Missing Cats and Found Kittens
Copyright© 2019 by UtIdArWa
I didn’t know what time it was. Without a watch or clock, and not being able to see the sun, I couldn’t even guesstimate that way. But I did know it was late, and getting later. Finally, Paul came back. Followed by 2 state troopers. I knew that things had went from bad to worse.
“Matt, I want you to know upfront that I tried my damnedst to stop this. Video from this morning has went viral on the internet. The district attorney in Grangeville has gotten wind of what happened. That and the guy you popped is demanding charges be pressed. It’s an election year and Randy Clausen, he’s the DA for the county, is looking at a rough campaign. He’s decided to use you as his ticket to reelection.”
“OK Paul, I understood about half of that. What you’re trying to tell me is that I’m in deep trouble?”
“That’s right Matt. These 2 troopers are here to transport you to the lockup in Grangeville. It’s been taken out of my hands. Even Judge McMillian, the circuit judge can’t help. And believe me I tried. I even offered to tell him my secret fishing hole, no dice. He did say that he would talk to the Grangeville folks and try to get a good judge assigned to your case. He didn’t guarantee anything other than he would try.”
“I understand Paul, it isn’t your fault and I know you tried. Can I see Suzy before I leave?”
Paul looked over at the troopers, the one with corporal stripes nodded. “10 minutes, then we have to go.” He said.
Paul opened the block door and called “Suzy?”
As soon as she stepped into the corridor, I could tell that she had been having a rough time of it. Her eyes were red and she had that look all women can get. That one where they, just by body language alone seem smaller, weaker, Demanding male protection. I swear that at that point, if I had been able to do it. I would have broken out and carried her off. My baby was hurtin, and that made me mad.
Holding my arms out between the bars, she started to come to me. The younger trooper interrupted, “No touching.”. Suzy whirled and stepped into the trooper’s safety zone. and in a tone that froze fire, said “Excuse Me?”
The youngster stepped back and raised his hands, “Uhmm, that is, ahh, umm”
He was saved by the Corporal. “It’s alright Billy. Why don’t you go and gas up the cruiser? I think between me and the Sheriff here, we can handle the situation.”
I wouldn’t say the kid ran from the room, but he didn’t waste any time either.
The Corporal turned to Paul, “You wouldn’t happen to have any fresh coffee Sheriff? It’s a long trip to Grangeville and I’m sure we could use a fresh thermos for the trip.”
Pausing for a moment, Paul grinned and said, “Sure thing Andy, we’ll get you hooked up. In fact, I’ll call over to Mable’s and get some sandwiches made up for you and the rookie.”
As they walked out, the trooper said, “Damn it, I forgot about Mabel’s. I love her burgers.”
with the door closed, Suzy rounded on Me, “Matt, what in the hell do you think you were doing? What could that pogey bait possibly have to say that deserved a punch like that?”
“Whoa Suzy, Really, I didn’t hit him that hard. And he caught me unawares. If I had been paying attention to him and not you and Paul trying to stop that riot, I probably wouldn’t have done anything. As it is, and I’ll tell you the truth, He deserved what he got, and worse.”
She stood there, anger written plain and bold on her face. Then it softened and the tears started showing up. “Damn it Babe, what am I going to do with you.”
If it hadn’t been for those damn bars, it would have been one of the sweetest hugs of my life.
“Matt?” Paul held the door slightly ajar, “Matt, It’s time. We’ve got to get you on the road.”
Suzy stepped back and sniffled. “Don’t worry Babe, I’ll find a good lawyer. We’ll have you home in no time.”
“I know sweety. You’ll do your best.” I called out, “Alright Paul, Let’s get this parade started.”
Paul and the 2 troopers came onto the cell block. We went through the process of cuffing up. Then both of the troopers gave me a shakedown. Now folks the next time you get inspected by those folks at TSA and don’t like it. Try getting shook down by a couple of professional cops. And those 2 guys were amateurs compare to the micromanagement specialists at the County lock up in Grangeville. After my intake there, I felt like one of them should have told me to see my proctologist about my prostate.
Finally, after getting cuffed and shackled, they stuffed me in the back of their cruiser and we headed towards Grangeville.
The ride into Grangeville started out interesting, but soon got boring. The younger trooper, Billy, was the talkative type. Asking me questions, pausing and then when I didn’t respond, would try a different tack and rephrase the question. The interesting part was that he didn’t seem to get upset or impatient when I wouldn’t answer him. I finally told him, “Son, I respect what you and your partner do for a living. It isn’t easy when the only appreciation that society shows you is a paycheck. I know that at times it just doesn’t seem worth it, getting puked on by drunks, or abused by people with an over inflated sense of self-worth. And I am sure that putting a child in a body bag is more than you can take. I can also appreciate that you would do anything to get promoted out and away from those shitty aspects of your job. BUT I’ve been interrogated by the best, I’ve even done a few myself, and right now I’m not quite in the mood to entertain your fantasy of cracking the big case and getting your Captains attention. So, that having been said, I’m going to take a little nap right now. Let me know when we get there.”
I leaned my head against the door and closed my eyes. About 15 minutes later I heard a low, “Dammit” followed by chuckles from the driver’s seat.
Arriving at Grangeville was a bit anticlimactic. Once we drove into the sally port, I was transferred from the car to the county intake. Then I was shuffled through the standard process. Stripped, Showered, Deloused, poked, prodded and photographed. I was issued jail jumpers and then taken to an intake room. It was the size of a classroom. On one side, the side that the chairs faced. Chairs that were bolted to the floor, was a large screen tv that was showing CNN news. On the opposite side was the administration offices and access to the jail itself.
Having been directed to a seat, I sat down and started checking out my surroundings. There wasn’t much going on. Idaho county wasn’t a big county, At least population wise. But we did get our fair share of drunks and, unfortunately druggies. It used to be that weed, marijuana, was the big home production item. But now a days Meth was taking over. It was easy to make and the profits were sooo high that the temptation was almost impossible to resist. Particularly if you have been out of work long enough for your benefits to dry up. That was another thing Idaho County was short of, Job’s. Combine easy money with the fact that it was so damn easy to get hooked and a stone cold bitch to kick, that’s what made it so tragic.
Most of the people in the room were drunks, some mean, most not. Then there was the sprinkling of folks like me, the unusual, the Non-drug offender. And then there was the dopers, the users, the makers and the sellers.
At various points over the next 4 hours, I would get called to the back of the room. Mugshots taken, medical history, fingerprints, voluntary DNA sampling, etc.,
finally, they announced a midnight meal. We stood in line and was issued a dry baloney and cheese sandwich, an apple and a juice box. Gourmet fare. I had fond memories of the MRE’s I had in the Army.
Eventually I was called and taken to my Pod, My home away from home, for now.
I had 2 roommates, pod mates? whatever. 1 was an obvious tweeker. The kid was just this side of 18 and had already destroyed his life. He was jittery, shaking, twitching. Standing and walking then sitting and fidgeting. I knew that there was nothing I could do for him, or about him. I just tried my best to ignore him. The other guy was some kind of wanna be gang banger. I know there are gangs in Idaho. But Idaho county is so far off the beaten track, I was surprised with this kid. He was 17 or 18. He had a scraggly beard and mustache. I could also see amateur ink on his arms. Not much. just one or two obscure images.
As soon as we were locked down, my gangster friend tried to put one on me. Puffing out his banty chest, he told me that he was king of the cell, and I was his bitch. I was sitting on the lower bunk at the time. I looked up at him and gave him a bit of skunk eye. Then I slowly stood up. I had at least 6 inches and 50 lbs. on the booger. While I’m not a fighter, never claimed to be a fighter. And have gotten my butt kicked by real fighters, I KNEW first, this kid was even less of a fighter, second, he was a typical bully. Stand up and they back off quick. Third, He was scared spitless. This was his way of coping.
I looked down into his eyes and didn’t say a word, just stared. After a minute I could see the false confidence drain from his eyes. “Son,” I started. “We don’t need to be friends. We also don’t need to be enemies. But if you don’t behave yourself, the CO’s won’t get here fast enough to save your ass. Now, you grab the bunk you want and get comfortable. We aren’t going anywhere. OH, and by the way, leave the tweeker alone. I want a polite cell, not a blood covered one.”
With his badboy bravado gone, He mumbled “Yes sir” and climbed into the upper bunk, opposite from the one I had been sitting on.
The tweeker had been watching us. Whether my little speech had inspired him, or he felt the need to talk, Spoke up, “Sir, I’m Anthony Fisk. You can call me Tony.” He stuck his hand out to shake.
I looked at his hand, then up into his eyes. He was grinning and I could see the mess that his teeth had become. I could also see where he had been scratching at his arms to get at the imaginary bugs under his skin.
I didn’t take his hand. “Mr. Fisk, I am NOT your friend. I am NOT your protector. I just happen to be in the same cell as you. Luck of the draw, Karma, Kismet, whatever. I’m going to offer you one, and only one piece of advice. Get into rehab. Throw yourself on the mercy of the court. Pled guilty and beg for rehab. If you don’t, you’ll be dead inside of 6 months. Get off the speed and stay off. You won’t get another chance.”
this was obviously not what he wanted. He started to speak, whether it was to justify his addiction, or explain it, or blame his parents. I didn’t give him the chance. “It’s your life meth head. Rehab or the cemetery.”
The guy ended up curled in a corner under the sink/toilet device. He cried for a while, mumbling about how unfair it all was. Eventually he crawled into the lower bunk and passed into a fitful sleep.
I sat there for a long time. wondering why I should care.