September 15th, 2021

Tactical Gear

14 hours in a Cell.

   Continuing the memoir, here is the second half of the second scene, in which our protagonist finds himself in jail.

The hours hang in eternity. There is no clock. Two of my cellmates said they had consumed entire bottles of liquor before driving that night. At 28, I am one of the oldest in the cell. A young African-American lad of about 18 who oozes cool is regaling us how he lost his virginity at 10 to his 15 year old babysitter, a general moral discussion ensues.
   What will a DUI do to my life? Will the Peace Corps drop me? An officer brings us baloney sandwiches, the bread is dry and stale, they’re barely palatable.
   I manage to sleep for a few hours, despite having no blanket or pillow on a concrete bench. Sleeping anywhere is my superpower.
With no clock it’s hard to judge the time, but we think morning is approaching. One of the younger guys --he looks about 16, and swears he’s innocent of attempting to steal a car, no one believes him-- gives us a running update of what television programs he believes are on at any given moment. He’s a living TV Guide. We all take a turn yelling at him to shut the hell up but he won’t. My cellmates are optimistic we’ll be released at some point mid morning because this is what they “usually” do.
   The guards’ shift seems to have changed, they seem fresher as they stroll past the corridor outside. I wonder if anyone has missed me outside yet. My girlfriend would certainly have wondered why I never called her back. I’m probably late for work by now. The previous year I had taken a 7 month break from the bee mines to work on a traditionally-rigged (i.e. looks like a pirate ship) sailing vessel, the brigantine Eos, and I had promised to meet with my old captain this morning and show him beekeeping. Slowly the certainty that I’ve missed that appointment grows. I’ve managed to simultaneously shame myself before both my current and former bosses. I picture Captain Larsen with his fiery red beard kicking his tires in frustration after having driven up from San Diego, and cursing me under his breath.
Mr TV Guide is reporting on mid-morning programs, cellmates are all awake again, they don’t seem terribly concerned, for many this hasn’t been their first DUI.
   Terrible baloney sandwiches come again. Does this mark lunch? Will I lose my license? Will I have to report this on future job applications? Will this torpedo my idea to maybe go to law school?
   Finally, after ages, a guard swings open the door and announces “alright line up, time to go!”
   “About time!” cracks the one cellmate older than me
   “Oh yeah? would you like to stay longer?” asks the officer, pushing him back into the cell and closing the door on him after the rest of us are out and lined up on a yellow line on the floor. We’re led down a few corridors and line up to receive a plastic bag full of our things through a slot in a window. I receive mine, with my wallet, keys, cellphone and severed turks-head. It’s 2pm.
   My parents don’t answer the phone, next I try work
   “Heeey this is Kris, um, could one of you pick me up from the OC Central Jail?” I ask my coworker Jeremy. He laughs and says yes.

   Two sailing ships have now been mentioned, I rather feel I probably ought to role them into one.
   There's some internal monologue lines which should be in italics but depending on how your account is set up to render blockquotes the whole blockquote might be in italics which might make it a bit unclear what is internal monologue other than by context.
   As always feedback is appreciated. (: