We’re jumping way ahead in time here, because we’ve lost someone, and I wanted to remember a moment in time we had with her. Her name was Kristen McCullough, and she was one of the front-row Manson gang, our inner circle. She was the most classically beautiful woman I’ve ever known; she was a driven perfectionist; she was smart, sweet, compassionate (a champion of animal-rights causes and a full-time emergency room nurse at Cedars Sinai), a cat lover, a photographers’ model, a beam of sunshine at all times; and she was never, ever, good enough for herself. It didn’t matter who told her she was wonderful and beautiful and a good and dear friend, in her own mind she was a failure, plain, lonely and useless. And like too many of our MM friends – the lost, damaged, sensitive kids who gravitated to what Manson was and meant for a few crucial years – she couldn’t take the pain anymore, and yesterday she ended her own life.
Near the end of this review you’ll glimpse her as she looked in 1998, a cherry-blossom ballerina, with her friend and sometime-twin Carrie Schulman. Carrie passed on by her own hand, years ago. Now Kristen is gone as well. Wherever they are, I hope it doesn’t hurt anymore.