Jul 13 2008

Bridge To NoWhere

I HEAR it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions;
But really I am neither for nor against institutions;
(What indeed have I in common with them?—Or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta, and in every city of These States, inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel, little or large, that dents the water,
Without edifices, or rules, or trustees, or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

– Walt Whitman

It turns out my fears were unfounded. Sort of.

My public defender called me Tuesday afternoon and told me I had not forfeited my right to a trial should I get arrested within the next year. But it doesn’t matter.

I was arrested Wednesday. The circumstances were thus:

I was at my computer and had just loaded my pipe when the maid knocked on the door to come in and clean the room. So I put on my shoes and took the pipe, and a gram of hash someone had given me, and went outside while they cleaned the room.

It was still early and I decided to check out Abbott Square.

Abbott Square is a pedestrian cul-de-sac, a courtyard. There is a partially secluded courtyard in the very back. It was deserted when I went back there, there was a small tree that partially blocked me from view, and I felt it would be “safe” to smoke my pipe there. I have smoked there many times before undisturbed. It is the closest thing to a backyard I have. My window looks down on the back coutyard.

I was wrong.

By the time I had finished my pipe there were probably a dozen people sitting around the courtyard, behind the museum. Only one person entered the back courtyard where I was, and that was the wine merchant next to the museum. He carried trash to the dumpster and when I smiled at him he wouldn’t meet my gaze.

After I finished my pipe I walked to the middle of the plaza, sitting on the wall at the steps behind the hallway to the street and lit a cigarette. I had planned to sit there and smoke a cigarette to give the maids time to finish, and then return to my room. Before I could do that two police arrived and began to interrogate me.

The demanded to know if I had been smoking marijuana. And it was clear they intended to search me, as they demanded to know if I had any on me.

This happened last Wednesday and it is just now I can write about it. I tried to begin yesterday and had to stop after a few paragraphs. The time on the citation was 11:10am.

They refused to allow me to use my phone and call anyone. I didn’t have my recommendation with me but I hadn’t planned on smoking anything when I left my room. I just took the pipe and the hash with me because I didn’t want the maid to take them. It wasn’t until I saw the back courtyard was deserted and the square was quiet that I made the decision to go ahead and finish what I had started – to medicate.

They all know damn well I have a recommendation. One of them cited me, after seeing my recommendation, and I was charged with possession. This is the charge that would have been dismissed if I had ‘stayed out of trouble’ for a year, until July 9, 2009. This is Simms I’m speaking of and we’ve had numerous previous encounters.

When I told them my recommendation was upstairs they refused to go up with me to get it stating it would “be unsafe” for them!

The fact is I had called my public defender the previous day and told her what was going to happen is that I would have to be some place and need to medicate, and they would cite me for it whether I had a recommendation or not, just as they have previously done.

I never dreamed that more or less exactly that would happen the very next day.

They hand-cuffed me, and I must have sat in the police car for half an hour before they took me to the jail. I didn’t have my glasses and couldn’t see to do anything. I managed to call Becky and she co-signed for bail. I was detained for 6 hours and was released on $1000 bail. Becky co-signed the bond, which cost me $110.

I no longer have my coffee cup, almost a gram of hash, my pipe, or my lighter. I was robbed not only of my possessions but my dignity, my peace of mind, my freedom, and $110 I can’t afford. And when I get out of jail I find that rumors are flying on the internet, on the Sentinel’s Website, that I spit in a little girl’s face and gave her hepatitis.

Winston launched a smear campaign against me on the local newspapers forum. He accused me of spitting in a little girl’s face and giving her hepatitis. So it appears there is a lynch-mob screaming to have me tested, and then burned at the stake.

Winston seems to think I should be tried for murder.

When confronted he edited and deleted his messages. He also has the ability to edit and/or delete my messages. He is one of four or five moderators in that forum that have the ability to edit posts. I made copies of the posts and will be putting them up on my website with links here shortly.

Myself, I am stunned, shocked, saddened, and terrified by the whole situation.

How much am I supposed to take?

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