Life is made up of oddly disconnected moments that end up being related to each other, at least in your mind. This blog is about two such moments that may, initially, seem wildly disparate. Let’s take the events in order. Thus sharing the only linear thing in my life. A couple of weeks ago I went to my secret bar. It’s a place I go where no one knows me, no one cares about anything I do, and everyone leaves me alone. Except the bartender. I need him to pay attention to me so I can get my drinks refilled. Nevertheless, that’s the extent of my interactions there. That said, this time a nice young lady sat down next to me. I was reading a collection of Kafka stories, I was well into The Trial at that time, and she struck up a conversation. This was not something I was all that interested in, even though she was quite striking, so I was terse with my answers. Sadly, I was also witty so she laughed and kept talking. After a while, and a couple of adult libations, I found myself answering in full sentences and trying not to be a dick. The bartender, who knows me well enough to know I avoid humans like the plague when I’m there watched the whole evening unfold with an amused eye. As he was coming to check our drinks I took one last swing at making her go away.
“Do you know why all the cavemen you see in museums are clean shaven?”
She stared at me and shrugged.
“It’s because the hair on a woman’s legs was designed to rub the hair off a man’s face.”
She laughed and finished her drink.
“You don’t believe me?”
“Want me to prove it?”
As we were leaving the bartender mumbled, loud enough for us to hear, “I can’t believe that fucking worked.”
A couple of days later I was walking with a buddy of mine who’d just gotten out of the hospital. Since he was using a walker we cut down an alley so he wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. Suddenly a squad car pulled up and two, plainclothes, cops jumped out, told us to freeze, and informed us that “someone had complained.”
Yeah, a middle aged white guy and a dude with a walker are clear threats to society.
The cops were not amused by that assertion and ran our IDs anyway.
Much to my surprise a warrant kicked up with my name on it.
From 1997 to 2002 my mother and grandmother were in DuPage Convalescent Center. My mom had stage 4 cancer and my granny had suffered a paralyzing stroke and had dementia. I visited them as often as I could. At that time I drove a 1989 Pontiac Bonneville SSI. It was black on black with half tint windows. I loved that car. I drove it everywhere. It got me to Nome, Key West, Nova Scotia, and Panama. Among many other places. When I sold it in 2003 it had 280,000 miles on it.
For some reason, in DuPage, it was a cop magnet. Usually I would get a warning for some unspecified offense but occasionally I got a ticket. Once a cop explained to me that he “thought (I) was black” as if that justified everything.
I thought I’d paid them all off by 2003 but it seems I missed one.
In 2006 an overzealous judge ordered me to court but sent the order to an address I hadn’t used since 2000. Obviously I didn’t get it. So I missed that court date and she suspended my license and issued a bench warrant for my arrest. This was news to everyone since I was able to renew my license in 2010 with no problems. Anyway, that brings you up to date.
For some reason the cop marked the warrant “Hold, no Bond,” which intimates I’m a flight risk and there may be other warrants out for me, possibly under assumed names. This was not true. I could have paid this bitch off right then and walked home. But, as you may have guessed, that didn’t happen.
The cop told me to leave my phone and personal effects with my buddy since I’d only be gone a couple of hours. I will never do that again. I had no numbers of anyone to contact and the police and jail employees aren’t allowed to look any up.
Anti-stalker laws and all that.
Thus began a five day, Kafkaesque, odyssey wherein I was booked in four different jails. First at the Shakespeare Station, then at Belmont, then at Cook County Jail, and finally, on Tuesday, into DuPage Correctional for trial.
The trial, Wednesday morning, was brief. The judge took one look at the paperwork, threw it all out, and told me to go home.
Easier said that done. My wallet, with my money, and my phone, were in Chicago. I had ¢.12 to my name.
The Public Defender took pity on me, got me into her office, got me a phone, gave me access to the internet, and an hour later I was back in Chicago.
I stopped at home to make sure it hadn’t burned down and then went to my secret bar to decompress.
Shortly thereafter the young lady mentioned above walked in and asked me why I’d missed our “play date” last Saturday. There was no way to explain it all without getting angry so I just handed her all the paperwork that was still in my pocket. Over fifty pages of me being arrested and booked around northern Illinois.
She stared at it and grimaced.
“This shit should have been quashed before you hit the first door.”
It was then I found out she’s a lawyer.
A really hot lawyer who’s a skosh younger than me, but still a lawyer.
Unlike the protagonist in Kafka’s story, she didn’t drag me to a quarry to plunge a knife into my chest. Instead she said, “You know, I think I may have done that hair removal thing wrong. Wanna try again?”
As we were leaving we both started laughing when we heard the bartender say “You know, I’m really learning to hate that fucking guy.”
Yeah, welcome to my world.
Nobody loves me.
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