"Look, the only reason, I ran away from home is because I couldn't appreciate the men I was meeting."  A young and pretty woman begins her story as she paces back and forth through the cell:

"The guys in my town were all special athletes who seemed to be in training for the world championship of drinking and sleeping on the couch.  If the International Olympic Committee had a training program for napping drunks, then all my boy friends would be the gold medal contenders.  And what did I have to offer?  I didnít choose between brains or beauty.  I had them both.  I wasn't looking for a prince or an astronaut.  I just wanted to have a good time with a real man and wanted to become an actress..."

The girl stopped by the window and looked out.  The prison was located in an industrial part of the city, and she could see only the chimneys of factories and the top sides of buildings.  She has seen this same picture now for almost six months.  Everyone calls her Ludy.  Her audience is only one female, a cellmate who arrived just yesterday.

"I didn't move to the city for some easy life," Ludy continues her story.  "I had to work for a living and found a good job as a waitress at a prestigious night club.  Tall and slender, with gracious manners, elegant style, intoxicating personality - I was desirable in high society circles, but my wicked sense of humor, daring devil-may-care attitude and provincial straight-forwardness prevented me from having any relationships with rich and important men.  I appeared to be disagreeable, but it was just my way of attacking life, you know.  Every time I became bored with someones income and conquests, I began to burden them with how many wash basins and chamber pots I have in my dowry... some may call that character, but I see more harm in mine than benefits."

"I lost that job and found one in a night bar, in part of the city where going through the park meant I had to hide my cash in a sock.  You know what I mean?  Robbery is common in those parks.  I was doing fine and earned good tips.  I continued with this job but never lost my dream of becoming an actress."

"I even tried to enter some variety training college, but without knowing anyone and with no special talents for singing and dancing, I was rejected."

Ludy looked at her cellmate, found her full of attention, and continued.  "OK, one day, I went to a film studio.  I was wearing a summer dress and stood among other idlers and fans watching people staring at the movie.  Someone came up to me and asked if I'd want to be in a movie.  He said he was a producer, gave me lots of compliments, and asked if I'd let him get to know me better...  With my night jobs, I am used to all kinds of indecent proposals.  This one was little different from all the others, but it touched the most sacred part of all my dreams.  I put my hopes on this guy and we went upstairs.. he opened the door and we shut ourselves into a room where I began playing the piano.  Later, he took advantage of my dreams behind that piano..."

"The next morning I went to the film studio and saw my new friend planting trees.  He was a gardener and not a movie producer.  He smiled when he saw me and said he also had a dream of being a movie actor.  He didn't get to finish his speech, because I hit him on the head with a shovel.  He was taken to the hospital and I was taken to jail.  Tomorrow is my last day here in prison and I can't wait to be out."  For a couple of minutes both cellmates were silent, with Ludy lost in her thoughts.

"I don't regret, she says.  Of all things, I only regret those I didn't do or didn't try.  I needed this half year break in my crazy life, I needed to sober up and collect my thoughts," tells Ludy as she approaches the mirror.

"I lost a couple of kilos here and there.  Now my figure is in great shape.  I lost my tummy," she continues, admiring herself in the mirror.  "Tummy is all gone with this prison diet.  It's my only regret.  I was told my tummy was very sexy, for some it was the center of the universe.  Guys loved to bury themselves in it.  What a loss!"

"Don't worry about losing kilos... at your age it is easy to gain some back.  So, what are you going to do when you get out?" asks the new cellmate.

Ludy thinks for a while, then says "With my education I could find safe work in some office, but I don't want to follow my profession. I am not a career girl.  The little devil in me always wanted to run with the party people, in a short skirt with my tips hidden in a sock...  I'm going back to the bar scene."


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