I’ve been to jail. Granted, it was city jail and not prison or even county jail; but jail none-the-less. As a matter of fact, I’ve been three times (in three different cities). I didn’t even go for a good or fun reason, like tea-bagging the drink of an ‘Affliction’ shirt-wearing douche bag or fighting for my right…to party. No, my happy-ass went to jail because of warrants on unpaid speeding tickets that I had gotten several years ago after finishing my enlistment in the Marine Corps. I had every intention of paying them; it was just going to have to wait until I got…you know, a job. Five years later, I forgot I had tickets at all. Yes, I’m aware I shouldn’t drive so fast in the first place, but in the words of Ricky Bobby: “I wanna go fast.”
The first time I went to jail I actually turned myself in so I could just sit the ticket out. 24 hours in a suburb jail is not my idea of fun; I’ve never been so bored in my life, and for someone with ADD, that’s saying a lot. It was nothing like I’d seen on TV. No big common-room with guys playing poker, no TV, no books; it’s as if they were punishing us for the bad things we’d done. My cell was just a 10×10 foot, cinder-block room with 6 bunks crammed in against the walls. The good news however, was that I was able to catch up on sleep. The bad news; that sleep was interrupted every half-an-hour by penises trying to enter me. Apparently, heavily tattooed, stout men are the new “bitch” this year. Ok, maybe I’m lying but it was difficult to sleep more than an hour at a time, what with the steady stream of new inmates and all. For those of you asking; yes, I would like some cheese with my whine. Anyway, who says the burbs ain’t hood? Everyone that came in was either DUI or marijuana possession; you know…real thugs.
The second time in was pretty much the same as the first, except different suburb. Now, I know jail isn’t supposed to be fun, but the whole part of processing in, which can take a few hours, is VERY entertaining. You’re just kind of hanging out in a big open room with all of the others who are processing in, including some officers. The people you meet in there will blow your fucking mind (if you’re not a regular). There are so many different characters in there; it makes a play by Shakespeare look like a Ziggy comic. What I also noticed is that if you have impeccable manners and speak halfway intelligently, the officers will go out of their way to accommodate you; so female officers are my favorite. I’m not really a flirt by nature, but I think perhaps the adrenaline of being arrested gives me the same kick as “liquid courage”, because my charm is unmatched even by the sexual magnetism of Don Juan DiMarco (at least that’s the way it plays out in my head). I even got a tentative ‘Yes’ from a female officer to go on a date after I got out (of course, she was most likely agreeing so that I’d stop talking to her).
My third and final stint in the slammer was at a much more urban jail located in a city called Irving. It lies directly in the middle of Dallas and Ft. Worth, here in the great state of Texas; its population is over 200,000. Let’s just say, I did not fit in AT ALL. I had always heard not to show any fear; and in a jail this massive, with inmates incarcerated for anything from unpaid parking tickets (me) to murder, containing that fear was…well, it was fucking difficult. I’m not going to lie, that shit was straight-up terrifying…and I’ve been to war and have been in more than my share of fist fights. But I kept my drawers soil-free, and my face hard as a rock. Funny thing is, I ended up “making friends” (I don’t know what else you would call it), with a couple brothers (both literally and figuratively), who were members of a street gang known as the Black Disciples.
I’ve never agreed with what gangs do; it seems counter-intuitive to fight people in your neighborhood for what amounts to nothing; senseless violence. But I digress; the writer in me is fascinated by the lifestyle. Since they took a shining to me due to the ink on my body, we ended up chatting for a few hours. They were very accommodating to a white boy from the suburbs that had a lot of personal questions. Even more interesting was that I fascinated them. They questioned how I, a Caucasian from a good family, came to be covered in tattoos, a war veteran and currently in jail. To write the entire discussion would take the space of two more posts, so perhaps another day. My point is I don’t regret going to jail or doing any of the other things I’ve done. They’ve all led this restless heart to experience things I never would have, had I stayed in college after high school. I’m thankful for that.
Back to the Irving jail, one of the two brothers I met was the exact clone of Lil Wayne. If I hadn’t known any better, I really would have thought it was the auto-tune auteur himself. He had the same hair, the same build and skin-art upon his face. He showed me his Black Disciple tattoo; I showed him my Addidas tattoo. He called me a “crazy nigga”, and I corrected him. I told him I’m a “crazy sand-nigga”. He laughed and then said that I was “aight”. I breathed a sigh of relief, unclenched my butthole and relaxed the rest of the night. Other than having to sleep on the floor due to over-population, I had a lot of fun. That’s probably not the city’s intention, but that’s what happened. It’s one more thing I can cross off my bucket list; and yes, going to jail really was something I’ve always wanted to do; just never longer than 24 hours and hopefully never again.