To read Part 1, click here.
To read Part 2, click here.
Note: Due to the colorful language of Barb and the family-oriented nature of my blog, some words have been edited in the following story. One word, the “s” word, which Barb used extensively, has been changed to “kiwi.” I don’t think I’ve ever used “kiwi” in a blog post before and I just like how it sounds. “Kiwi.” It’s a good word.
After snoozing quite uncomfortably for about an hour on my stone bench, I stood up to give the old saddlebag a rest. I leaned against the wall and looked out the window, hoping to see a police officer with a key. Miraculously, one appeared. I backed up, lest the officer feared me tackling him and making a break for it, and pure joy filled my heart. I was getting out! Then I saw Barb.
I leaned back against the wall with a sigh. The officer stood aside and let Barb pass, closed the door, and locked it.
“Kiwi. Kiwi. Kiiiiiwiiiiii,” muttered Barb, as she took a seat on the stone bench. She ran her hands through her cropped hair. “Kiwi, it’s hot in here.” She looked me up and down. “Why didn’t they make you dress out?”
“I don’t know,” I said, feeling privileged and extremely vulnerable at the same time. I was clearly “fresh meat.”
She rolled up the legs of her prison-issue jumpsuit. “Kiwi, these things are hot.” She looked at me again. “I guess it’s because you’re wearing a pretty dress.”
I nodded and willed my face to remain neutral. I was wearing a beach cover-up. It had a hood on it. I guess one person’s beach cover-up is another’s pretty dress.
“Kiwi, I need my phone call. My a-hole son got me locked up. Can you believe that? He called the police on me. Kiwi.”
“Kiwi, yeah, it is. Trying to say I hit him. Then that white-a$$ cop showed up and arrested me for trespassing. Same white-a$$ cop that arrested me before, too. You ever been arrested before?”
“No, this is my first time.”
“Kiwi, that’s good. Real good. I only been arrested four times. I ain’t a bad person, but that same old white-a$$ cop has it out for me. Yeah, I was on probation for a year and wasn’t allowed on that property, but my year is up. Kiwi, that restraining order wasn’t permanent. I’m a good person. Only arrested four times.” She shook here head and went to look out the window. “Kiwi, I need my phone call.”
I sat back down on the bench. She took my spot on the wall. “I’m done with my son. Calling the cops on me. You got somebody trying to get you out?”
“Yes, my husband.”
“That’s good. How long you been here?”
“About three hours.”
“Kiwi, I’ll be in here forever. That white-a$$ cop said he got me for probation violation. Uh-uh, I’m off probation. That restraining order ain’t permanent. He the same white-a$$ cop that got me last time. Found me when I hid behind the church. Then complained about getting bit by some dumb-a$$ mosquitos. Kiwi, this is Georgia! There mosquitos everywhere! Not just behind that church where I was hiding. That white-a$$ cop has it out for me.”
At this point, Barb realized that I was white.
“Now, I ain’t racist or nothing. But you know how it is. Some of these white…cops… decide they don’t like a person and they on them all the time. When the cops pulled up and I seen who it was, I knew my a$$ was going to jail. Kiwi. White-a$$ cop.”
I nodded sympathetically. I didn’t know what to say, but it didn’t matter. Barb did all the talking. She talked nonstop, saying the same things over and over. Her son was going to pay. She wanted her phone call. The white-a$$ cop. Trespassing was non-permanent. When the silence lasted longer than 10 seconds, she went back and forth to the window. Kiwi, kiwi, kiwi, kiiiiwiiii.
Finally, a cop came to the door. “Finally, I get my phone call.”
No, he was there for me.
“Kiwi, at least you getting out. I’ll be in here forever. When I gonna get my phone call? Kiwi, I been waiting forever.”
The door closed on Barb and I had to get in line behind four very tall men. I’m a very short woman, in a beach cover-up. I felt like a child. We were processed out. Everyone else had to change out of their jumpsuits and claim their belongings while I sat on a bench and waited. I jumped every time the lock released on the metal doors. It sounded like a gun shot.
I cringed every time a person in a suit walked by and glanced at me on their way out the door. That was the only time during the whole ordeal that I felt like crying. Up until that point, I was with other prisoners or cops. These were “real” people. It was embarrassing.
At last the doors opened and it was my turn to walk through them. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, although I had no idea if anyone was waiting for me. When I turned the corner, I saw my extremely angry husband sitting in a chair. Nobody else would know that he was angry, but I knew. His eyes were hard. I walked fast, hoping his rage wouldn’t bubble to the surface and cause him to do something we’d both regret. Somehow, I think assaulting a police officer carries much stiffer penalties than driving with a suspended license.
We left. I got home, ate something, and thanked my husband for resisting the temptation to post my mug shot to Facebook. My kids were happy to see me and wanted to know when we could go to the beach, “if you don’t get arrested again” they added.
My hip hurt for a week, I got my license reinstated, and have a court date for the suspended license charge on my 14th wedding anniversary. I’m hoping the judge has mercy on me. Personally, I think spending five hours in jail is punishment enough. Somehow, I doubt the judge will care. Instead of going out for dinner and a movie, I’ll have to pay a hefty fine.
Happy Anniversary to me.