After my nervous system stops blowing fuses from being tasered I find myself in a room with a guy that looks like he’s going through DTs. I’ve never seen anyone in DTs but this just seems to fit better than psychosis or hallucinogens. Sometimes he just lies there with a glassy look in his eyes, his sheet soaked in sweat that is running off him. Every few seconds a tremor shakes him all over. A large drop works its way down his nose and onto his lip and off his chin. He has on nothing but a pair of briefs, which is a disgrace. It’s cold in here. Why doesn’t somebody come in and sedate him?
I shiver and try to stay warm. I have on the clothes I had when I was tasered but it’s colder in here than it was outside. IDK how long I’ve been here but there are bars on the windows and a narrow window on the door, which is stoutly locked. Outside most of the color in the trees is gone and a wind ruffles the brownish leaves and sends them shuttling to the ground. An iron sky adumbrating an Indiana winter. If I’m still in Indiana. IDK what kind of place this is.
Hey, you! I say to the man in briefs.
How many did you have last night?
Just one, he says as his sweating accelerates.
Just one what?
Just one beer, he says.
A male nurse comes in and, ignoring me, sticks a needle in the man and almost as soon he passes out.
How long has he been in here? I ask the epicene male nurse. Why hasn’t he been sedated before?
Cause we’re sadists, honey, the nurse says, fluttering his lashes.
I go over and pull the sheet up over the prostrate man so he wont catch pneumonia.
What is this place? I say to the nurse.
A drunk tank.
I wasn’t drunk. I was tasered.
We take all kinds, he says briskly. I’ve got your Valium here. You get a pill, not a shot. Unless you’d like to drop em for me.
Don’t want a pill, I say. I want out.
You don’t get what you want here. Take the pill, sweetie.
Reluctantly I take the Valium and jowl it and drink the cup of water and when he is gone I hide the pill in my pants pocket in case I ever need it. I soon find that I am incommunicado, even when they let me into the day room. I bitch and bitch for a phone but am ignored. It appears that this is a “public service” place. A very basic, no-frills one that the county contracts out for, in another saintly gesture at small government. Although the county could do this at half the cost, this way everybody’s buddy gets a contract and everybody a kickback. But that’s not the chilling part.
Fantastic as it sounds, this place uses involuntary servitude for public works projects like the one on the road where I was tasered and kidnapped. They simply kidnap the indigent and use them for labor and no one is the wiser that the guys on the roadside in blue are slaves, not prisoners. No due process, no recourse. Just slave labor. The blue is to distinguish them from the orange of prisoners so they will get tasered instead of shot when they try to escape. And if there is a stink when one of them dies the county can throw up its hands and say they had no idea…after all, it’s a contract service, not a public one. And if criminal charges are ever filed against anyone they get a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine and no new contracts for six whole months. Certainly not Kidnapping or Negligent Homicide. Let’s hear it for small government. Bronx cheer.
But my own plight is grave. As far as they are concerned I’m one of the forgotten people no one cares about. The fact that I have family that could come get me out is something they don’t want to know. And I see that if I don’t want to spend my life here I have to get to a phone even if I have to escape to do it.