Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 10

Wednesday – August 30, 2006: My Cellie Tim went to court today. During a drunken melee he hit his pregnant girlfriend in the head with a brick – twice. Despite two sets of stapled sutures on her skull, she was still writing the judge in the case pleading for Tim’s release before the baby is due in October. It’s Tim’s third time being locked up – once in Nevada and before here in California - on a violence related charge and he’s still just barely 30 years old. My other cellie, who gives his occupation upon greeting people as “dumpster-diver” without a hint of shame, goes by “BD” (though neither are his initials, and I did not ask what the letters might stand for) was impressed by Tom’s story when he returned. He told us how his girlfriend, now over seven months pregnant, threw herself down in hysterics at his hearing threatening to harm herself if Tim wasn’t released for the baby’s birth. He showed us copies of the letters she wrote on his behalf. I stood next to BD as he read them and I pretended to read along. I was too preoccupied to read, and too confused to ask or say anything pertinent. And I was not sure what was pertinent. BD smiled so wide reading the letters I wondered what I was missing. Handing them to Tim, BD offered congratulations. “This is great, you did great today. Nice that she’s still on the team.” Tim chuckled and offered this explanation: “Must have been the second shot, cleared her head.” They laughed at the conclusion. Then Tim finished telling us how he accepted the next deal and would be out in six weeks. Hearty high fives were exchanged and I felt even stupider then when teammates expected me to trade high fives at softball games, but as with softball, I went along to suit the environment. Tim would serve a grand total of four and a half months on a third violence related charge. It was slowly dawning on me the legal system was as random and arbitrary in its application of what was referred to as “justice” and “due process” as a drunk was with his emotions and responses. He’s either going to tell you how much he loves you or hates you, and little logic will be applicable, but it will be expeditiously delivered. Also, like a drunk, the court can be easily manipulated by someone who understands it.