Oh my gosh, I didn't think that I was ever going to be able to drag myself out of bed this morning ! I stuck one toe out from under the covers, and yanked it right back in - it was freezing ! But then, I realised that I HAD to get up and moving, to go visit Nick.
They have Nick at the Gardner, KS facility. It's about a 15 minute drive through town, instead of 5 minutes to the Olathe jail. It's a new jail that was just built about . . . 10 years ago? I think that Nick likes it better there because it's generally cleaner than the old jail. Of course, it's still jail, and it sucks.
Hell, just going to visit him isn't alot of fun either. Once I get to the jail and park my car in the lot, I have to take a few minutes just to remove all metal objects. Stuff like belts with metal buckles, earrings, and any change in my pockets, because I know that I will have to go through a metal detector. Of courses I go through the same routine every time that I take Nick to the courthouse, or to visit his probation officer. I have nightmares about metal detectors and that horrible buzzer sound they make. Last Wednesday, I wasn't thinking, and I wore my overalls to visit Nick. BIG mistake - all those brass buttons and hasps - it's just a good thing that I don't look very dangerous, I was starting to think that they weren't ever going to let me through!
Anyway, after I do that, I have to locate my driver's license and lock my purse, my cigarettes, and anything of any value in the glove box of my car. There are usually guys who have just been released waiting to be picked up standing around outside. Since they don't allow smoking in jail anymore, most of them are so nicotine deprived that they would probably risk a felony charge by reaching into a car to get a smoke.
Once I am certain that I'm contraband free, and I have my driver's license in hand, I can begin the half mile hike to the front door. Almost all of that half mile is over a metal and wood slat bridge that spans a pond that's usually frozen over in the winter, and smells like sewage in the summer. I'm not sure if the pond is some one's warped idea of Kansas landscaping, or if it's supposed to resemble a moat. (all they are missing is a troll.) All I know, is that it sucks. There are no trees any where to provide any kind of protection from wind, rain, or heat. As I have walked over that bridge in all kinds of weather, I have concluded that this was probably an intentional decision when the jail was built and there's probably a reason for it, but it still pisses me off. This morning, it was freezing cold, and windy. Last Sunday, it poured down rain and sleet. (there's no point in using an umbrella, they won't allow them in the jail!)
After I get inside, I have to surrender my driver's license to the desk Sargent in exchange for a laminated tag that tells me where to go for visitation. While I am visiting, they run my driver's license to check for warrants. (I've seen people who show up for visits, who become guests) I go through the metal detector (hopefully buzzer free) through a metal turnstile, and onto an elevator that is covered with quilted padding from floor to ceiling. Once I exit, there is nothing but concrete floors, and grey painted cinder block walls. At the end of the hall there is a room that has 8 plastic lawn chairs facing double paned, bullet proof, plexi glass windows. To the left of each chair, is a phone receiver that I use to talk to Nick on the other side of the window, who sits in a matching plastic lawn chair. Usually, if I'm lucky, we are the only ones there. If there is more than two other people visiting other inmates, then it's impossible to hear each other over the chatter.
Today, I found out that Nick went to court on Wednesday and surrendered his probation. He now has 93 days left to serve. He wants me to try to contact the cities where he has his two DUI's, and see if he can serve his time for them concurrently. That way, he won't have to serve any other time. His biggest concern right now is getting court dates for those those charges scheduled before they can farm him out to another jail. Since he has already been to court, and he doesn't have any other court dates pending, they could send him to ANY jail in the state of Kansas to serve his time. Most of those jails are pretty awful, and visitation would be difficult, if not impossible, for me. Phone calls can only be made through correctional billing, who charges an arm and a leg for each phone call. I really can't afford that right now.
So today, I guess he is feeling anxious and powerless. That sort of makes any kind of "normal" conversation difficult. It was one of those days that I felt relieved when they flashed the lights to signal the end of visitation. Visits like that kind of make me feel like a crappy mom, but it's true - I didn't want to be there.
When I got home, I made a huge breakfast for everyone, got the chili started, cleaned up the kitchen, and took a long nap. I probably should have skipped the nap, because everyone is in bed and now, I can't sleep.
Otherwise, it's been a pretty uneventful day. Roy and I watched "The Brave one" with Jodie Foster today. It's a pretty good movie. I base that on the fact that the dog doesn't die. What can I say ? I'm not a movie critic. I don't ask for much.
Well, I should probably make use of my quiet time and prepare for school tomorrow. Hope you all have a wonderful week.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Posted by Auburn~haired~artist at Monday, February 11, 2008