Monday, April 6, 2009

Toya Goes to Jail- Part 3

I was led into what seemed to be a small pre-holding area. I looked straight ahead with no expression on my face because I promised myself that under no circumstances was I going to cry. I didn’t know much about jail but I had an inkling that this is not the place where you want to show weakness. I was also pretty mad at myself. I don’t know what upset me most: being arrested and put in handcuffs or being arrested and put in handcuffs over some stupid stuff. As I stood there miserable, out of nowhere my arresting officer started speaking to me in the most polite tone. “You know a lot of people have made the mistake that you’ve made. They think that just because they pay the ticket off that they don’t have to get their license reinstated. They probably didn’t explain everything to you….” I nodded as he kept politely talking to me confirming what I had thought all along: He really was a nice guy. 

Standing in front of us was another officer and two guys waiting to be booked. I don’t really recall what one of the guys looked like but I will never forget the one who was in a wheelchair wearing baggy clothes, cornrows, a do rag and a “platinum-ish” chain. He was so angry! He just kept talking big and bad about what he was and was not going to put up with; what he wished someone would say and what he wished someone would try, As they opened the steel door to the booking room, my arresting officer began taking off my handcuffs. “I realize these aren’t the most fashionable things” he joked. “Good luck”. As the theme song from Bad Boys began playing in my mind, I waited as The Wheelchair Gangsta got frisked. As his chain was confiscated, he yelled to who turns out was his brother who was arrested with him, “Dawg! Make sho they don’t steal my chain, dawg! Yall better not steal my chain, man!” The large female guard behind the desk with a stature custom made for this kind of job started to tear into him. “Don’t nobody want this fake a** tarnished chain! Calm down!” From what she went on to say to the male guard I gathered he was in the wheelchair because he had been shot and paralyzed from the waist down. Still, that didn’t stop him from bangin’ and he was picked up on gun possession…in a wheelchair. Seriously, that’s still too much for my heart. 

I decided to come out of my misery and put on a happy face. If someone had to be Little Miss Sunshine in this gloomy place, it was gonna be me. Besides, the people that work there must not see too many happy faces and I thought that perhaps I can bring a little happiness their way. As I stepped up next in line, I put on a great big smile and said “Hi!” “Hello!” the female guard answered back matching but not mocking my enthusiasm. “Can you take off your scarf, your purse and empty your pockets, ma’am?” “Sure can!” I said. I took my phone out of my pocket and looked at the incoming text message from Tia. “Why are you getting booked?????? What is going on??????” I quickly sent her a text with Brandi’s number assuring her that I was alright and to call Brandi who would tell her everything. “ I’m assuming she called Brandi immediately because minutes later, I got this:

“Dear Toya. I am whopping you’re a** for not calling me immediately about this. Your mom called Brandi. I told her to tell your mom that you are taking care of a ticket. Please keep me posted.” 

My mom was still in the company of Linda and roommate Betsega as all of this was going on. As the story goes, my mom got suspicious after waiting for a few hours and called Brandi to ask what exactly was going on with her daughter. Nervous and not wanting to lie to my mom she said “Umm, let me call you back.” and quickly got out of the inevitably uncomfortable conversation that no one wants to have with someone else's mother. 

The guard took out a form and began taking inventory of everything that they were confiscating from me: “1 purse, 1 scarf…” as she filled out the form I remembered seeing something like this on television however it didn’t dawn on me that I was actually IN JAIL. I just thought I was getting booked. I then asked another dumb question. “Umm, excuse me. Am I IN JAIL?!” “Yes!" she happily answered as if I asked her if she had some chocolate chip cookies behind the desk. "1 scarf, 1 phone…I’m going to need to take your phone.” A panicked deer caught in the headlights look came over my face. She kindly told me that I could take whatever phone numbers I needed out of my phone. I thanked her immensely and started writing down the numbers of my most responsible friends. Even though I know my mom’s number and Tia’s number by heart I wrote those down too because I had no idea what frame of mine I would be in as the day progressed. As I frantically scribbled names and phone numbers down, The Wheelchair Gangsta started up again. “They aint fiddna have me up in here talking to me any kind of way!” He went on and on to anybody that would listen. Finally, one of the officers had had enough. He went over to him without saying a word and wheeled his behind over into the hallway with his back facing everyone. I covered my mouth in disbelief. I don’t think I have to explain how being in a wheelchair and being wheeled away to be put on time out IN JAIL is jacked up on so many levels. 

It was now my turn to get frisked. The female security guard said “Ma'am, please spread your legs and put your arms out to the side for me.” I did what she asked and she began to frisk my arms and back. She then bent down and started to frisk the inside of my legs starting at my ankles. As she started frisking up my legs I was doing just fine until she went all the way up my…umm..”nether regions” to where her palms came together and she “clipped” me. My hands grabbed the desk. I turned my face to the side and darn near choked as my legs started to buckle. Before I could yell “BAD TOUCH” she was finished and went to the other side of the desk. I quickly pulled myself together and asked her "I am sure people have cried in here before but has anyone ever passed out or thrown up in here?" I felt as if I could have easily done either or both. "Oh yeah!" she answered matter of factly. She then instructed me to go over with the rest of the other inmates and have a seat. I found a place on the bench over in the corner by the television, brought my knees to my chest and sat down. Little Miss Sunshine was nowhere to be found. This was officially the most embarrassing day of my entire life.

Part 4 coming soon...

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