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In Memoriam: Rikki Madrigal’s Story, by Brian Bentley

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”Jack Kerouac

I agonized over how to write this, primarily because I knew the subject; she meant many things to me. Other folks around town have written it up already, but I really wanted to “do it justice”–not to mention the whole subject really threw me for an emotional loop–and so I lagged. But my personal baggage should not come between this post and whomever out there who may need to read it, so I’ve tossed my half-completed Notepad drafts into the recycle bin and have just come here, to the wordpress page, to compose this on the fly.

Los Angeles is full of a special breed of amazing women, inspired women, women who wear their damage like red dresses and with whom you fall impossibly in love. These women blaze a trail through the city, equally torn between their dreams and their demons. They’re artists, and in turn they inspire art; despite their sadness, they shine. You’d think with all the beauty that ripples out from them, they could see some sort of way through, but their lives accelerate too fast, and close in on them, and the beauty happens less and the desperation happens more.

I wish I could seize every one of these women by the shoulders and force her to grab onto peace, onto serenity, like a buoy in a sea. To hang on, and to slow down, and to change; to stop burning out so fast like a flare shot off into the night sky, falling fast and guttering, the sparkle turning, too fast, to ashes.

This is the story of Rikki Madrigal, whom I knew towards the end of her life. I did not know her well. When I knew her, I was pretty lost & sad as well.

If I knew her today I would never let her walk away from me the way I did the last time I saw her.

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