Thursday, July 22, 2010
You cannot imagine how badly I want to just lay my head down, just for a minute, and close my hot, itchy eyes. I'd do it, too, but I know the people I work with would either come along and poke me with sharp sticks to wake me up, or they'd do something really bad. Like painting my toenails pink. Or something.
So, I'm carrying on this little conversation with you, in order to maintain consciousness. I'd just give up and go home, but I did that yesterday. I went to the doctor today and I must, must, must be here to teach a class tonight. Dangit.
Speaking of little conversations, does anyone remember Richie Rich's girlfriend's name? You remember her - the little red-headed girl that was poor. As opposed to a poor little red-headed girl. We were debating this at lunch. None of us wanted to know badly enough to actually google it, but still, it would be nice to have the question settled.
Settling questions is a good thing. Sometimes. Sometimes it's better not to know. And better not to ask. I'm pretty much in favor of making apologies rather than asking permission. Its not always the best policy, but I think there are fewer apologies than there are permission denials.
That was a painfully constructed sentence. Especially what with this being my first language and all.
I'm listening to Ester on the phone next door. English is her first language, too. So is Spanish. She's being all bright and chipper and trying to convince this guy that the thing he wants to do most in the world is to go to the jail and turn himself in. Sounds like she's just about got him convinced. Stupid guy.
Not me, man. If Johnny Law wants me, he's gonna have to freakin' come and get me! I ain't makin' it easy for him. ~brandishes imaginary sword~
Well, that's not really true. I'd go quietly.
And they'd never make me talk. ~evil eye~
'Cause I know stuff.
Have I mentioned that I'm on drugs? Lots of drugs. And I got a shot. Not the kind that comes in a glass, but the kind that makes you glad you weren't wearing raggy underwear.
I need, need, need to be writing a report right now. But I sooooo don't want to. One of my most troublesome cases is going to court and I have to do a report telling the judge what I think outta happen with the guy.
He oughtta go to prison. End of story.
Accept, of course, that there is always more to the story. This reminds me of Ken, may he rest in peace. ~crosses self and wonders if it counts since I'm a protestant~ He used to end his reports with "The defendant would benefit from [insert service/program]and the Institutional Division is adequately staffed for that purpose."
We don't call it prison anymore. Its the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. As if that somehow seems better. And I haven't been a probation officer for the last 15 or so years. Rather, I am a Community Supervision Officer for the Community Supervision and Corrections Department which is a part of the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
I guess the thinking is that we are less accountable if the average citizen can't figure out what the hell it is we do, just by looking at our business cards.
We keep our true identity secret, it seems. But not for any sort of superheroish reasons or the greater good, or anything.
Tonight, in the class I'm teaching, we're gonna talk about secrets. Dysfunctional families are champion secret keepers. I am pretty darn good at that myself. Being an accomplished illusionist was a matter of self-preservation when I was growing up in a glass house.
It's also a hard habit to break.
And, truthfully, I don't even really try to break that habit. I still sorta like it.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I have not murdered anyone recently.
I also have not beaten anyone with a baseball bat, a tire iron or the grip end of a pistol.
Whole weeks have gone by without me tripping, choking or otherwise assaulting anyone I know. In fact, for the most part, I have totally refrained from all forms of violent behavior towards acquaintances and strangers alike.
I have not made any threatening phone calls.
I have, however, been threatening towards some people who called me. But that doesn't really count.
I have not run for office. Neither have I engaged in loan sharking, welfare fraud or prostitution.
I did run a red light. Mostly unintentionally.
I have not stalked anyone, not in person or on the internet. I have not smoked crack. Or meth. And I have not opened a new box of cereal without finishing the old box first.
I have not shoplifted or drawn flowers on my husband's tattoo while he slept. I haven't said the f-word all week. I have not set any fires except in places specifically dedicated for such purposes.
I did, however, designate the middle of my back yard as a place for burning things.
I have not, nor will I ever, drape any landmarks in miles of orange fabric.
I have not sung karaoke.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Not a new jail, but one I'd never been in before.
Some poor unfortunate meth-smokin' chick got herself arrested over the weekend. I thought she might like a visitor, so I grabbed a pee-test cup and walked across the street to the county courthouse.
I'm working in the Wilds of the North today - one of our satellite offices, located in an even more isolated, desolated, and under-populated place than Fake Cow County.
Their jail is still located in the back of the courthouse. I have no idea how many people it will house. I'm guessing seven.
No sign of Otis.
The place was clean, as are most Texas jails and prisons, but old and dark. I made my way down a short hallway that terminated in a heavy duty wire door. It looked like someone had gone to the ag mechanics class at the high school and said "Hey, y'all. We need us a door for the jail." And somebody welded 'em one.
The jailer was very nice. He had all the jail keys on one huge ring. No electronic buzzers and electromagnetic locking systems here. Just a huge-ass key ring with about 20 brass keys, each one probably weighing three pounds. You lock a door with one of those keys and that bastard stays locked.
I waited next to the fingerprint counter for the jailer to bring the prisoner out. As I said, the place was clean, but it smelled. It smelled of urine. No matter how hard you try, there is no hiding the smell of bodies and urine in these places. It's like a nurisng home only more sweaty.
Miss Saturday Soiree was none too happy to see me. I was hurt. She barely spoke, but glared eloquently at my little plastic pee-pee cup.
The jailer pointed us to the unisex bathroom. It was tiny. A one-holer not built for dual occupancy. I hate this part.
I managed to squeeze into the room, along with my companion and we got the door (which opened to the inside, of course) closed.
And we waited.
Then I realized that this was the only place in the whole jail that didn't smell like pee.