1. On the evening of March 6, 2008, I was arrested for failure to appear in court five years ago. How did they catch me, you ask, since I had unknowingly evaded arrest all these years? Well, it was as easy as pulling E over for a cracked tail light. (See my MySpace page for a link to the blow-by-blow blog.) I was given a shiny, brand-new court date of April 11th after E and my mother bailed me out. I fully expected the judge to throw out the charge. Actually, I had hoped I was unnecessarily arrested and that I'd be able to sue all law enforcement agencies involved in the debacle--particularly owing to the age of the ticket that lead to the court date I missed, in addition to the fact that I had paid the ticket AND paid an astronomical sum of cash to have my license reinstated in 2005. (I'd like to mention that my license was suspended because I was unable to pay my first-ever speeding ticket, not because I'd indulged in vehicular homicide or similar. Looking back, that might have made my jail time more worthwhile ...)
In Tennessee, driving on a suspended license is considered a class C misdemeanor, which I assume is code for "Let's criminalize a harmless act to generate profit!" And profit they made. While my actual fine for DOS was a $2 steal, the court costs were a whopping $438. In addition to that, I was sentenced to 30 days of probation, which included a set-up cost of $51. I paid my court costs right before I marched into my first probation meeting. The woman seemed genuinely sad that she wouldn't be able to charge me more weekly fees for the "privilege" of paying my court costs incrementally. And the fucking cherry on top? Three days in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, affectionately known as "940" by its habitues. I spent a whole month pumping myself up for three days' worth of bodily harm at the hands of prison guards and raving jail lesbians: beatings, gang rapings, anal insertion of objects ... with a couple of mindfucks thrown in for the hell of it.
My probation officer, possibly sensing that I was a first-time and never-again offender, attempted to allay my fears. She claimed to have taken a tour of the "facility" several weeks before, and said there was a separate area for very short-term inmates that resembled a run-down dorm (I thought, Had I ever lived on the MTSU campus, I might have felt right at home). She invited me to think of it as a "fucked-up vacation" (her words, not mine), and suggested I bring some books to read. I desperately wanted to believe her, but my newly acquired distrust of probation officers told me otherwise. Having recounted my experiences made people talk about theirs--and they'd tell me, time and again, that all POs spew lies from every possible orifice and do everything their power to fuck people over more than they already have been.
The day before I turned myself in, I decided to call booking at the RCADC. I asked if the speaker had a few minutes to answer some questions for me about my imminent jail time. "Sure, shoot," he replied. Seemed decent enough. This followed (paraphrased):
me: "Will I be able to bring anything with me?"
pig: "Well, you can start off by bringing yourself."
me: "I was planning on that. But no books ...?"
pig: "Nope, nothing. There are books back in the pods, anyway."
me: "Okay, another question. Is there a separate area for people who will only be there a few days?"
pig: "Naw, you'll be thrown in with the murderers and rapists ..."
pig: "Just kidding. Yeah, you'll be in general population, but the women aren't bad. The men aren't either,
me: "OK. One more thing. I am concerned my menstrual cycle will begin while I'm there. Do I need to
have someone drop off hygiene products for me?"
pig: "Nope. We've got stuff that'll get you through. You probably won't like what we give you, but it'll
I was glad I called. He did more to ease my fears than anyone else had.
Evan dropped me off at the RCADC at4 p.m. on May 9th. He walked back as far as he could with me. I was determined not to cry--not about leaving him for three days, but for the retardedness of my situation.
I have just discovered the whereabouts of my MIA boyfriend. Excuse me while I track him down. More to come.