Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 29

Monday September 18, 2006: As soon as the dayroom opened, I went over to the phone bank and got in line. There were four phones, and some of the guys spent nearly the entire time allotted for dayroom yelling at their estranged subordinates on collect calls that had to add up to quite a tally. One thing I quickly came to understand, I was in the societal VIP lounge from another’s perspective, not the cesspool. It was perplexing how many of the fella’s seemed to think without them out there to tend to things, the world might spin off its axis. When the guy in front of me completed the thorough verbal flogging of whoever was unwilling to hang up on him, it was my turn. I only had 20 minutes, but knew it was plenty of time if I could get the Officer of the Court on the phone. I waited on hold for five minutes before he picked up. Following as brief a greeting as possible, he asked what was on my mind.

“It’s that arrest that was supposed to have occurred in May of 1996. What does it say I was charged with? Cause I got to thinking, it’s not so much the fictional arrest that worries me, but the fictional charge.” As I spoke, I struggled to maintain a calm voice and speak at a slow enough pace not to tip off how worked up I was over this bureaucratic liable. Later, I realized how hopeless my situation had become when considering I did not want the man hired to defend my rights to realize I was upset with his negligent and nefarious attitude.

“Damn, when you began speaking, I thought you were going to tell me you remembered the arrest after all. I don’t have your paperwork right in front of me. I’ll dig it out. Can you call back in 15 minutes?” I looked up at the clock.

“No, I doubt it. I probably wouldn’t be able to call till this evening and I know that’s too late. How about tomorrow?” Hate for this man was evolving from dislike within me as I had never known. How far could the papers have been from his desk? How big was this office? He knew my situation and accessibility to a phone. In hindsight, I think he withheld information so no specific action could be requested on my behalf.

“Well, tomorrow I’m scheduled to be in court all day, but you can try. Court gets cancelled all the time.” We said good-bye and I just knew I would never get the information on the phone from him. I returned to the cell as the announcement dayroom time had come to an end rang over the speakers. As I walked slowly along, my name was called from a cell. I looked over and saw Lenny’s and the ‘Big Drink’ Bandit’s faces crowded into the small window of their cell, calling me over. I walked close enough to speak through the door crack without screaming.

“Where are you from out there? Where did you live?” Lenny and young Bandit had actually bet on the response I found out later. So I told them the name of the city I had spent the prior 15 years living in. Lenny recognized the town right away. “Oh yeah! I know that area real well. We used to go up there all the time to steal cars.”

I almost laughed at our connection. “Hey, that’s interesting. I had a car stolen from me there!” My head was spinning all the time now.