By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
When last we left writer/dominatrix/punk musician/ phone-sex entrepreneur Mistress Monique, she was getting the Secret Service shakedown/up for an innocuous gesture with a toy laser gun on the Hot Seat With Wally George. Monique, who had pulled the toy's trigger as George ripped President Bill Clinton, was abandoned by George as well as KDOC. She was interrogated by the Secret Service in her home; before they arrived, she dumped six trash cans of reading and writing material, including interviews she had done for a then-planned book on punk, including one with Nirvana before the band hit. She was afraid, she said, that almost anything might incriminate her.
That was a couple of years ago, and though nothing came of the Secret Service visit, it had a significant effect on her life.
"I'm not doing the band thing anymore. I'm not doing phone sex anymore," she says. "[The Secret Service incident] changed my life entirely."
Today, Ponte owns her own secretarial service—Your Girl Friday Performace Communications—in Westminster. It took her more than six months to get over the Secret Service visit, she says.
"What happened back then was so traumatic for me; it was like being raped," she says. "I felt so alone. There was no one to rally around me. You know, I'm pretty hard—not a wimp. But that really left me screwy in the head."
Or maybe just searching. While working on a piece about death for a punk magazine, Ponte was directed to a book: Mary K. Baxter's Divine Revelation of Hell.
"What it said was that a lot of people were in hell not for cussing, but for being obsessed with caring only for themselves," she says. "Reading that book was like a kick in the head. It scared me to death. I thought of what I was doing with my life. I was writing for punk magazines that are into hate. I was in entertainment, where people only care for themselves, where you don't have friends—you have connections.
"I read that book on Sept. 6, 1999," she recalls. "The following Monday, I put down money for a lease on this office."
She lives in the same small Westminster home and looks after about 16 neighborhood cats, about whom she is writing a children's book. She does not seem to have harsh feelings toward George—he named her business for her—though she is banned from KDOC.
"It's not like I became a Jesus freak, but what I went through and then reading that book just honed everything for me," she says. "That part of my life is over. Well, except that I have a permanent record with the Secret Service, just like Squeaky Fromme."