Sunday September 17, 2006: The religious service from crazy-land lost some appeal this week. Nothing makes me feel hopeful or see light, nothing brings a smile to my mind or distracts me from the oncoming ruin. It feels inevitable now, as if there is no use in trying, or even asking the attorney to do his job. My thoughts are so one-sided it is hard for me to do much besides walk in circles, read, and write letter after letter making derision of my plight. In the morning, as most everyone sat watching the NFL pregame shows, Gangster circled the room with me. Certain tidbits of my court appearance Friday were omitted from details shared with Gangster earlier, mainly because I wanted to spare myself his response. But those very details were eating me alive, and I had to tell someone just to see if anyone else ever experienced or heard of such a thing.
“On Friday, I saw my previous arrests sheet, my lawyer had it. There was an arrest on there which – I am telling you – never happened. I’m not mostly sure, I am absolutely, 100%, sure.” I sprung this out of nowhere, till then the conversation focused on food.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Gilly?”
“On Friday, I saw this piece of paper saying I was arrested in May of 1996. I am telling you it did not happen. I was never arrested in my life at that point. I think I could remember the first time I was in that sort of trouble.” Just talking about it I could feel an anger ruminating through me like a simmering demon with horrific potential, and that was new.
“So you’re telling me on your list of priors, there’s a mistake, right? That happens, someone enters a date wrong in the computer.” He was not getting it, perhaps because he had a rap sheet with as many pages as a novella.
“No, no, this is not a wrong date. Understand, I was not arrested on a regular basis; as in never until March 12th 1998, and that was for missing two days of community service on the DUI I got in August of 1996.”
“Then you were arrested in August of 1996! Get your fucking story straight Gilly! The DA is gonna love you the way you tell your bullshit.”
“No, I was not arrested. I rolled an old pick-up into an avocado field, crawled out from under it, walked two miles to a phone, then the police showed up while I was waiting for a ride to the emergency room. I broke some ribs and hurt my shoulder. They put me in an ambulance and followed me to the hospital. They wanted blood from me since I passed the seven Breathalyzer tests they gave me, I refused and got a DUI.”
“Why’d you refuse Gilly?”
“Pot stays in the system a long time. And I smoked it a lot, so they were going to get me on that anyhow, so I refused. But the point is, after six hours or so I was released from the hospital and never arrested officially, never taken into custody. I would not forget the first time someone looked up my ass while coughing.” He did not respond, he was listening, which meant I should continue. I was getting good at reading maniacs. “So I was never arrested or charged with anything then, or even questioned about something.”
“What does it say you were arrested for?” Gangster thought pragmatically on these matters even if his final conclusions would often end in savage beat downs, the decision to administer the savage beating was arrived at pragmatically.
“I don’t even know. I was so flustered by the appearance of an arrest, I didn’t get around to asking. I just figured, if it says I was arrested, and I wasn’t, the charge is a moot point.” Gangster shook his head at my naiveté on the particulars.
“Gilly, if it says you were passing bad checks back then, it’s gonna make no difference. If they’re claiming it’s any kind of violence charge, they’re gonna use that to run your sentence up. Just like they do with the three strike law.” I voted for the three strike law. On a purely superficial basis, it seemed to make sense, until understanding its implementation, at which point it imploded logically. “I never heard of someone having some phantom charge appear on their jacket before, Gilly. Mistakes regarding actual arrests – sure. But this is some other bullshit altogether. Better call that lawyer first thing tomorrow. So he can tell you you’re wrong and don’t remember your own life as well as the police papers do.” Gangster never stopped driving home his point unless to punch someone in the face, driving his point home via the alternate route. I welcomed his verbal belligerence.
“Yeah, I guess I better.” I knew he was right though. That lawyer – the heir apparent to the barrister who must have inspired Shakespeare – was not even going to try and rectify something working to his benefit. It was a screwed up situation, and I put it together, I was in the middle of it, screaming inside for the truth.