Most of you remember that Sunday as Super Bowl Sunday. It was Super Bowl XXXVIII to be exact. The one Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed at halftime. The halftime show became famous for Janet Jackson’s "wardrobe malfunction". But I remember that Sunday as the day I went to jail for domestic violence.
She was sitting at a table toward the back of the club watching a college football game on TV. It was an ESPN game I couldn’t get at home because I had cut the cable off to save a little money. So I decided to go to the club and watch it. As I walked by she spoke to me.
"Hi there," she said. I looked her way and noticed she was attractive and several years younger than me. "Hi there," I said. That’s when and where it all started.
I had broken up with a woman about a month before and I was lonely and not a tiny bit horny. I thought maybe while watching the game I might get lucky and meet a woman who would go home with me. Little did I know my life was about to change big time.
I was about to experience some "firsts" in my life. Like the first time I picked up a woman at a club in order to have sex with her. The first time I had a relationship with a drug addict and a felon. And the first time I was arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the back seat of a police car and taken to jail.
She told me the next day after a night of sex about her one year stay in the state penitentiary. How the cops had set her up and how it violated her probation and how the judge gave her two years but she only had to serve one. But now all she wanted was a "happy, normal life". And I believed her. Why not. A year in prison would change anyone, I thought. I couldn't have been more wrong.
If you’ve had any experience with someone on crack cocaine you know that I was in for a rude awaking. All the god-awful things you have heard are true and then some. First, she had two personalities. She could be good, sweet, and loving. But she could also be mean, curse like a sailor, lie with a straight face, and put her fingernails in you when she wanted to.
I could tell you about the time I threw her stuff in the dumpster during one of her drug binges. Or about the time we went to church together and to narcotics anonymous meetings together. But this writeup is about another time. That Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday.
She had been gone several days and I went ballistic. She was out in the Impala and I had learned from times past that she would "pawn" it to a drug dealer for drugs. I put her things out on the porch and changed the locks on my apartment once again. What was I going to do this time to make any difference? She always came back saying she was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again. And that she loved me and she would go back to meetings if I would just let her in and we could start over. But she was back a little too soon this time and I wasn’t ready to make up and have sex with her and let bygones be bygones.
I heard a knock on the door while I was talking to mom on the phone. It was her. I was going to tell her that this time it was over. I was at the point that I couldn’t take any more. I opened the door just enough to give her that information when she came busting in and that’s when the fight started. She pushed her way in and we both hit the floor. I was trying to get her up and out the front door but I couldn’t. The phone was nearby and mom was still holding on.
"Mom, call the cops. She’s back in here and she won’t leave". "OK," mom said. And I hung the phone up.
Ten minutes went by as we lay in the floor waiting for the police. She told me we would both go to jail. She knew what she was talking about. Two patrol cars with three officers came rolling up to the front door. Two male and one female. The female cop asked her to talk. One of the male officers talked to me. They were polite, straightforward and wanted to discover the truth about the situation.
In the fight, I had rubbed her earring and it cut her ear. She had scratched my face. That’s all the police needed to make a decision about us both going to jail. She got in the back of one car and I got in the back of the other.
When we got to the station, the officer helped me out of the car and we walked to the booking room. Here the handcuffs were taken off and I stood for a picture. After the picture I was fingerprinted and was asked several questions which I don’t remember but I think it was to satisfy the police that I was healthy enough to be kept in jail. After that the shoes came off and I was given a pair of slippers. It was the laces. One can’t stay in jail with shoe laces. Might commit suicide. Only then did I get my one phone call and I decided it better be to my mother.
"Hello mom. I’m in jail. Yea they took us both in. There was a little blood on both of us so we were both arrested. I’m OK....really."
"I’ll call your brother. (he’s an attorney) Are you sure you’re alright?" she asked.
"Yea mom, I’m alright. Don’t worry about me."
I was lead to a cell. An officer unlocked the door, put me inside and locked the door behind me. There were about five other guys inside milling about, talking mainly.
"What are you in here for?" one finally asked.
"Domestic violence," I said.
"Hey, me too. My old lady and I can’t seem to get along. I was minding my own business, drinking a beer you know, when I get a slap across the mouth. Well, I popped her in the mouth and next thing I know I’m here in jail. What happened to you?"
"My girlfriend and I had a fight," I said.
"Did you see that cute little blonde they put in a cell across the way?" someone asked.
"Yea, that’s her. That’s my girlfriend," I said.
"Well, I’ll be damn! They put you both in here?" was the next question.
"‘Fraid so" was all I could say while looking into the faces of men who were wandering about my manhood. "How could you let a woman beat up on you so bad that she got put in here too?" was the question that emulated from their faces.
I thumbed through some magazines that were lying on a metal table. In a while our evening meal was delivered. It consisted of a baked potato and a hamburger patty. Not too bad. After the meal, my name was called out and I was escorted out of the cell to meet with my attorney: my brother.
This was strange. Talking to my brother through the glass. He on one side of the law and me on the other. The plan was to bail me out but the law states that I had to stay in jail twelve hours to cool off.
Back in the cell I was given a bedroll and told to pick out a bed. One black dude was in the cell that everyone was calling "Hollywood." No one was in the bed next to him so for some reason I chose that bed. Well actually, my reasoning was that if anything was going down that night I wanted to be close to someone who knew how to defend himself. And he looked like he did.
After some friendly chatter, I felt safe. "No one is going to mess with this dude and his friend (meaning me)," I thought.
That was one hell of a night. My girlfriend hollered out for me several times but I kept my mouth shut. A female in the drunk tank cried and hollered all night. And the doors to the cells banged all night making it impossible to get any sleep. I read a few stories out of an old Reader's Digest, turned over, closed my eyes and tried to sleep to no avail.
There was a clock on the wall outside the cell that we could see. I thought my twelve hours would never go by but they finally did. I was released the next morning. My brother had driven my car to the station and left the keys with the officers. I got in my car and drove to my business.
There was a court date and I showed up but my girlfriend didn’t. My brother talked to the prosecutor and the judge and got the charge dismissed. The judge said if charges were going to be dismissed against me then it was only fair that they be dismissed against her, also.
I wish I would have been at home watching Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," but I wasn't. I also wish I could assure you that I never saw this woman again and that we never had sex again.......but I can’t.
By the way, New England beat the Panthers 32 to 29.