Saturday – September 9, 2006: The weekends were only different if the County employee’s followed the rules and gave us the “extra” dayroom time the schedule called for us to have. No guarantee. We would spend the weekend without a third member in cell 24 I was informed, because Gangster ran yesterday’s addition off without much effort. The guy arrived with no paperwork; a serious faux pas by the current standard. Gangster explained he pressed the guy up against the wall and told him he had 30 seconds once the doors opened for dayroom to get busy producing paperwork or he’d “beat the ever-loving shit outta him”. To look at him one needn’t be prodigiously intuitive to think he meant it. It would appear he yearned for such opportunity. He had shown me his right hands knuckles with great pride, and they were indeed well chewed and used for pounding objects which only reluctantly gave way to make room for those invading knuckles. The hand itself looked disfigured; warped by time and effort spent in the endless pursuit of those who preyed upon children – to hear him tell it. But anyone, I suspect, who did not respect the savage pecking order of their new environs was likely to feel those knuckles. It kept crossing my mind how stupid someone had to be to attempt establishing their own beliefs in such a soulless, lawless place as the one assembled and designed by the Law itself. Time and again a new arrival with an ego for the ages would be dumped into our desperate midst, telling us he was the new sheriff in town, only to have the gumption abruptly stomped out of him in vivid living color. It was never anything but ugly, and though it got gradually easier to look at with each passing behavioral correction, it remained unsettling to the point I had to look away before the rearranging of priorities concluded. Before they were through with me though, I would be waiting for the corrective action and welcoming the change it would produce in the asshole in question. Some people cannot learn any other way.
Gangster jumped ugly on me over the weekend too, but as I came to expect from him, without the malicious intent. Intent however did not predicate malice from entering into his tone or words anyhow, it just was not deliberate, and with Gangster, this was a formidable difference for which I was grateful. He asked about my meeting with the lawyer, interrupting me at his choosing when he needed more information than was forthcoming. “What’s your lawyer’s name?”
“David G.[Hispanic surname], you ever hear of him?” Whether I deliberately left this detail out to spare myself a racial lecture – as everything in this world was broken down along racial lines – I am not sure. Maybe so.
“Gilly, for someone who seems smart you make incredibly stupid decisions! How the fuck can you hire a Mexican lawyer?” I did not try to answer. There was no answer, I was smart enough still to know that. “This guy isn’t going to help you. He’s going to trade you off, use you as collateral with the DA to get one of his own off, or less time. You’re fucked if you stay with him.” I did not follow. I had no idea what he was even talking about. This guy went to law school in America, not Mexico, I could not understand his statement. Not yet anyway. I actually thought Gangster was reacting typically for someone as institutionalized as himself. It was a mistake I made repeatedly during the first months; dismissing good advice from people who knew the system and all of its absolute corruption, so much better than I did. I still mistakenly thought the truth, and justice mattered then. I could not have been more wrong.
I actually argued with Gangster over this, which was odd, since if he put forth the idea the earth was flat I would have agreed on point. He explained how the DA has quotas, time which must be meted out each day, week, to make the monthly numbers. Lots of jobs - high paying unskilled jobs, as well as over educated figures reigning terror over the scum – count on the system being overstocked. It’s as simple a method of job security ever devised, and even the U.S. Supreme Court cannot bring change to the corrupt ways. It is well documented now the C.C.P.O.A. has given the finger to the High Court, and instructed them too, to go fuck themselves, just as they have every other entity which tried to pull back on their terroristic approach to juris prudence. Nothing can stop power which feeds off public ignorance and fear except a well-educated populace. That will never happen in America, California, or anywhere else under plutocratic control.
The point Gangster was making, was my attorney would allow for me to be given excessive time, in a trade or deal which allowed another of his clients – an Hispanic one perhaps, who paid a higher fee (drug dealers, I quickly learned, have money to spend on proper representation, and are categorized as non-violent offenders, therefore subject to only 50% of sentence.) and would certainly result in countless referrals after word of his great service spread among his clients contemporaries. So for someone to walk away with probation and a program, the five years they should have received must be accounted for some place else. It sounded crazy to me, and given the source, I found it easy to dismissed.
I am a fool, what else can I say.