Ten months locked up treated like an animal. Possession, for a schedule II controlled substance. Being treated the same as murders that I’m locked up with. I’m about to turn 21.
I always knew my 21st birthday was going to be a let down.
After adapting, I’m suddenly hypersensitive of where I came from; an affluent family and neighborhood. The hood surrounds me. People think I walk around with fear.
Fear is not what I feel. I accepted my sentence before I was even sentenced.
I stare. I’ve always been a starer. I like to be quiet, to the point other people consider me mysterious. I watch people. I don’t know how my face looks. I do know I do not look peaceful.
Word of advice, you don’t stare at people when you are in jail.
I believe I’m an exception. I was exception to the court, to the judge, even to my own lawyer. I was unable to be defined. None of it made sense.
I hear, “white girl, come here, why you so scared?”
I respond, “I’m not scared, I’m keeping to myself.”
I’ve observed this place long enough to know the people that call me out run the “block.”
As quick as I found myself in the back of a cop car, I find my place in the center of circle I never thought I would find myself in. Hood, criminal, black-girl-swag, incarceration.
I have a clique of hood convicts that want to “take me under their wing.”
I’m in the only place in the world that this is a good thing.
They speak of their homes, the ghettos, and the hood. Possibly, they are slightly drawn to me because they view me as a rich white girl. The cracker from the million dollar neighborhood with the lawyer the cost more than their house and car alone. I’m not boasting, I’m facting, and it’s sad.
I make a best friend. I feel obligated to give her half of everything I get; to help her out as much as I can. She is my best friend. Eventually, this girl and I run the block.
From timid, quite, mysterious to deciding if the new girls that come on the block are going to have a pleasant experience or spend as much time as possible hiding in their cells.
When I first became initiated in the clique of incarceration rulers, I felt something I can’t say I’ve felt any time before in my life. I felt superior. I’m not full of myself like these women. I’m not racist like these women. I’m not uneducated like these women… It must have been their lack of education that made feel better than them.
They were proud of their hood, but at the same time tried to talk the talk that they had money galore. They eat salmon (make sure to pronunce it with the L). Conversations often took place about the designer clothes they wore. Always obtained by theft. Example:
My whole closet is Juicy Couture, I know you know what’s up Mary, am I right?
Yeah, when I was eleven. I would respond.
By this point of my “incarceration acceptance,” I didn’t want to be the “rich-white-girl-being-used-as-example” or “rich-white-girl-junkie-badass.”
I’m not even really white, just my skin passes for it. When I was locked up I had never been more proud to inform everybody of it. Especially when I heard, “SEE! YEAH GIRL! I knew you had some black in you!” Hispanic, but what’s the point of correcting you?
In jail, you will find most people lie to re-create themselves for the better. I wanted to be the lesser version of myself. I always want to be the lesser. I yearned to relate to my new crew. Fortunately, for me, it doesn’t matter what your class is, jail is the great equalizer.
So many months of the most soul-crushing, cruel, and unjust time of my life; I was rejuvenated — my dreams we’re alive again. How many people have spent a few nights in jail that came out crying how horrible it was? My jail sentence, I believed, had saved my life. My eyes were finally open. I had ambition. I had motivation. The strangest thing of all, I found happiness.
Over a year later, I’m living in the hood. Nothing has changed.
Tonight, I wanted to go for a walk at night with my significant other. We got caught in a mob of people who were offering me money for sex, offering us drugs, samples, etc. And the more we said “no, not interested,” the more they pushed us. Luckily, an old dealer was in the midst, and with sympathy walked us to our house without the mob, a block away.
The thought of being incarcerated again makes whatever the fuck happens after killing yourself much more attractive. I spend all day alone. I rarely find happiness in the outside world. And prison time looms now and somehow, the one place I thought saved me, I’m more terrified of than my very terrible real life.