Monday, April 28, 2014

Not Yet a Nightmare


“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer said after I haltingly counted backwards from 100 and failed to walk in a straight line, even though he had allowed me to remove my heels and I had called upon the grace of every Indian who had ever successfully walked across the steel beams of a construction site.  All of this in the quiet dark, under a great big sky full of stars.  He put me into the back of his car and started the twenty-minute drive to the nearest police substation.  It still wasn’t a nightmare, only a dream.

I stared through the steel screen that separated me from the police officer.  He turned the radio up when a popular song came on, and I leaned forward to breathe my breath into the front seat: “Could you turn that down please?” I said. “This isn’t a party, you know.”  He obliged and drove us in silence to the substation, from the middle of nowhere to another nowhere.

The lights were bright when we pulled in, both in the parking lot and inside the station, where I could already see cops moving around through the windows.  I’m sure they were expecting us.  My officer walked me in and then I had five officers.  They quickly found a large green pill zipped into my wallet—my prescription for acid reflux—and suddenly I was also on drugs.  I was uncuffed so that a short, stout, large-breasted female officer could hustle me up against a wall and frisk me, my palms down flat on the wall above me.  That was the first time my own breasts had been felt by another female, and the first time they had been seen by a group. 

My fatal mistake that night was not blowing for the arresting officer.  I would not blow his device in the field because I could only imagine the worst results.  I’ll get a lawyer and get out of this…they won’t have anything on me.  Later, I sat on the floor of my clean, well-lit cell with one lidless toilet, doing some stretches to hurry up my sobriety and eyeing the payphone for which I had no money to use, not that I knew anyone to call, especially a lawyer.  I sat with my back against the white cement wall for hours until another officer came in to serve me with a search warrant.

“You already have my purse,” I said. “And I’m getting divorced so I don’t have much in my house.”

It was a search warrant for my body. 

I got up and walked from my spot on the floor into the hallway outside, still hoping that whatever happened to me next would be somewhat tolerable, somewhat gentle, and not painful.  I was looking for where they wanted me to go when three officers took hold of me, one on both sides and one in back.  I didn’t have to walk anymore because my feet left the floor and seconds later, I was strapped into a reclining black chair.

This is what happens when you resist!
The judge had no problem issuing a search warrant for you!

“When did I resist?” I asked. “If you needed blood, you could have asked me.  I would have said yes.”

But it was too late.  I sat still, strapped into a black dental chair, getting my blood drawn.  After that, I signed some papers and was told that I could call a taxi to take me home.  It was four o’clock in the morning.

I had been instructed that if I attempted to move my car from where it was parked on the side of the road, I would risk a second DUI that night.  Luckily for me, the taxi driver had his girlfriend riding shotgun, and somehow I got her to mercy-drive my car back to my rental house, following me and her boyfriend.


I was never so glad to walk into a quiet, dark house—the sun not yet up.  I walked into the kitchen and poured myself a stiff drink, still hoping that I might wake up in the morning to all of this being a nightmare.




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