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This is a partial transcript of an interview that took place inside a Denver mental health facility with the now famous John Doe who lost a landmark civil rights case to keep his facial tattoo, which was a very large racial epithet across his forehead. 1

Q: ...
A: Actually, right now, I feel like I am doing great. Absolutely f***ing great, actually. Especially considering I just had parts of my face sliced off with a laser
Q: ...
A: Well, I am also loopy on all that morphine, or whatever they give these days. I haven't really been keeping up.
Q: ...
A: Yes, well, yeah, I wasn't keeping up on much during my times on the streets. Which was about...28 months. Which is a pretty long time to live on the streets with something crazy written all over your face.
Q: ...
A: Well, when I first got it, I was so out of it, I didn't even know what was happening. I had some very good reason at the time, but I was drunk and depressed out of my mind.
Q: ...
A: Yeah, as I came to, I started realizing what a stupid thing I had done. Then I started to pretend I liked it and got all hardcore about it. It gave me a sense of identity, I guess.
Q: ...
A: Yeah, I get that question a lot. The answer is, where do you get these ideas? That all black people are super aggressive? Maybe some did take it as an insult, but it seems most of it took it as a very sad man with a very big problem. They mostly avoided me like everyone else.
Q: ...
A: The people who bothered me were mostly the people you would expect. Cops, security guards, bullies of all types. Whoever wanted to pick on someone who was literally wearing a big sign that said "I have no social rights"
Q: ...
A: Yeah, that was basically why I did it, if I can understand what the fuck I was thinking those years ago. I thought of myself as outside, and I wanted to prove it, or something. I guess I did that.
Q: ...
A: I wasn't wrong, was I? I was proud of it at the time, but spending all that time eating out of garbage cans because I was afraid to show my face...it doesn't take much to get kicked out of society.
Q: ...
A: After it is over, I'm glad I had it removed. Even thought I fought the decision. That could be the anti-depressants and morphine talking. Conservatives dissed me for trying to fight off the removal surgery. But if I had asked for it, they would have been pissed that I had fucked myself up and was asking for taxpayer money to fix my mistake.
Q: ...
A: Well, that was then. I am just going to be an anonymous person now. Goodwill has offered to take me in. I can really hide and be outside now, in plain sight. I'm looking forward to it. That could be the morphine talking.

1 In case anyone is confused, this is fiction.

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