Saturday, April 4, 2009

Toya Goes to Jail Part 2

As Damien and Brandi pulled up in the Starbucks parking lot, I did my best cheerleader kick, pumped my fists in the air and shouted “I’m goin’ to the big house!” I had already made arrangements for Linda to pick my mom up from the airport and bring her to her house. Her flight was about 3 hours delayed, thank God. I told her that Linda would be picking her up because I had a traffic matter to take care of and I would head right over as soon as I was through.

Before The Man with a Lunch Plan pulled off in his unmarked car, I made sure I repeated back to him at least twice what I was to do to get this all taken care of: go get my temp tags, go get my license reinstated, and then go turn myself in like Chris Brown (you know you were thinking it too); of course not before I went into Starbucks and got myself all hopped up on caffeine. I knew that this was gonna be a long day.

We took off with Brandi driving my car with her 2 year old son Jax in the back. “ I feel like this is my Road to Redemption like T.I.” I said to her. “Please stop.” She replied. Turning to Jax in the back seat I pointed to myself and said “Jaxon, remember this face. You don’t want to wind up like me, a hardened criminal…a victim of these streets. Let THIS be your Scared Straight 2009. You don’t want to play around with The Man because The Man is not going to play around with you.” Brandi sighed “I’m done”. Jaxon then looked out the window as if he was thinking the same thing. I turned back around and thought “We are so getting cupcakes after this.”

It’s pretty much impossible to get your tags without a license, go figure, so the best I could do was go get my license unsuspended and turn myself in. The cop that pulled me over said it would take no more than 2 hours tops because I had no record. As I got out of the car to turn myself in, Jaxon started crying and reached his arms out towards me. “Aww buddy. Don’t worry. Auntie Toya will be right back I promise”. I think he knew better.
In case you were wondering there is no stylish d├ęcor in a jailhouse. I’ve never seen a place so bland and lifeless in my entire life. It’s just gray and almost monochromatic. There were a total of 3 chairs in the whole place, two vending machines, and a desk with a security guard. The guard told me to wait next to this girl that looked like she had already been waiting all day. I sat down and sent out a few humorous text messages to friends about this whole ordeal and waited to go in after the girl next to me had finally been called in. I was still checking my phone when she came out in handcuffs not too long after. “Oh @&*% !” I freaked out. This was MY Scared Straight 2009! Finally, it was real.


The walk from my chair to the bulletproof glass window must as well have been through a time warp because the officer on the other side bore a striking resemblance to Michael Winslow’s character from Police Academy. No joke. Brown skinned, mustache, afro…. I haven’t seen a brotha that looked like this since about ’87. I took a deep breath and began. “Yes, I think I am supposed to turn myself in because my license was suspended and there may be a warrant but I have never seen one so…” “Full name and date of birth”. He stared at me blankly with the emotion of paste. I have never seen someone so tight-lipped and emotionless in my entire life. After I rattled off my full name and birthday he opened the side door and walked in. For some reason, I didn’t follow him. I just looked around. It’s not everyday you enter onto the set of Hill Street Blues. There was one desk between two sets of lockers and a water dispenser. “It’s too late for me to pray now, isn’t it God? All I can ask is that You help me pay attention because I could zone out any moment.” I finally went and walked in.

He looked me dead in my eyes but his tone of voice never changed. “Do you have any bombs, guns…” 

“NO!!!!!!” I yelled in disbelief.

“…knives, chains, or anything else that would piss me or the sheriff off?” he dryly finished. I looked at him really hard and for some reason felt relieved. “He has to behave like this” I thought. “He can’t let on any sort of emotion. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a really nice guy”. I told him no and we sat down. I sat at the desk as he looked at my paperwork and tried to imagine what kind of jokes my brother and I would be telling at this point. There is no situation too inappropriate to make fun of when it comes to Damon and me. I thought about how much I missed him. I also thought about how I would not be above selling pictures of him in jail for cigarettes and socks.

I noticed on the officer’s desk that he had some chess pie in Tupperware. “I bet he eats cheese sandwiches at his desk for lunch” I thought. He then got up, took his Tupperware away (I mean, I wasn’t in there for robbery, good grief) and came back with a single form. I looked down and it said “Arrest Form”. “Am I being arrested?” I asked. This would be the first of many dumb questions I would ask that evening. He looked up stoned face again and confirmed without missing a beat and continued to fill out the form. My mouth fell open. What happened to just maybe 2 hours of processing? Since when did “processing” become code for “arrest”?! 

He led me to fingerprint my hand. As he pulled out the handcuffs, it was all I could do to not go towards “the light”. I couldn’t believe it. As I started to suck on the upper left corner of my lip and breathe quickly through my nose as I often do to keep from crying, I noticed his face soften as he looked at me. He put on the handcuffs so lightly, I could have pulled my hands out with no effort at all. We went outside and I immediately pulled my hands to the left side of me hoping that no one could see me cuffed on the sidewalk. I looked for Brandi who was across the street in my car. “Am I allowed to yell across the street to my friend and tell her that I may be a while?” I asked. ALMOST smiling, he said “I can’t let you do that.” Brandi didn’t see me being led into jail because she was turned around talking to her son in the backseat. I continued to look backwards walking as slowly as I could. I contemplated talking really loudly as I was headed in. “WELL I GUESS I HAVE TO GO TO JAIL NOW! I HOPE NO ONE IS WAITING FOR ME! I MAY BE A WHILE. WHO KNOWS?” I decided against it because the last thing I needed to do at this point was piss off the law. I took one last look back and headed inside.

Part 3 coming soon…

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