Prison industry Pt.1

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On September 6, 2013 I was arrested by the Boston police department for assault by means of intimidation. The allegation was that I had intimidated someone with a large kitchen knife. On October 21, 2014 the charges where dropped because I like the rest of us have the right to a speedy trial. The original complainant never showed up to court for the 5 or so court dates we were given in the year between the two dates.

I was fresh from what I will always remember like a divorce. I found a room in Mission hill and moved in to what I felt would be a good place to start fresh. My goal was to stabilize and get my shit together to blast into the next phase of my life. A phase I filled with my own home, freedom, travel and passion. The woman who rented the space will be referred to as N. N was a short plump woman with a warm endearing smile who’s child like eyes sparkled from her aged face when she was intrigued. She had a thick spanish accent of the singey italian inspired sort that added a little humor to everything she said. Something the I learned new appreciation for in the aftermath. We became friendly quickly, sometimes she would ask me to accompany her on the porch where she liked to sit in the evenings and we would chat about everything and nothing. As the days wore on I saw flashes of emotional instability in N’s behavior and speech pattern but I felt it harmless, nothing more than a bit quirky.

Thirty days after I moved in N disappeared for about a week and returned with the news that she had cancer. She said that she had been given a grave prognosis based on the type and it’s stage of development. The sparkle had gone from her eyes. This effected me deeply because I know how preventable cancer is and I cared for her. It hurt personally to watch as the words of a trained prescription writer drove her further and further into despair. I stayed close to N and offered assistance in any way possible including complementary bodywork and playing driver for appointments. During one early trip to the hospital I made the mistake of being 15 minutes late to retrieve N, at this moment everything changed. Things deteriorated so quickly that it is hard to explain without it seeming as if this happened over a longer time. Within a week the living situation felt almost unbearable, antagonistic comments were made at every meeting.  By two weeks out I had the police called on me the first time of two and I wasn’t even there. This made it very clear my presence was not wanted so I turned my efforts toward seeking other quarters.

Looking back its clear that every move I made toward emotional detachment only escalated things. I had gone about it all wrong. I had been cold and aloof in response to her displays of emotion which were cries for caring. They were vitriolic and caustic on the surface but tender and longing deep down. Hindsight has a way of clearing all the cloudiness and I see the facts now. I was playing the role I was because I was there because I was available and cared. It seems natural to attack those closest to us. Although in my mind I was just a roommate with a distain for the medical establishment and talent for empathy I was a brave youthful pillar for her. She asked me because she felt close to me and needed some help. She had family close but I was there. I had been a warm soul to rest on when things were really going to shit, yet in her mind I had let her down. From her point of view now that she had shown her teeth I had no care for her in her state of poor health. I was a deserter like the boyfriend of 11 years who had been dishonest over and over then disappeared when she shared the diagnosis. I had no tools for dealing with such an emotionally intense situation so I completely shut down. I was still reeling from a personal emotionally intense situation, I wasn’t able to deal with another.

By September 5, two months after I moved in I had been looking for a new place to live for a few weeks. I had been staying away as much as possible hiking in the city and its parks when I wasn’t working. I arrived back at the residence around 5:00 to have dinner. I was making soup with white beans and I was chopping kale when N approached me from behind. The vitriol this time covered several subjects including me cooking too much. I very calmly and cooly informed N that I was done responding to her goading behavior and continued what I was doing. This only stoked her into an explosion of attacks to my character. It got more and more vicious but because one who has known another only two months hasn’t much material it also became ridiculous and improvisational. I laughed hard, I shook, shed tears and ached with humor. My brain was tickled by the absurdity of everything and I exploded jollily. I called my mom to both break me away from the situation and share it. N disappeared upstairs and the next significant even was the police walking in the door.

Her story was that I had come at her with the knife I was chopping kale with when the police walked in. The tale changed often, sometimes I lunged with the knife sometimes I swung it sometimes I pointed it but the basic allegation was clear. We were separated and asked some questions then I was arrested. I sat in jail for about 5 hours and when I got out I was not allowed to return to the residence. I slept on a friend’s floor, I was angry I was hurt I got burned out I freaked out I moved home and moved back in a span of 8 months. N never showed up for a single court date and It all got dropped after over a year of being given new dates. Oh but the things I saw the things learned in such a short space are integral to my survival, you may find them the same. Stay tuned. ♥

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