May 13: Day 4
My journal for days 1–3 was taken by the guards yesterday. Apparently I’m not allowed to keep a document that I signed that was given to me by the JP. I had a lot written and I doubt I’ll be able to remember it all but I’ll try my best.
On Friday after court I was taken downstairs in the courthouse for a pat down and wait for a ride to CRC. The male officer asked me if I had anything on me.
“Yeah, some cash in my bra for the canteen.”
He brings me into the little room and a female comes in to do the search. She tells me to lift my bra.
“Some money is going to fall out,” I say.
“See. GUYS, this is why I always ask them to lift their bra!”
The money falls and she is beaming with pride as though she just saved the White House from getting bombed.
“I told him it was there.”
She leaves, then I hear the two male guards outside the door, arguing over who gets to take me to the holding cell. Please let it be the one who brought me down, not the dickhead who has no legitimate reason to be interfering with the other officer’s “work.”
My guy won the argument. He leads me to the next corridor.
“Fresh female…yeah, fresh.”
I shudder, then go to “Charlie Three,” cell C3, as instructed, about twenty steps away from where the two male officers were arguing. I had an idea about the gene pool I would be amongst in jail, but the staff members I had encountered thus far were complete fucking blockheads. But who am I to judge, I broke the law.
I should mention, I am crying at this point, and every point leading up to that. Charlie Three is a cold room. I was not dressed appropriately. I silently thanked my lawyer for all the advice he had given me to prepare me for this day.
“Bring cash for the canteen,” was all I got from him.
I later learned that canteen is ordered on Mondays and delivered on Tuesdays. It’s Friday. Also, I learned that you can order items like pens and paper. You don’t get a pen unless you order it from canteen. You can’t order from canteen unless you have a pen to write your order down. Luckily, a chickypoo gave me a pencil. I just rang to see if I could sharpen said pencil.
“NOOOOO! It’s washroom or NOTHING!”
Anyway, back at C3, it’s fucking cold.
“Get up and move around,” you’re thinking.
There are shackles around my ankles so tight I am bleeding, so, Einstein, if I move, they cut deeper and bleed more, and it hurts. I attempted to distract myself by counting the cinder blocks. 395. My best guess is that counting them took 0.1% of the total time spent in C3. I received a bagged lunch, which was about as good as you are imagining, and left soon after.
The officer (different guy) escorted me and another female to the elevator. She was wearing a jogging suit and crocs. I figured she had a thoughtful lawyer who told her how to dress for sentencing day. Just as I wrote “thoughtful” and “lawyer” in the same sentence I realize how naïve I’ve been.
So I found out that Chickypoo is a “frequent flyer” and I eventually learn that I am the only one in the facility that has never been to jail. What the fuck? Did I mention how much crying I’m doing? So I go to another cell at CRC, wait in there a while, get asked to come out and answer some questions so the lady can fill out a form.
“Some of this is already filled out from when you were arrested…did you work full time? Oh yes it says right here you were an RN…”
I just had a meeting with Miss W. She gave me a much-needed boost.
“None of these people matter to you,” and many other words of inspiration just like mom would say. Plus, some concrete and tangible advice/information that will help me survive until I transfer to LCC. For example:
“Take advantage of every opportunity in there to figure out what you want to do when you get out. Tell your case worker what you’re interested in and take every course available to you.”
It was the best meeting I’ve had in a long time. A glimmer of hope. Yay!
I just got punched in the face. An inmate with fetal alcohol disorder. I talked about “her” in my first journal that was taken by the guards. “Her” is in quotes because I assumed that she was transgender. I feel like I’m crazy because my roommate didn’t know who I was talking about when I asked what was up with the dude in an all-female facility. Broad shoulders, chiseled jaw, flat chest. Like, shit, she must be taking testosterone. Now that I’ve learned she has FAS, I wonder if her pituitary or ovaries were affected during development. I guess I didn’t know enough about it. Anyway, she’s outside, as am I. She’s taking her hair out of the braids someone had done. I know what you’re thinking, but these were not feminine braids. She gets up and walks toward me, mumbling something about,
“…looking at me…” and BOOM. Left hook on the right side of my nose/upper lip area. My nose bleeds immediately, lip swells. [The entry has a note here that says “insert fantasy here.” I believe this is where I planned to tell the story a little differently, but I will keep this true to the original and not add anything.] I go ask the guard if I can change out of my bloody shirt; I refuse to tell her who punched me. I change my shirt and the other guard takes me to see the nurse. Blah blah blah, give me an ice pack so I can go. The guard wanted to move me downstairs (there are two levels, imagine an interior motel) but I refused. I told her the attack was nothing personal and I didn’t think big waves should be created that might further affect what kind of day Chickypoo was having.
So I’m on the phone and I see the guard and her supervisor talking to FAS FTM. [This is how it’s written. This was past me. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.]
My heart skips a beat.
“I didn’t rat!” I say to chickypoo on the phone next to me who’s seeing what I’m seeing.
“You better watch your back!”
I’m freaking out. THEN, the guards approach me.
“Thanks a lot guys, now I’m really going to get my ass beat.”
“My supervisor’s desk faces the courtyard. He saw it.”
Blah blah blah, Chickypoo comes up and apologizes, saying she’s having a bad day, shakes my hand.
“Are you left-handed?” I ask, “I am too.”
“I don’t know.”
Anyway, back to the intake. I finish up with the lady and go wait some more. Then it’s strip search time.
“Lift your arms, lift your boobs, turn around, lean forward, spread your buttcheeks, squat, cough. Here’s your new outfit.”
Ah, jogging suit and crocs.
More crying, and, I’d been treated relatively humanely up to that point. I mean, relative to what they show on tv. Wait some more. Line up against the wall with the same chickypoo plus a couple other CPs. Shackles. Drive to the remand center. One chickypoo asks to feel the grass one last time. Guards oblige. Line up against the wall.
“SHOES!” We’re getting searched again as though we acquired contraband during the 30-second drive. Oddly enough, this is where I truly start to feel like an animal. The lady who did the strip search was actually pretty cool. One chickypoo went to one unit, the other two came with me to a different unit. They already had rooms and headed to them immediately. I stood at the front desk.
“NAME!” I assumed, despite the lack of relevant inflection, that the guard was asking a question, and told her my name. “Notice how there are numbers above the doors?”
So she does know how a question should sound; although, the unnecessary condescension was far more prominent. She missed the normal custom of waiting for an answer.
“GO TO ROOM 24!” She looks up from her computer screen and looked confused as to why I appeared less than ecstatic. I would have ran for room 24 but all I could see were numbers in the 500s. The silence lasted too long. I got nervous and thought that if I broke the silence she would refrain from transforming into whatever creature from hell she appeared to be on the verge of becoming.
“I’ve never been here before.”
It clearly worked because she did not morph into a subterranean creature. She remained a regular above ground creature. I wished she had said go to room 22 as that is the date of my late brother’s birth.
“Well in that case I’ll put you in room 22.” Did I wish that out loud?
I could see stairs. I bee-lined straight to them and found 522. They’re all 500s so it’s redundant to say the first digit. So I get the same month and day!
I approach the door and hear it unlock. Inside are two girls, a bunk bed, and another bed. They saved the top bunk for me! The girls are discussing people that they mutually know, and are sharing stories from previous trips to jail.
“One time, 18 girls got chlamydia in their throats. A girl had it and shoved dope in her snatch and passed it on to everybody.”
I assumed this story was BS until last night. The evening shift guard popped in after shift change and somehow it came up that 24 girls in the facility were diagnosed with gonorrhea after consuming drugs that were stashed in an infected rectum. The guard also inquired about my fat lip.
“I got punched.”
“Did you take it like a champ or cry like a little bitch?”
“I cried afterward. Chickypoo didn’t see me cry.” Thank fuck.