Interviewer shows the pictures.
Oh shit! Damn, what the fuck. Damn this is what I could have looked like! Look at this shit. Damn this is crazy!!
I am shocked. I don’t know what to say about this. I am going to give this to my mom; she is going to be so happy.
But then it makes me look like a normal guy and right here (holds up the tattooed picture) it makes me think of all the shit I have been through.
I think this guy in the pictures would judge the one with tattoos right off the top. Before I had my car I used to catch a bus to work and that is exactly how it was.
My wife would say to me, “You don’t feel embarrassed to be on the bus?” Nah, because I don’t care what people think of me, you know what I am saying? I know I have tattoos and everything.
It would be awkward though because I’d sit down on the bus and no one would want to sit down next to me. They would rather stand up than to sit next to me. Or I will see old ladies and they will start grabbing their purses. I will see a couple in the street and a guy will pull his girl real close. It’s like dude relax! I am coming home from work. But it is always going to be a judgment thing. It makes me feel bad. Like man, if they only knew that I am trying to get this shit together. I’m not trying to steal nothing from them. I’m just trying to work. I began the tattoos when I was 12. I had these three dots tattooed right here (points to just next to his eye) it was just part of my crazy life then. It escalated when I was in prison. I have done juvenile hall and all that; I have been locked up since I was 12 years old.
I used to tell myself when I was young, you know, if I ever go to prison I am going to come out sleeved up, I’m going to come out inked up.
I went to prison the first time. I went for three years and it is crazy because I did not get any tattoos until the last two weeks I was there. The last two weeks I was in jail that is when I got both sleeves and my chest. The second time I went to jail, everything was going good for me. Then, the last week I got my face Tattooed. It is crazy because I had multiple jobs lined up for me.
All it took was one vodka, a little bit of vodka in jail, and I just said, fuck it!
The next morning I woke up. I looked in the mirror as I was brushing my teeth, and I said to myself, “What the fuck did I do?”
I regretted it so bad. The next day I was like fuck it, I already did it, I may as well do this one now (opposite cheek tattoo). I came out of jail, my mom was heartbroken.
It’s crazy because they were having a surprise party for me. I walked into my aunt’s house, and there were at least 60 people there, they were like, “Surprise!” And I am just like, “Oh shit, how am I going to do this?” My mom does not know about this or nothing. I had a hoodie on. So I took three beers and I got into that little buzz mode, I just thought fuck it, and I took my hoodie off, my mom just looked. She did not say nothing. She just looked at me and her eyes got all watery. She told my sister, “Take me home I cannot see this animal.” I just felt bad, I felt heartbroken. I destroyed my mom’s heart.
I don’t know where I went wrong. Everyone in my family is average. It’s like you know how they say, the only rotten apple. I’m like the only rotten apple. My dad was not involved in gangs but he was with the cartels, the Mexican cartels. So he sold drugs, he did coke. But when he was around he was like the best dad. He would buy us whatever we wanted, would never hit us. But he was always in jail, always in jail. I went on the run with him. I was on the run when I was 16 for attempted murder and I was like, I have to leave. I left the United States and went to Mexico.
When I was in Mexico we had to struggle to survive. I started selling drugs with him. Then I went back to California and it all started out with graffiti, being taggers. I was from this little crew just doing graffiti on the walls, then I started carrying guns. I started thinking to myself, “Why am I from a tagging crew when I could just be from a gang. I’m already carrying guns.” That is how I started.
When I was a gang member, I used to do bad things. Sometimes I would go home and I was like, “Fuck!” I could imagine how that guy’s mom feels now that she knows we hurt her son.
For one simple ass gang sign, for one block that did not even belong to us—that shit belongs to the city.
I ended up changing my life when I went to court. I thought I was on the game for this case. I had two assault and batteries on police officers and multiple cocaine charges.
I get four years, but the judge is mad and she looks at me and says, “Dennis Zamoran just to let you know The rest of the interview to be found in the book.