I’m back in the USSA.
Greyhound. Seldom took the bus. It used to be that airfares were so close or even cheaper than bus fare that it just made no sense.
The bus is tough. So tough it should build character. It doesn’t. Its just something to survive.
Today walked and got a phone (pay as you go) so I can have a phone number to look for a job.
At first I was pretty pleased. A walk that would have taken 30 minutes I figured would take the deflated beaten up me an hour to do. Only took 40 minutes to get there and 37 to get back. Only issue was the heat and humidity on the return. They weighed heavy on me and made me think I was over doing it a bit.
I’m safe. I have food. I’m tired.
What else is new.
Oh, I have no puppy.
My friend sent me a letter. She said she was so mad at me because I had nearly died.
I understand that. I consider it a bid admission of the fury of things that go on inside of us. Its not an easy admission to make.
When my best friend ever, Tom died I was furious. Not at his killers but with him. I was angry that he died, angry I wouldn’t see him anymore, ever again. I’d have punched his ghost if I could have. I loved him that much.
I also guess I was in worse shape than I imagined. After I’d been examined and wheeled into surgery some RN came out and told mare, “Don’t panic. His doctor can work miracles. I’ve seen him do it before.”
I guess that’s not the normal routine thing to say?
I was in there for 3 hours or so. I guess that’s a lot. I just never thought I was dying. I mean, I was singing in the surgery! A man who is singing cannot ever die. Its in the contract.
June 19, 2009
I was standing outside the homeless shelter just waiting, listening to some stranger talk about going up by the river and watching a pair of red tailed hawks do a mating dance. Suddenly two police cars came barreling in, revving engines and squealing brakes.
I saw Scott, the cop would been harassing me pop out of the lead car and knew I was pretty well in for it. A Friday evening, you know you’ll be sitting someplace unpleasant until Monday morning at the earliest. A creep cop move that they love.
He came up to me and said I was under arrest for immigration violations! I was pretty well stunned by that. He grabbed my bad arm and twisted it behind my back.
It was a pain that redefined the word for me. It was white hot electric blue bolts of brain zapping energy that seemed to be tearing me apart. It felt like gallons of blood should have been spurting out of me. It dropped me to my knee.
As my vision cleared I was aware of something touching my back. It was Scott hitting me and kicking me.
Some of the homeless guys were yelling at the cops to leave me alone. One guy yelled, “looks like you’re going home after all!” I thought he said that pretty nastily. It bothered me, the nastiness.
Another fellow came up and spoke calmly to me about somethings he thought the two of us could do tomorrow . . . I said, “I think I’ll be a little busy.” I wondered if he was aware of what was going on. He seemed very disappointed.
They flung me in the back of the squad car, threw my pack on top of me. I was pleased that I’d still have my meds.
By the time we got to the police station I was almost able to sit up. I was dragged inside and sort of flung around. These are bullies and I’m not quite small enough to fling around and they’re not tough enough to fling anyone but the smallest of the world so it would be fairer to say they tried to fling me around. They took my shoes and my belt (!) and locked me in a windowless cell.
After a while Scott came in and said I was allowed to have one call only he would be the one making the call. I asked him to call my friend. He refused and lavashiously explained how she didn’t need to hear from me. So I gave him the name of my lawyer. Found out later he never called her either. Then asked to make sure the American Consulate was advised as to what was happening. Never called them either.
I don’t know how long I was in the little cell. I paced the walls and figured the square footage, the cubic footage and even the hypotenuse of the room. I was trying to take the hypotenuse to the 7th decimal place when they came, dragged me out and semi flung me in the back of the squad car.
They drove about 90-100 mph for about 20 minutes. The two cops in front seemed to be having a tremendously good time.
I was finally able to wiggle myself about enough to sit up. I saw Maplehurst Correction Center. Prisons always look the same. They suck the life from the ground the same way they suck the souls out of men and women. They take and give nothing back.
We drove in through a series of gates. I was dragged in even though I could well enough walk. The cops left. They were laughing. I don’t know if they were laughing at some joke or at me.
I was pushed into a line, no by a hand but by the natural force. It was early Friday evening but there were at least two hundred men.
Our hand cuffs were removed and then we entered processing proper. The place looked like Heronomous Bosch’s nightmares of the unknown levels of Dante’s Inferno.
A slanted concrete floor that was wet with soapy bubbles and puddles of a color I’d never seen before.
There were men. Guards. In my head I heard the song, “Hard Working Man”, the old version by Commander Cody were the drums were augmented by the spark of 10 pound hammers smashing into 200 pound blocks of concrete.
The guards curried about like imperious imps but they didn’t have the decency to wear honest dirt, flesh and bone they disguised their evil with hatred, a hatred that was blue with darker blue patches.
A guard dumped everything you now owned into a plastic wire basket. A second guard went through it. I realized they were making three piles from each basket. Three piles. One pile of what wed get to keep when we came out, one pile for the garbage bins and the final pile was the guards haul. Their share. The devil’s tithe.
The guards swore at us constantly, for no reason other than they could. They called us names, racist names, dirty names, contemptible names. If you said anything they fell on you with a flurry of fists, clubs and kicks. It was their only delight.
Suddenly I heard my name: “Which one of you f___ing idiots is . . . “
“That’s me.” I said while I raised my left hand. I have no idea why I raised my hand.
“C____t you spics are stupid. What’s with all these bottles of pills?”
There was a fat man standing at a writing table. He wore a white shirt and a badge. He shouted out, “Take the spic and his pills to the nurse.”
Off the long corridor there were doorless rooms. In all of them were people. Some were full of naked men, others of men in street clothes. All of them were confused and at least a little bit frightened.
The room I was sent to was barren. There was a large glass cabinet filled with pills. Behind a desk sat a corpulent woman with a face out of terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”. It was not a real face but a caricature of indifferent over weight humanity. The woman wore a rayon wig. Blonde. It accented the alien tinge of her features and highlighted the strange tint of her flesh.
She sat and never moved. She barely spoke but the bird like woman in white who stood beside her seemed to respond in a flurry to the fat one’s every tic and thought.
The fat one looked at my pill bottles. “Diabetic?”
“You have a heart attack?” she either asked or stated.
As she spoke the thin one scuttled about, clicking open cabinets and vials. She managed to do this with a tremendous amount of noise while keeping up no discernible rhythm. She sat a paper cup full of pills in front of me.
“Take them,” said the fat one.
“What are they?”
“Its your medicine. Take them and get back in line.”
Back in the line I hoped I wouldn’t regret ignoring the pills. I didn’t recognize any of them.
As I moved along it felt more and more miserable. It was almost a relief when I got to the place where I was told to strip.
Got naked so they could search me for drugs and weapons. I had to stand on one foot a lot and was surprised that I kept falling over.
They gave me clothes, baggy, crinkly feeling boxer shorts, scratchy wool socks and rubber slippers. Orange T-Shirt and Orange coveralls. Putting on the coveralls really hurt. My shoulder felt all tubular inside the skin, as if each vein, tendon and muscle fibre was standing at attention and trying to imitate a klaxon whistle.
I was lead away in a chain. I was led to a cell.
I felt alone. I was certain no one knew where I was. I still had no idea why I was there. But I was there.
It was confusing. Jail is or people under arrest. Prison is for convicts. Immigration has Detention Centers, but I was in prison and there was nothing I could do about it. Doing time for doing no crime.