pick your poison. And they think, I could leave all this behind. I could definitely leave all this behind. But your job, your spouse, your finances, all of that’s only part of who you are, you follow?

– We humans, we’re complicated creatures. Very complicated. When people go through with the task of disappearing who they’ve been their entire life, when they realize they really can’t go back to anything that’s ever defined them as a person, that they’ve got to resort to all types of drastic measures to really get away—I’m talking total identity annihilation, sometimes even plastic surgery if you’ve got the type of features that are easily identifiable—they usually snap. And that’s when they make the mistakes that get them caught by whoever’s looking for them, any type of hunter, from the crazy stalker to the FBI. It’s all outlined in my book, The Pseudocider’s Handbook. Check it out some time.


[1] Pseudocide: a slang term meant to indicate the act of faking one’s own death.

________________________________________________________________________

Interview with Wayne “Classic” Price: Part 4

11 July 2011

– Consolation my ass. Tony standin’ in Earl’s apartment cryin’ and snottin’ all over the place and shit ‘cause some heifer who was fuckin’ him on the side ain’t want his ass no more. Nigga ain’t need no consolation in that situation. Needed a kick in the head. And, way Earl told me, Tony knew ‘bout it, too. Tony standin’ there mad as hell, actin’ like a little bitch, but he can’t say nothin’ to Louise ‘cause he knew the whole goddamn time she was triflin’. He knew he was the nigga-on-the-side, knew he was her backup player, he just ain’t let on that he knew, know what I’m sayin’? And the nigga still wanna flip when she drop his ass.

– Bruh, I wish I coulda seen Tony, explained the situation to him, you know what I’m sayin’? Laid it out like a blueprint, step by step like, Tony, bruh, homegirl wanna set things right with her star player, son. [Mr. Price claps his hands together in excitement] She don’t want Tony “Pussy Whooped” Stephens in the dugout no more, know what I’m sayin’? Not to say she ain’t havin’ tryouts for a replacement sub, or that she ain’t already got some other brother waitin’ for his turn at bat. She just don’t want Tony hoggin’ up the bench no mo’, know what I’m sayin’? Ain’t that some shit?

– I wish I coulda seen this trick Louise too, bruh. Seen if she was worth all the shit this nigga got Earl into. Way Earl told me Tony was actin’, she betta been a dime[1]. I’m talkin’ a fat ass, son. I mean, a dime still ain’t worth yo life. But it’s betta than gettin’ capped[2] over some hoodrat bitch. I bet she was a hoodrat though. I bet Louise was some coked-out-looking heifer. Matter a fact, I guarantee it. Brothers like that, who get like that over a bitch, it ain’t never a fine piece a ass they trippin’ over, naw. It’s always some trick two months away from her third baby and a herpes outbreak, spendin’ her welfare check on formula and weed, you know what I’m sayin’? I see ‘em ‘round here everyday, bruh. Shit, they half my clientele.


[1] A “dime” is a woman who ranks a ten on a fabricated scale of beauty, ten being the most desirable and one being the least.

[2] “Capped”: slang term for murder, mostly used by people who never have or would ever actually murder somebody.

________________________________________________________________________

Interview with Catherine D’Amico: Part 5

24 June 2011

– Yeah, you need to find Earl and talk to him about all of this. I bet he’ll have one hell of a story for you. One hell of a story, all soap opera drama too, the way everybody always does when they know they’re in the wrong. [Ms. D’Amico indicates quotation marks with her fingers] “He did this, he did that, woe is me, woe is me.” Upset because he didn’t get laid for a little while, or his fucking Facebook page didn’t get updated for a few months. Whatever the hell the reason was he decided it would be okay to murder somebody who considered him a friend. Who was his friend. His friend in need.

– Hasn’t been proven. But it was Earl. I know it was him. Tony was scared shitless about Earl. Had to be a reason for that. Earl murdered him, and I wish I could prove it and clear Tony’s name.

– God, you sound just like the detective. No, I don’t have any evidence, and Earl’d probably tell you some B.S. alibi, or try and convince you he was justified though. I don’t give a damn what his side of the story is though.

– Why should I? What’d he lose? He still had everything when he got out of prison, he still had his—his identity, his dignity, his sense of self. What did Tony have? Guilt and fear. Two years in prison, that’s all Earl gave to a man who trusted him with his life. You’ve got actors and actresses out there with prison records making millions. Lindsay Lohan’s been on probation for years. Lil’ Wayne just got out and he’s got like three platinum records. What the hell’s the big deal? But Earl doesn’t see it like that. Earl got out of prison and turned around and took that man that trusted him with his life, took him away from everything Tony had worked so hard to rebuild. And I’m supposed to relate to that? No. I can’t understand somebody like that. People like him, like—like Earl Bishop, [Ms. D’Amico spits towards the floor] they’re cowards.

– Yes. Definitely. Earl just sounded like that type of guy, the type of guy to try and twist everybody’s words around too. But you should still talk to him if you can find him. It’d be interesting to hear what he had to say about all of this. It’d all be bullshit, but interesting anyways. Kind of like a movie. If you do get in contact with him though, make sure you dial 911 on your cell and keep your finger on the TALK button during the conversation. I’m sure the cops would be happy to get their hands on him.

– Earl Bishop is a backstabbing murderer. He deserves the death penalty.

________________________________________________________________________

Excerpt from Anthony Stephens’ Mood Journal

January 12 2003

Morning: 3 out of 10

Afternoon: 7 out of 10

Night: 6 out of 10

Nice session today. Kind of got me thinking about some stuff that might help me out. Me and Doc were going back and forth as usual, me lying back on “The Couch,” (it’s not nearly as ominous as it sounds; just a big brown lumpy thing that looks like it might’ve been passed down from Doc Silver Sr.), him asking me something, me telling him I don’t know how to answer that crap, him asking it again and me getting pissed off.

Only, today he just sort of jumped forward in his chair in the middle of the routine, when I was about to start my usual rant, and told me I should think about going back to school. Stared at me afterwards with his mouth slightly open, like he’d just had a jarring epiphany or something and thought that I should be having one too. He told me I should pursue a degree in something, anything that might fix me. He used the word fix. I don’t think shrinks are supposed to use the word fix. He changed it like two seconds later though and started babbling on about how he thinks school “might help you sort yourself out, Anthony.” He says that a lot too, “sort yourself out.” Don’t know if that’s a British thing or what, but it makes me feel like my mind’s this huge filing cabinet with a bunch of shit poking out of the drawers. Not a pleasant image.

I asked him why he just blurted it out like that, about the school thing, and he said it just hit him, right then that he thinks part of my problem is I’ve got an overactive mind. That it’s not just a chemical imbalance that I can throw pills at, that I need other-shit. That I don’t have enough other-shit to think about so all I keep in my head is bad-shit.

“Yuh think too much about the little things in your life, Tony,” he said. “If yuh occupy your mind with lots of rubbish, you’ll start to feel like rubbish. Occupy it with the pleasantries of life, and things might start to look up for yuh.”

I don’t know what the hell all that’s got to do with him thinking I should go back to school, if he’s saying I’m too smart for my own good or I’m a headcase or he just wants me to leave him the fuck alone. My guess is all of the above.

Either way, I have to admit the idea sounds tempting the way he put it. I mean, I hated high school, don’t get me wrong. And my first attempt at college—that shit sucked. That’s where all this crap started, actually, in school. The drugs and alcohol and general not-giving-a-shit-about-tomorrow type of mentality; it all started in ninth grade, in the hallways at Sideview High and on the P.E. field after school and out by the bus stops. That’s where my mind started stabbing itself with this rusty knife. And my first failed attempt at college just gave me a sharper knife to jab with. So it’s a wonder I’m willing to even think about anything associated with the word education.

But, I mean, at the same time, things are so different now. I think I could do it if I wanted to. It’s not like there’s been this huge gap of time that I’ve been out of the academic circle. It’s not like it’s too late. I’m only twenty. It’s still early, I think. It’s just that—and I know how this is going to sound—my mom’s barely been rested in the ground a year and I’m already thinking about moving on to “bigger and better” things?

That’s not right. Can’t be.

I don’t know how long you’re supposed to mourn people, but I’d think there’s like a hierarchy when it comes to that sort of thing. Like, you’ve known somebody your whole life so it should take another lifetime to get over them.

But the idea’s so tempting. To go back to school on my own terms. Somewhere besides FIU too. To do what Anthony wants to do, as opposed to what’s going to make the most money.

Tell the truth, I don’t even know what the hell I like. I’ve had so much crap shoved in my face about what the best professions are that I haven’t had a chance to think about what I want. You push somebody in one direction long enough, their path turns into a tunnel. And eventually they’re going to look up and wonder why they can’t see the sky. The whole world seems like a playground when you’re not constrained anymore. If I went back to school, I could leave Miami without having to worry about what I’m leaving behind.

And I need to get out of here. I can’t start over when there’s so much around me that’s never going to change. Who knows, college might be my ticket.

________________________________________________________________________

Excerpt from Earl Bishop’s Prison Journal

10-2-08:
 
The guards here, they’re the worst though. They’re completely brainwashed by the entire system.
 
They stand up in the rafters looking down at us, judging and giving us those smug grins, bristling like over-content pigs ready for slaughter, like they’re not being looked down on themselves, demigods with tasers.
 
Either they’re too stupid to realize the truth or too incompetent and self-absorbed to care. They think they’re on top of shit, that they’re completely in control. They have no idea what’s going on half the time though. It’s all balls and muscle with them, like army drill sergeants only with less power.
 
Can’t say I didn’t expect it. I’ve seen the inside of too many prisons to be surprised. Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Life, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, the lighter side of things. The Hurricane with Denzel, another good one.
 
You see that shit and then you turn around and see something like, say, Full Metal Jacket, Sergeant Hartman breaking those kids down for Vietnam, and there’s not much difference.
 
A prison’s a prison. Prison always plays out the same, and so do the prisoners.
 
The ones here are just as pissed off as the rest too. Just the other day this one guy they call T-Bone (his head really does look like one, I gotta admit) broke this other dude’s jaw playing ball out on the court. Rammed the guy’s face into a pole, twice. T-Bone said the guy fouled him too hard. I was watching the game. Dude didn’t touch T-Bone.
 
Everybody’s gotta find their own ways of releasing things.

________________________________________________________________________

Interview with Dr. Aileen Parks: Part 2

16 July 2011

– It is ridiculous, in a sense. And the repayment of student loans is no small feat either. Student loans are some of the most unforgiving debts a person can have in this country.

There are several options when it comes to dealing with student loans. The first is to make payments on the loan according to the payment plan the lender gives you following graduation. A set payment for a set period of time, negotiated when you first obtained the loan funds, with some lenders giving you the option to pay based on income or on a graduated scale, etcetera.

– Another option is to consolidate your loans and lengthen the payment schedule from, say, the typical ten years to fifteen or thirty, depending how much the total sum of your loans amounts to. This option has positives in that your payments will be less, but the interest will be more.

– Yet another option is deferment or forbearances. Both of these mean that you won’t have to make payments for a set period of time for various provable reasons on your part—economic hardship, graduate school, etcetera—with the former being a pause on your repayment schedule and the latter being a temporary forgiveness of those months of payment. In other words, deferments push back the final date of payment from the time you end your deferment period; with forbearances, however, the ten year period remains the same, which therefore means that when your forbearance is over and your payments start again, the monthly bill will be higher so that you can meet the final date of repayment.

– The last option? Default, or not paying the loans back at all. This is an option that isn’t really an option, though. There are all types of penalties for not paying back student loans: revoked tax benefits, ineligibility for future deferments, a severely lowered credit score, inability to receive professional licenses, garnished wages—the list is extensive and fairly harsh. Essentially, not paying your student loans can cancel out the positives of having a degree in the first place. And, as I said, this isn’t a situation where bankruptcy helps. In all likelihood, the only possible way to get out of repaying student loans without defaulting is in death.

Click For Parts 23-26

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Written by patrickandersonjr

April 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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