Thursday, April 9, 2009

LaToya Goes to Jail- Part 6

 

Before me was a room of over a hundred people, men separated from women. Every part of my body screamed "HOW BIG IS THIS FREAKING PLACE?!" I was PISSED. I hadn't been mad until that point but I was furious. I sat down away from the group of women that were talking and pouted. After about five minutes of that, I decided it was time to make my one phone call.

 

I pulled out my list of contact numbers that the guard was so kind to let me write down before they took my phone from me and tried to dial. I heard no dial tone. I went to the guard at the desk. "Excuse me." No answer. "Sir, excuse me?" Still nothing. "Sir, I am trying to make a phone call and I don't hear a dial tone." "There is no dial tone" he finally acknowledged. I went back and tried again, and again, and again. Still no connection. I walked back to the sweetheart of a security guard and told him that the phone didn't appear to be working correctly. "Are you dialing a cell phone?" he asked me. "Yes" I replied. "You can't call a cell phone from here. Do they have three way calling?" " I don't know if they do or not." How would I know that? And who even has a home phone anymore? Defeated, I sat back down with the rest of the inmates and pouted some more.

 

I was surprised to see that there were almost as many female prisoners as male prisoners. There was a steady flow of noise in the room but it wasn't very loud. Within this large room were separate holding cells, some had a few people in them and some had just one person. Hanging from the ceiling was a television for each section. It was just hitting seven o'clock (I had been there since a little before 5) when some of the female inmates called the security guard over to change the channel. "Ooh American Idol is tonight." I thought. "I really want to see who is getting voted off this week." I decided to keep my mouth shut. There was no need to be walking up into a new situation like this and start making requests. The guard started changing channels listening for the approval or disapproval amongst the majority of the women. I was really surprised to see that there was cable in jail.

 

"Ooh keep it there. Keep it on that!"

 

I looked up and the guard had stopped to CSI. Really? The last thing I wanted to do was watch a show about The Man. Someone then yelled out a channel I wasn't familiar with. When he turned it, some of the women cheered. "You have GOT to be kidding me!" I was livid! The guard had turned the channel to Dog the Bounty Hunter! How are we IN jail watching shows ABOUT jail??!!! I wanted to watch anything that had nothing to do with jail. ANYTHING. Why not HGTV with some home and garden stuff or better yet the Food Network. I wanted to watch something about the outside! I sat deeper in my chair fuming.

 

Just like being in a wheelchair doesn't stop someone from trying to be gangta, being incarcerated doesn't stop someone from trying to mack. A group of four guys sauntered over to one of the phones in front of our group and loitered awhile staring at some of the women on the other side of the room. To the delight of some of the women, a few leaned down doing some of their best mack poses all the while pretending to be using the phones. "Oooh he fine", I heard one of the women say. "They ALL fine!" another said. "Especially that dark one. I likes 'em BLACK!" Ok, for the record they were NOT fine. Not a one. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but fine is debatable. For example, Morris Chestnut? Fine (actually he is FOIN. That is fine to the fifth power). Souljah Boy? Not fine.

 

A skinny white female who looked so young that she must have just missed the cutoff for juvie yelled, "I mean, do you discriminate? I'm just sayin'." "Help us" I prayed. What is wrong with some women and their standards these days? You are in jail! We are ALL in jail! I didn't get it.

 

"Haynes go to desk 5!"

 

I got up, found desk 5 and sat on the other side of a window to talk to someone who I assumed was going to let me in on how much longer I would be there. The man on the other side of the glass window looked more stress than I was. He was sweaty, shirt half way unbuttoned and moving about frantically. "What's your name?" he asked me. I told him and he typed something into his computer. He then reached over to the side of his computer and grabbed a water bottle that contained some nasty brown liquid and spat into it. "You can't be serious right now" I thought. He continued to move about frantically spitting ever so often. "I"m sorry" he apologized. "It's just that I am supposed to be on my break right now. I really should be on my break. But there are so many people in here today who have been here so long and I am doing my best to help everyone so please be patient." Sympathetically I said "Oh it's quite alright. Really. It's fine. Thanks for your help." "Thank you" he said. He looked at my record some more and said "Well it looks like here that they have you set up for pre-trial. It doesn't look like you have a record so it doesn't look like you have a bond or will have to post bail..."

 

"Haynes!"

The security guard headed my way and yelled three words that I never EVER thought I would hear associated with my name...

 

"You made bail."

 

Part 7, THE FINAL CHAPTER, coming soon...

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