February 7th, 2019
I drove to Kenosha this morning to pick up someone I love. She needed a ride to get from her apartment in the hood to her probation officer’s workplace. The probation officer is a woman. That doesn’t matter really, but I thought I would mention it so that anybody reading this post wouldn’t confuse the law enforcement official with the person I love. The young woman’s P.O. has an office that is just down the road from the KCDC (Kenosha County Detention Center). I guess that is a convenient location for the probation officer, just in case there is some reason for a convicted felon to be locked up (again). Somebody who violates the rules of their probation can go directly from her office to jail in less than five minutes, if necessary. I am sure that makes an impression on every person who has an appointment to see this P.O.
I got to the girl’s apartment early. I show up everywhere early. It’s a compulsion. I sat in the car and waited until 9:00 to sent her a text. He appointment with the P.O. was at 9:30. I got no answer to the text. I waited a couple minutes and then I knocked on her door. No response. This made me uneasy. It is a bad thing to be late to an appointment with your probation officer. In general, P.O’s have no sense of humor. At 9:10 I called the young lady. The phone rang for a while and then I heard a sleepy voice say,
“I’ll be right out. I just woke up.”
I got back into the car and listened to metal rock. Rain drops that were almost ice splashed on the car. I saw the girl come out of her front door and stumble into the passenger seat. She looked tired, really tired. She just got that third shift job, and she was obviously feeling the effects.
She said, “Thanks for picking me up. I would never have made it there otherwise.”
I replied, “You’re welcome. So, how was work last night?”
She shook her head and rolled her eyes simultaneously. Then she said wearily,
“I might be going to jail this morning.”
I said, “Okay.”
My reaction even surprises me. After all this time, nothing shocks me with regards to to this young woman. At this point, jail time is no big deal. It’s kind of normal. I don’t know how to explain it, but arrests are no longer alarming to me. I just go with it.
The girl continued to speak,
“The shift change to days threw me off. I have to do 32 hours of online training for this job, and that is done during the day. I didn’t get my schedule until the last minute, so I didn’t have time to tell my P.O. about the schedule change. My ankle bracelet is still set to show my curfew as if I am working at night. I tried to call Priscilla (the P.O.), and I left her messages, but I don’t know.”
I drove through the rain. “Okay, I guess we’ll find out.”
It is only a ten minute drive to the P.O.’s office. I parked in the lot. As the woman left my car, I said,
“I hope to see you soon.”
No comment from my passenger. She just got out and stoically went to her destiny.
Time dragged. Freezing rain hit the windshield and the other windows started to fog up. I listened to Jack White sing the lyrics to “Seven Nation Army”. That’s a good song. I really want to learn the bass part for that. The girl texted me twice to let me know that she had not been to her interview yet. I got out of the car several times just to look around. Other cars came and left, but I remained in the lot.
I thought about a lot of things. So, what happens if this woman gets busted and goes directly to jail? How do I even know that this happens? Does she just disappear? Do I sit and wait in this parking lot forever? What the fuck?
She came out of the building, looking serious as always. She got into the car, and said with a sardonic smile,
“They had an arrest warrant out for me.”
I answered, “And it’s all okay now?”
“Yeah…for now”, she said abruptly.
I drove her home in the rain. There was very little conversation.
She said, “I need to see Priscilla again at 8:15 on the 21st.”
I thought about that.
“When do you get off of work? 7:00 AM?”
She said, “Yeah.”
“Then I should really pick you up at the hotel. We can go for coffee after your shift, and then go to see your P.O.”
She nodded. “That would save me $12. (for uber).”
We arrived at her house.
“Yeah”. I said, “And it gets you a free coffee.”
She gave me the briefest of smiles. She got out.
I drove away.