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Population. Part Four.

It had been at least three to four days since my arrest. The days were difficult to keep up with while I was incarcerated. I had not eaten anything and had drunk very little water from the steel sink. Every day, while in the covid unit, I was given two pieces of bread with one slice of bologna in the middle with a mayonnaise and mustard packet. Along with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of chips. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was not your typical sandwich. It was a big clump of corn syrup mixed with the two liquids at room temperature. Disgusting! I was hungry but with my nervous system in disorder I did not feel like eating-especially the food I was given. I was at my low. Not only was the food, environment, and cell revolting; I felt detestable. I had not showered; my hair was matted in knots as I laid there wanting it all to come to an end.

Finally, an officer approached my cell. I had been cleared from the covid unit and was to be escorted to population. The officer: "Mims, let's go." I stood up and immediately seen stars. I was weak and had moved too quickly. I walked to the steel door. "Hands behind your back." I followed the officer with my hands behind my back with my body shaking from anxiety and the fact that I was freezing cold. When I arrived at 'population' a black middle-aged female officer approached me. "Turn around facing the wall, hands above your head, spread your legs." I was given my 'pat down' before I could enter my new jailcell. "Mims, grab the container. The nurse will make her rounds in a few. Make your bed. No laying underneath your blanket during the day." I did not say a word. I grabbed the container and was escorted toward my cell. She unlocked the door. Relief came. Noone else was in my cell-at the moment. I did not want to be around anyone else. I wanted to drown in my self-pity alone. It felt like Antartica. My entire body trembled non-stop as my mind raced. A part of me wanted to die. The other part wanted to fight for my freedom.

A couple of hours later my cell unlocked. It was 'free time' for an hour. I stood up and walked to the in-closed "outside area" where inmates smoked cigarettes and could look up and see the outside world. The legal standard for human regulation of sunlight. I asked one of the girls for a cigarette. Most of the inmates had rolled their own cigarettes. I had never smoked from a small thin paper rolled up with nicotine, but it looked like heaven to me. Cigarettes are like gold in jail. The nice, beautiful blonde girl handed me one. She seemed like she knew the 'ropes'! I began asking questions because I was absolutely clueless. I needed cigarettes and wondered how many days you had to wait for a court date. Along with basic questions like: Is there a certain time we shower? When do they bring fresh panties and such? How do I access my commissary account and how do I get someone to add money? She answered all my questions. This was not her first rodeo!

Later, on the intercom my name was called, "Mims. come see the nurse." My door opened. I walked out and stood in line with about five people. When it was my turn, I sat across from the nurse as she asked me about my health concerns, etc. I explained my withdraw from alcohol and added benzodiazepine to the list to ensure I got medicated. I was not in withdraw; I desperately wanted anything to help me escape my reality and calm my increased anxiety. I was given Librium. Librium is "Chlordiazepoxide is used to treat anxiety and acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used to relieve fear and anxiety before surgery." It is given in treatment facilities to help with withdraw symptoms. It is also a benzodiazepine, in the Xanax family of narcotic drugs. The pill is administrated for a week; after about two days you are gradually tapered off the medication. I had not taken a benzo in six months. It knocked me on my butt! I was out-of-it for a week. I would awaken for medication call and head count; sometimes I would walk outside and ask for a cigarette if I felt like I had the strength. The rest of the time I slept. I went days without food occasionally eating a bag of chips.

One time in particular I walked out for medication call without my black, jailhouse slippers. This is a huge no, no. I did not even realize it until the female officer said, "Mims. where are your shoes? " I looked at her nonchalantly and said, " I am sorry. I am not used to this. I do not know the protocols around here." I walked back to my cell. The next time my cell opened for free time I walked out to call my daddy. I had not talked to him yet. I wanted to ask if he would put money on my "books." I called collect. He answered and was pissed at me. He said very unpleasant statements. I hung up the phone. My feelings were hurt as I walked away cursing his name. I held a strong grudge against him for the hateful words spoken. I did not speak to him again for eight months. It was not until God softened my heart and help me forgive that I was able to reach out. I first reached out by a letter. I am much better expressing myself and my feelings through writing.

Since my daddy and I was at odds I had to think of someone else to put money on my 'books.' I called my mama and asked for Maverick's number. If anyone understood what I was going through- it was him. He always supported me when I needed it. My only prerogative was money for commissary. It was approaching Tuesday. Store day. I had to obtain money and place my order. I had girls I needed to pay back for cigarettes. And luckily for them, I was spoiled. I only smoked Marlboro Reds.

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