back to the Oakland Jail…
Mike and I are “dressed in” in our county issue red pants and shirt, given socks, an undershirt, rubber sandals. The color you’re dressed in denotes where you’re placed, how youare seen. Red is for protective custody and psychos, orange for the Surenos gang, and blue is mainline. Thankfully they don’t place the PC’s with the psychs in holding. They scream and bang a lot…
We’re taken to the bus – the big green County Sherrifs bus with bars all around – some of you may have seen them. It’s seciotened off into different cages for different colors. I’m placed into a small cage with three others, quiet people. In the garage everyone is talking at the top of their voices, laughing, just having a ball it seems – until the second gate starts to slowly open, sunlight streams in, and the bus starts.
As we pull past the gate there is a hush that overcomes the people inmates, and where as before they were all faced inside, as I watch the conversations end in mid-sentence, and they all turn towards the window to look out past the bars. I watch them – on the trip to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, almost nothing was said, they’re silence and sad stares saying everything…
I was picked up Monday afternoon. This was Thursday. We arrive at Santa Rita, and again, the processing, the waiting. Finally, at 3am, Mike and I are called out, given out bedrolls which consist of a pillowcase, a sheet, blanket, washcloth and towel, walk through the building, right shoulder to right wall, no talking. We’re taken to our “Pods”‘, as they’re called. He is sent into 21 West, I am taken to 23. I don’t see him again until over a week later.
My cell is number 35. There are 48 indivitual two man cells here on two tiers, along a row that has a 60 degree bend in the middle of it. Across the common area, the deputies qatch quarters see everything through tinted windows that we can’t see in. I wait by my cell door until I hear a lout clack, open it, walk in and shut the door which instantly locks. I have the top bunk. Chad & I introduce ourselves, I make the bed just enough so that I don’t have to lay on the plastic coated pad, put the case on the plastic coated “pillow”, and do my best to sleep.
Friday comes and goes without my name called for court. I still have no idea what the warrant was for exactly, but I expect that I’m there because of a DUI course from around four years ago that I didn’t complete. Almost did, but ran out of money, so they kicked me out. I want to go to court, expecting that I’ll simply be released that day with another court date…
I need to wait the weekend. Hopefully my name will be called on Monday…
I essentially keep the same demeanor that i think I have on the outside, (listen to me – “on the outside?”) friendly without being imposing, mainly keeping to myself but open to anyone who doesn’t seem like a total nutjob. I noticed how few white guys there were in there, and the ones that were were people that I looked at and immediately didn’t want to associate with, except for my cell-mate, Chad. They just felt wrong.
I guess in order to land in jail while white, you must be really stupid and easilly pegged as a criminal, (or have a warrant that you didn’t know about, which I guess falls under stupid, ahem) while the other races don’t need to make much effort at all.
Just an impression.
During the weekend, during “Pod Time”, where we are actually let out of our cells for an hour or a few, a young mexican kid actually comes up and introduces himself to me – I have no idea why. His name is Little Cha Cha. Nice kid. We don’t talk much, just say hi. This gives us the okay to nod a friendly “hello” when we pass each other, opens things up to become friendly, and possible conects me as someone unthreating and generally okay to his friends. I don’t feel threatened in here, but there is an unwritten protocol that is easily learned if you pay atttention. If you don’t…
Eating lunch a couple days later, another guy – another mexican, somewhere around 50 and looking pretty old school, calls to me. “Hey – did you ever spend time in Federal?” I look at him, think of what my answer should be.
“Yeah – a long time ago, but that was in San Diego.”
“I thought I regognized you. I remember you from MCC.”
We introduce ourselves, his name is “K”, but I can’t place him. Still, nice to have another ally. Aparently, a fimiliar face goes a long way here if there isn’t war attached to it.
I look at him a bit closer when he isn;t looking, and then remember – he’s the almost spitting image of Marlon Brando from “The Godfather”, with smaller jowels. I remember writing about him after I got out of there, and here he is again. Later, I ask him what he’s been up to, where he’s been.
He lists a chain of around six prisons, almost as a badge.
This, apparently, is his home.
For most of you who don’t know, around seven years ago I spent some time in Federal Prison in San Diego. Working for a Harley Shop, my boss – Rick Nelson, (((one of the very few people I would happily torture – not for what I got myself into with him, but because while briefly living with him and his family I saw how he was desrtoying his two beautiful daughters and treating his wife – though she was pretty damn discusting too – they were the worst white trash you gould imagine – and the first on the list is George W – Rick is second, don’t know of a third)))… Anyway, Rick dealt pot. No problem by me, until I had my suspicions of the untimely and strange death of a good friend of ours as they were riding bikes back from Cabo for a Harley rental company that used us as a business and maintenance base.
George wasn’t the best rider by any means, but he was very aware of his limits and as far as I always saw, intentionally rode under them.
The went off the road about 50 miles of Loreto, Mexico, head neatly cracked on a rock.
Rick owed him lots of money.
This is all a different story.
Back to the reason I ended up in Federal…
Rick set up a deal through friend of his in Boston that he hadn’t heard from in a while – 400 pounds.
A sample was sent to them in the mail – one pound. Mail = Federal offence.
I knew what was going on, but somehow was smart enough to not say anything in out meetings. Any questions I had I asked Rick afterwords.
Ends up, Boston guys got busted prior to this, were working with DEA to lighten the sentence and lead them to a kingpin, and contacted Rick. The stupid shit set it all up with undercover, and I was caught with 98.8 pounds of pot in the trunk of the car I was driving.
I worked at a Harley shop – we pick up cars, bikes, and drop them off as well. They couldn’t prove I had any knowledge, so instead of getting a pretty hardcore felony I plead to a misdemeanor. One month in Federal, then one month again when I fiolated probation on a traffic ticket.
That’s that story.
Fuck, there is so much in my life, all a part of a previous story. Intertwined, everything effects everything. I may have not make the best decisions at times, and there is an ongoing feeling of just a floater, a dreamer, wanting someday to do for everyone but until then being only one who wants. I give what I can, at this time it isn’t anything compared to what I desire to.
The list grows, I shrink, drink, and wish to be what some people see in me.
I’m a vagabond, a dreamer. It took 38 years to realize that I couldn’t live any other life than this. I give everything for this, and what I am. I reach as far as I can, then further. I loathe the mundane with a passion, and with absolutely no arrogance I ignore it – feel that it is not worthy of me or the people I hold dear. I’m not good at day-to-day shit. Parking tickets, court, Yeah, I’m stupid, but fuck it. There is no question that new worlds begin with sacrifice, and it is time for a new world. Long fucking time that it came about.
I was talking with my mom tonight. One of the most loving and caring creatures ever, and ther came a point in the conversation where she was concerned with my lifestyle, not having a savings, a retirement. Five or ten years down the roa
d, where I will be?
I needed to remind her.
These days, today is everything. Today is the only. I feel good, but tired and sore. Tomorrow – fuck that. Today. E verything today. All of me, all i can give. My health is waning, I can’t get to my doctor who works at the clinic on Fridays only until I pay my friends. Friday can be a good day sometimes at the Wharf.
I’m tired, sore – but for now, I’m alive, and I will do everything I fucking can to share that. If I get to sick to work next week, I will have no qualms, no regrets. I brought as many smiles and as much wonder to people as I could, and it will be a passing that I won’t argue with.
But i won’t get sick.
All be told, it’s been about 22 years. In ’85 I heard, didn’t believe.
Fuck you, I love you. I’lll sorvive as long as I need to. I’m ready anytime.
I’ve made my peace a long, long time ago –
and now, I almost want.
But tomorrow could be exquisite, so I stick around…
because I love you, my life, and the high of dreams realized…
More jail eventually…