Shackled walking down this hallway still shackled thinking could I really be getting out of here no one knew I was here. I had been here 143 days now I’m finally being unchained and led into this giant cage in the middle of a room surrounded by empty office chairs and desks. I had dressed out of the green county corrections uniform and the orange and white Velcro shoes and back into my own slightly snugger pants and top.
Trying to hear what’s going on with the officers that brought me in and the fat officer behind the counter. I lean over not so much that I draw either of their attention but to see if it may be me they’re talking about. Maybe the judge messed up. I wasn’t supposed to get out. I hear voices coming from down the hall from the same direction I just came from maybe it’s one of the other guards coming to get me and…on no, they’re just bringing someone else in who’s getting out.
I watch this scene play out over and over and over. I watch the clock as minutes tick by then hours. I begin to think they forgot about me.
Finally it’s my turn I am released from my cage and provided with the few belongings I brought in my pockets.
At this point I’m walking down the hallway to another big metal door with a tiny window above my line of vision. The guard is searching for the keys for the door finally finds the key and shuffles through the keys, with amazing slowness.
Finally he finds the keys as he puts it in the lock and turns I’m doing everything short of jumping up and down and doing a little boogie dance.
I finally hear it turn and the officer starts to push the door open…I want to shout over him I held myself in check when the door slides open and he steps out of the way to let me past and says have a good night I mumble something like you too, I think.
I hear the door close behind me I look around me and I realize how do I get back from here in the middle of the night there were no lights coming from either direction no sounds no tires on gravel no no music nothing except every few minute there’s a light from inside of the corrections facility.
I take one more look around…
Bust out the boogie dance.
I’m out bitches.
Painting by Gwynne Duncan