Friday, June 11, 2010

Gimme a Break, Will Ya?


Dear God or whoever is in charge of this world,

Don’t you think it’s time for you to cut me some slack, leave me alone for just a little while?

It was bad enough that Ralph, Poppy’s partner for many years, died on Friday night.  I was in the car, driving out of my neighborhood to take the dogs to camp so I could go to Savannah, when I got the news.  That broke open all my scabs and just thinking about Harriett and what she has to endure made me sad and helpless, grieving for one more piece of Poppy taken away, my own wounds oozing poison despair and loneliness.  I had to pull into the car wash and cry like a baby for a while before I get on the road.  I turned my off my phone .

Then, yesterday afternoon I had a call from Parrish saying he has been charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, which is totally false. He was walking home from computer lab and took a shortcut through and alley.  Up ahead were three Cuban men, heads together, engaged in a heroin deal.  P walked on, not even exchanging a glance with them.  

Then, there were cops coming from each end of the alley, and the hoods dropped their goods on the ground.  The police patted everyone down (including P), finding no drugs on any of them.  All four were arrested and taken to jail.

The next morning, P, my severely mentally ill son (but you know that) went before a judge and explained his circumstances and was released to a mental facility.  The judge said for him to report back on March 3, when he would drop the charges.  There were no blood or urine tests done on him.

Then on Friday, he got a court order to appear on March 3 to answer two felony charges for possession and intent to distribute.  He freaked out and started calling me, leaving frantic messages that I heard later when I got to Savannah.  There is no way to say how terrified and manic he sounded.  

“Mama, I could go to prison for five years and it’s making me so manic and scared I can’t eat or sit still or read or even watch TV.  Please call me.  I have to pay court costs and you know I don’t have any money.”   He was terrified, but the good news is that, when he couldn’t contact me, he didn’t crawl under his bed and suck his thumb.  When I heard his messages my stomach started hurting and I lost my sense of balance.

By then, he had made a plan of his own, talking to his psychiatrist and the leaders of the AA and NA groups he attends and asking them for character references.  He called the public defenders office to get representation.  He also asked Danny, the owner of the home where he lives for a reference, and he also asked Danny to appear with him in court.

Parrish has a history with the criminal justice system.  A few years ago, he broke into his sperm donor’s house, and the sperm donor decided some time in prison (which wouldn’t cost him a cent) would be better for Parrish than sharing the cost with me for private rehab - which he can better afford than I.   I didn’t know P was in prison until he wrote me about a year into his two-year term.  Because of his mental disorders, he was placed in what amounts to a “Cuckoo’s Nest.”  There he got clean and sober and his meds were regulated.   There is no getting around that, but he now lives in a sheltered environment and is randomly checked for drug use.  If he tests positive for any illegal substances, he will be thrown out on his ear.  

I think the charges will be dropped, but thanks, God, for hanging just one more anvil over my head that on March 3 will either fall and spill my brains all over the place or go away until you want to use it on me again.  You’re one hell of a guy.

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