Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Alyce's Night In Jail:

The woman cop and Mr. E. left to go check the computer to see if my prints had come back from the main office in Albany. That left the quiet guy, the one with the Yankees sweatshirt, to keep an eye on me. I asked him about the water situation, and again I was advised against drinking the tap water, and reassured it wouldn’t be long before I’d be out. I asked him if he’d been doing this job long, and he said 12 years. I told him it felt strange being locked up, but that I felt pretty confident, being in the United States, that nothing too terrible was going to happen to me. I told him that I trusted completely, for example, that if I really needed water that someone would bring me some, and how kind of ironic it was that the reason I had none was because they were trying to find me the bottled kind. He told me that he’d been in the military for 8 years before becoming a cop, and how during that time he developed an appreciation for the things we take for granted in this country, like clean tap water and electricity. We agreed that Americans, as a whole, are pretty spoiled. I told him I’d always wondered what it was like to be in prison, and he said that, though I was the one behind the bars, that he couldn’t exactly leave his post either, and in fact was serving his second 12-hour shift in a row. He said he never expected to be a cop, it just happened because he needed to pay the bills. He said he doesn’t even agree with a lot of the laws he enforces…he’s just doing his job. I suppressed the urge to ask what he would do if he felt he had a choice.