for karen velez, two's company, but 12 is ideal
Karen Velez had been in Los Angeles only a short time, but she had already found the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. The Bodhi Tree is stocked to the rafters with metaphysical tomes. Eastern philosophies, sorcery, ESP -- anything with a "psycho" in front or an "ology" in back that can alter one's perception of reality. Karen was there looking for Peace of Mind, Volume One. Naturally, it wasn't on the shelf, but we browsed and talked all the same.
"I don't think the average person would read anything that I've got on my bookshelves. I'm basically interested in things out of the ordinary. I like change. I don't like doing the same thing every Saturday night."
Karen knows about Saturday nights. In Miami, where she grew up, she sometimes had them on Tuesday or Thursday. That left little time for high school.
"By the time I was in ninth grade, I was skipping school and hanging out at my girlfriend's house, playing backgammon." By tenth grade, she dropped out.
"My mind gets to a point where it just stops, and I'm bored with everything. So I move on to something different."
The "something different" that time was Omni Terminals, a shipping-container-repair firm, where she made "good money" and rose to the position of vice-president. But greener pastures beckoned, so after five years she left.
"Anyway, I did graduate. I went back last year and passed my G.E.D. with flying colors. Got my high school diploma. Took six years, but I did it."
Not surprising, really. Karen can do anything she puts her mind to, as long as she's not asked to be ordinary. She intends, for instance, to have ten kids.
"I want ten children, yes. And I want one of those ideal husbands who doesn't exist anymore -- someone to talk to and say, 'Hey, something is bothering me. Can we talk about it?'"
Such an entreaty from such a beauty would be hard to ignore. Five bucks that she gets the chat -- and the ten children.
Photography by Arny Freytag