Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Order / Hierarchy versus Conviviality Stories / Jail /
A headline about a vigil reminded me of vigils I witnessed in helpless ignorance from my cell in the Federal Detention Center in Miami. The jail was in a court complex. The cells had windows that were tall and skinny and looked bullet-proof, could have been nuke-proof: if some friend of the fed could have made a bundle at the public’s expense, few questions asked, no body overseeing, I don’t doubt that they were nuke-proof. One thing they were not designed for shooting arrows, though they looked like they belongs to an old stone keep. And they certainly were not designed for looking at anything comfortably. My cell mate of one such time was a Puerto Rican, spoke no English, or at least no English to me, but, after dinner, climbed to his upper bunk, and plastered his eye against the fortified arrow-slot glass.
The windows you see were adequate for noticing the crowds of girls who would assemble across the street from the jail, blowing kisses, holding up banners: “Te, amo, Chico.” “I love you, Slug.” “Come home, Blackie.”
They weren’t my girls and they weren’t waving at me. I was incarcerated in 7C. I don’t even know which section was being addressed by the girls. I don’t know how the girls knew where anybody was. I don’t know that the girls were right in what they thought they knew. But I scrunched up against the window and watched: missing female companionship terribly. My Catherine died in 2004. I was arrested in 2006, without a girl friend: however much I’ve made up for it since the fed chased me back to Sebring in 2007.
So it hurt to watch the girls: and to see the cops cars slide up to the girls, and chase them with night sticks, and bundle those who didn’t flee fast enough into the cop cars.
Could the girls have been hoping they’d be incarcerated near Chico, or Slug, or Blackie? I don’t know what the girls knew. But in the Palm Beach jail, the horrors and filth and disease of the holding cells was almost offset by the proximity of horrible filthy disease-ridden shit-spattered holding cells with members of the species of female persuasion. God, the longing that would pass through our mutual bars. Girls would mouth phone numbers at us. Guys strutted. (Some guys were plenty pissed when some of the girls gave this old man a look-over.