As you may or may not know, I served a 24 hour sentence over the weekend. And much like I expected, every aspect of it was unpleasant. It honestly wasn’t as bad as I remember, partly due to the fact that I’m a little older and bigger, and partly due to some new rules that help keep general order, and partly due to the fact that I’m no longer some eighteen year old honky punk with a mohawk. Crowds of big angry black men tend to frown on mohawks and other such blatant displays of cracker-ness, so this time I spit a little ebonics at them and mostly just kept to myself, and everything went smoothish.
Let me just preface this story by saying that it is a very very unnatural feeling to purposely walk into jail and turn yourself in. It goes against every anarchistic, criminal bone in my body. All I wanted to do was jet the hell out of there and make them find me to lock me up. But I have things in my life I want to live for, so I chose not to flee to Mexico to work as a cabana boy for rich horny widows who live on the gulf. I’ve got a good job, and I want to go to college, and I have a new relationship with an amazing woman, and so I fought my natural urge to fuck the system, and turned myself in. Try and avoid this situation in your own life if at all possible, because I assure you, it’s no fun.
Anyway, I walk in the front of the jail, actually, before I even got there I saw a familiar face. Sitting between the two main doors to the jail was a homeless man I was locked up with in 2003. He was about as hammered as hammered can be, and briefly shouted something unintelligible about money or god blessing me or some such bull shit, and I walked on past him. It’s hard to look a homeless man in the eyes after you’ve seen him masturbate under a sheet, that’s all I’m saying. It changes your outlook on that person forever. I guess he was trying to be enough of a nuisance that they would lock him up over night, cause it was cold and rainy. I don’t know, that’s all I saw of him.
So there’s a line all the way across the lobby for the weekenders. These are mostly probation and parole violators, and they come in from Friday night to Sunday night. Well, there were a million of them, and so I got myself ready for processing as I waited. I removed my laces, turned my phone off, counted my money, (exactly zero, fuck those stealing ass guards) and generally tried to look vicious and scary, just in case any of the weekenders felt like starting some shit. I didn’t get in any fights though, so it must have worked. When I finally make it up to the front of the line, they can’t find my paperwork. As far as they know, I’m not supposed to be there at all. There was a brief moment of hope there where I thought I might not have to do my time, but then the womans supervisor found my information, so I got to go through processing extra fast. I always thought it was only supposed to be hard getting out of jail, but apparently getting in is just as much of a pain in the ass.
Processing extra fast simply meant I got to sit in a holding cell longer. It was funny how quick I started shifting back into my jail mentality. There’s behavior and a general mindset that would not be appropriate on the outside, that you have to adopt to fit in well on the inside. Like, I have to adjust my speech somewhat to communicate with all the blacks. It’s funny because if you have one black guy, you can usually talk to him just fine. But if you get a whole bunch together in one spot, their whole behavior changes, and all of a sudden you can’t speak in complete sentences or you’re a cracker, and you have to start slinging out all sorts of retarded slang and dumb up your accent or else you’re just another honky. It is actually pretty frustrating, because black men in jail are the most racist ass holes in the world, but you damn sure better not let anything racist slip out from a white guy, cause they easily outnumber all the whites and hispanics three to one. And little things like watching the girls getting arrested march past us all cuffed together. I had only been in for a few hours, and already it felt like I hadn’t seen a woman in a year. It’s kind of bizarre.
So after about five hours of sitting in that stuffy ass cell smelling like bad breath and cocoa butter, I finally got called out for the infamous strip search. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a strip search by a corrections officer, let me tell you, it’s pretty weird. There’s the whole arms straight out thing, and the ball lift, and the old squat and cough. Homeboy in the uniform got quite the show that evening. And after they dressed me out in my allegedly clean, orange and white striped uniform. Last time I stayed there they gave me sandals that were about ten sizes too big. This time I got leprechaun sandals. It was ridiculous. But I was on my way up to the sixth floor, yellow pod, and I was going to get some sleep at long last.
I went out on Thursday night to celebrate my last evening of freedom with my friends, and ended up getting maybe three hours of sleep, then working through a hang over. So by the time they actually got me into a pod, it was around midnight, and I was pooped. I was the first one into the jail, and the very last one to make it upstairs. The reason you would want to get upstairs faster is not so you can enjoy the company of the general population, but rather so you can get a good spot for your mat. I did not. There was one spot left against the wall, but this black fucker was taking up two spots, so I told him to move his shit. We argued for a minute, and eventually I let him keep his spot. Because I don’t need any time added on for fighting, and I was going home to eat real meat and potatoes, and he wasn’t, so let him keep his precious double spot for my 24 hours. It wasn’t worth it to me.
About four or five of the friendlier weekenders from the holding cell had been thrown in the same pod as me, so that was nice. And of course you have the first fifteen minutes or so of the long time prisoners shouting at the new guys. they want cigarettes, but I informed them that the guards were very thorough in their search. There was only one place they didn’t check, and nothing that came out of there was any good for smoking. It’s kind of loud in jail at night. Half of the inmates just stand at their doors and shout at each other. Some of them rap, some sing, some snore away. I learned how to sleep through noise a long time ago, when I came in the first time, and I had absolutely no problem tuning them out and sleeping like a baby.
Six o’clock rolled around, and I briefly got up for what they called a breakfast. More along the lines of an appetizer, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. And again, I slept right on through to lunch, when I briefly got up for what they called a bologna sandwich. Again, light on both the bologna and everything else. I will say this for them, Sheriff Harrison has enforced a new one hour lock down system every time the inmates get fed. This means that we are allowed to come get our plates in groups, instead of a free for all, like on my first visit. All the prisoners with cells have to eat in their cell, and all of us without cells have to remain on our mats for the entire hour. One person can go to the bathroom at a time. This eliminates all the food trading and stealing and fights that would break out over the food. They feed you so little, that everyone is always hungry, so it was a big problem before, but now it’s much safer.
After lunch, I got up and watched some TV. Wake Forest stomped NC State, because let’s face it, as much as I love state, they suck at everything. It’s ok wolfpack, I love you anyway. But I don’t particularly care about jungleball, so that was pretty boring. Really, everyone was just super excited about the Duke/Carolina game. Holy shit, now there’s a rivalry. I hate them both, and I hope the whole building collapses and kills both teams and State rises to victory, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. (I didn’t actually watch the game that evening, I went home)
The jail time ended on a rather pleasant note. That dickless, double parking, cotton picking son of a bitch who wouldn’t scoot his punk ass over actually had the balls to ask me for my food at dinner, since I was getting out in a few hours. I told him to go fuck himself, and that I was giving all my food away to the two guys next to him, and they would let him know just how delicious and filling it all was. Ha! Sweet revenge! So that was pretty much it. After dinner I processed out and went home and showed my mother how to set up a flickr account and how to start a blog. Teaching my mom how to do things on a computer is a whole different kind of jail time. Sheesh, that woman is technology impaired. So that was my little jail experience, how did your weekend go?