Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jail Moolah

I was walking with my girlfriend this evening down Jay/Smith Street north of Atlantic and we passed by the jail vehicle entrance.

Now whoever lives at 75 Smith or the Nu Hotel sitting there (they managed to put out a chalkboard stand harping on 5 dollar martinis even though nobody is ever in the first floor bar) must either feel uneasy watching buses of handcuffed persons come in across the street or totally fascinated that in the middle of a yuppified neighborhood there's still a reminder of the county courts a couple blocks north, holding all the anger, frustration, and fateful legal discourse of one of the most dynamic areas in the country. Was that a run-on sentence?

Anywho, a man quietly approached us and said, "Excuse me buddy, but could you spare a quarter, I just got out of jail." I unfortunately did not even have any change on me as we were just escorting a friend a few blocks to Atlantic. He was wearing a classically ugly holiday sweater, which reminded me of a wonderfully hideous sweater I have in my closet that I cannot wait to wear. I wondered how long he had been lingering around the jail; I'm assuming a few hours if he was processed during normal work hours but I could be completely wrong.

I wondered what his next step was along with what he could have possibly done to land in jail. Hopefully he gets where he's going. It isn't superbly cold tonight, but to exit an unfamiliar (or maybe familiar) environment with nothing on you, I can't imagine the numerous things that go through your mind. Since I'm assuming nobody was there to greet him upon his exit, the feeling of being alone and out there in the night has to be a little crushing. His explanation that he was in jail probably would turn people off but it was meant to grab a little sympathy I think.

Then again, he could have been dangerous. I apologized anyway and passed him on the corner as he slowly walked without a sense of direction, searching for another sympathetic ear.

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