the blog

Court Tomorrow…

I never did tell you how it went down. One of those genuinely terrible experiences that you want to wipe out of your brain, so you don’t share the story.

So it was the era of “Happy Fucking Birthday,” the only time since we met that Brian had the money and I was in a relative state of dependence. I could have worked, but he encouraged me not to in multiple ways, sometimes outright, sometimes by having an ailment that required him to stay at home and in bed, sometimes by starting fights before I was scheduled to work, sometimes by touching my vagina. He was blowing up all the time and kicking me out every day, and rapidly becoming more violent until finally he was arrested and it was over.

A week or so before the end, he had me packing everything I owned, once again, into my now unrecoverable Dodge Caliber. I had fled one of his blow-ups with little more on my person than an overnight bag, and I called the police for an escort back inside. They didn’t arrive until I had been outside sweating for six hours, but fortunately, “the heat” made Brian sweat a little too and he combed over the room for everything that belonged to me. So for six hours, I browsed hotel deals and sang along to the radio and organized a half dozen trash bags of shit into tidy boxes, stacking the storage bound bundles in my hatchback and organizing the rest in my backseat by frequency of use. The police finally rolled around as I was preparing to leave.

The hotel that I booked was in Round Rock, the only one on Google where I could book two nights with my last $200 bucks. I mean, last $200, I didn’t have a dime over that. I try to check in and the lady refuses to let me because I don’t have the incidental fee. Her manager says the same, I remind her that she can waive it and that it’s $20 they’re going to give back to me anyway. I explain that I’m leaving an abusive situation and that without this room, I will sleep in my car. She refuses. I say that I’m not leaving until I get my money back or my hotel room. She calls the police.

While she’s on the phone, I make a show of making a review video, which I did in fact post, in front of a group of cheerleaders and an unaffiliated older guest. Everyone is palpably uncomfortable and a little distrusting of the staff, which makes me happy. “I’m leaving a violent ex boyfriend and spent my literal last $200 on this hotel room, so I had somewhere to go. Because of a returable $20 fee, which sources verify she has the authority to waive, she is not allowing me to check in. Imagine that, all my money in her hands and for consequently being too broke to loan her $20, I’m forced to sleep in my car. Here’s the kicker, she won’t even give me my money back! She stole my last $200! And then SHE called the police! For what? The only thing I’m doing is narrating what she did to me. Guess she agrees then that she’s a hazard to society.”

The cops show up, so I get up and walk out the door. They stop me, I repeat that I just want to leave, they insist I must stay in order to receive the criminal trespass. I think you can imagine that I’m stressed out at this point, and no one is actually giving me the citation. There’s a swarm of them, probably five cars, and they are surrounding me, staring at me, badgering me. I say, “So give me the citation then,” and look away, trying to somehow, in the chaos, find a way to keep my cool.

I look awful, I haven’t showered, I’ve been crying for days, I’ve been in the hot ass Texas midsummer heat repacking my car for six hours, and I just had my last $200 stolen and was looking forward to a night spent in my car which, by the way, just threw on it’s check engine light. Importantly, I was not high. Using drugs outside, in plain view of anyone who happened to look, was never my thing. Hadn’t used all day. 

Instead of backing off and allowing me to gain control over my faculties, one officer responds to my show of discomfort with, “When was the last time you did crystal meth?” No mention of drugs more generally, no question of alcohol consumption, none of the normal questions. His buddy in the lady’s quarters, after I was arrested, tried to justify it, saying, “They all look the same. Like it’s their lazy day and they’re bumming around.” Okay, but on an average day, I actually looked like this:

I try to lie for all of 15 seconds. He asks to search my car, which I am not inside and was never inside this entire time, though I’m standing by the open door, and I refuse. He says, “Well then you’re being detained,” and threatens me with drug dogs. I fall to the ground, sobbing, and tell him where the speed is. I had just purchased it and my guy had given me a little more than usual, which tipped my two week supply over to a third degree felony.

So, aside from the fact that this basically amounts to a stop and frisk, as I’m bawling my eyes out in the car, ashamed and infuriated and just plain sad about what this could mean for my kids, they are running around, trying to find my car keys. I couldn’t find them before, they can’t find them now. They never find them, they leave the car unlocked and it gets stolen from the parking lot. 

Worse is what happens when I get to the jail. Aside from the normal Stanford Prison Experiment bullshit, with derision and physical aggression accompanying the  customary strip search, my crying, a completely understandable response to the idea of my children waiting for my phone call from prison while getting beat by their dad, lands me in the loony box. Did you know that they don’t give you clothes there?

For three days, after explicitly saying  that I had no intention of harming myself and that, given that my concern for my children’s experience of this was my primary one, such an assumption was absolutely absurd, I was kept naked in a jail cell. Now, mind you, they have smocks, big green felt blankets that apparently snap together. I slept under one of them for most of the three days, but NOT ONCE did anyone tell me it was a smock. They just let me lay there, delirius from detox, delivering moral diatribes that really should be published, in the nude. It was day three before I even got  a water cup.

I repeatedly asked the other inmates whether or not they were naked. None were, weirdly. Nor were they forced to wear the transforming blankets. Not the screamers, not the singers, not the guy I saw on discharge ranting less eloquently  than I had, who instead had a sympathetic audience. Just me. 

So there ya have it folks, our “justice system.” Tomorrow I get to figure out how much more they get to fuck my life, perhaps permanently, in the name of the mother fucking law. Woo-hoo.

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