My Time In The Clink (Part One) / October 2005
In the patrol car on my way to the Santa Ana jail after that whole Disneyland fiasco (see "A Glimpse Behind The Smiles" parts 1-3), I expected no less of “the big house” than what is depicted in movies and on television. I envisioned a 10 x 12 foot cell with metal bars that I would share with four or five robust, mustachioed women whose tattooed arms are tribute to their dear lovers Bertha, Pat, and Terry. I figured I would stay there for a night; up the whole time watching my back and making sure not to bend over for anything (yes, even female prisoners will penetrate) until the next morning when my best friend Django came running in to bail me out. He would hand over a wad of cash totaling fifty thousand dollars to a sheriff sporting a shiny star badge on his shirt as he leaned back in his chair just outside the cell. And that sheriff would shout to us, “Quiet down! All of y’all! Or I’ll get out the hose!” as we started to get out of hand, telling each other our stories of why we were in the clink.
My mugshot turned out way better than any driver’s license photo I’ve ever taken so I’ve put it here for your viewing pleasure. (I had never been to jail before and was quite excited at the tales I was going to be able to tell after having been released, so that explains the wide smile.) After they fingerprint you they don’t allow you to wash the ink off of your hands, so I decided to go somewhat tribal and used the excess ink on my fingers to swipe lines under my eyes and on my nose and forehead to represent my 1/800th Native American heritage. I figured that it would slightly help me since I was the only honkey in the cell that night.
After I was allowed my one phone call to Django (who wasn’t home and whose answering machine beeped seventeen times before it allowed me to leave a message that was then cut off by yet another beep) I was literally thrown into the large cell. I got to my feet and looked around. There were seven other women (although I use the word “women” loosely) in there as well, three of who’s faces still haunt my dreams to this day. I slowly sat down on the metal bench next to me as all seven of them stared with yearning eyes. Whether the yearning was to bone down with or kill me though I couldn’t yet tell. A hooker walked over and sat down next to me.
“You wanna get outta here?” she said as she scratched fiercely at the inside of her thigh with two inch purple nails.
“Uh, well yeah. I mean, I’ll be out of here soon. A friend of mine’s coming to bail me out.”
As soon as I said this, the sheriff who sat just outside the cell let out a loud laugh.
“Heh heh. Bail? Honey, there aint no bail allowed for you. You’re gonna be in here for quite a while, so you might as well get comfortable.”
The hooker slowed the scratching at her thigh and smiled at me, licking her lips.
The next morning I awoke to the sound of the cell door being unlocked and opened. I lifted my head to see an enormous beast of a woman wearing a police uniform and a badge that said Officer Stiles standing above me.
“Hello, precious. It’s time to go home,” she said, patting her black baton into her left hand.
“Oh! Oh, thank God. I knew Django was going to be able to come get me.”
I grabbed my jacket that I had been using as a pillow and headed for the door. The rest of the women in the cell now started waking up as well and began hooting and hollering as Stiles unlocked the door and let me out. I smiled back at them and waved as the door shut and they ran to the small piece of glass that now separated us.
Officer Stiles then proceeded to cuff me and we walked towards the individual cells in the next building. As we walked by several of them, some of the women inside came to the bars and tried reaching for me as they hissed and smacked their lips. Stiles stopped us at cell number 1180 and she unlocked and opened the door.
“Wait,” I said. “Aren’t you supposed to be taking me home? Isn’t that what you said?”
“Welcome home.” Stiles smirked and pushed me into the cell. She unlocked my cuffs and handed me an orange jumpsuit, telling me to change into it right there in front of her while she waited for me to hand her my civilian clothes. I swear to god, as I undressed, she stared me down like Kirstie Alley checking out a baked ham. I felt like a piece of meat. I handed off my clothes and Stiles slammed the cell door. She was gone, and I was now in prison.
Click here to read PART TWO