Suffice it to say that I am currently stuck smack dab in the jaws of a two front legal dilemma – faced with the real prospect of serving time in prison. So the question might arise as to how I reacted after being sprung from the Tombs – and what is my current mental condition. I’m amazed at how well I’m taking the strain.
The threat of serving prison time is nothing new to me. I’ve been living in federal limbo for five years on that front. People freaked out when they read the Daily News feature in October of 2016 thinking I’d just been apprehended. But that was in fact very old news. The feds raided me on July 29, 2013 and I still await sentencing on that charge. With respect to the specter of incarceration, I view my week in the Manhattan Detention Center as an orientation of sorts. Whatever the future holds, I’m not going anywhere as bad as the Tombs. And that’s an odd comfort. I’ve survived the initial trial by fire.
Once sprung, my week long ordeal wasn’t quite over. As you may recall, I had to double back the next morning after spending the night on my cousin’s couch to retrieve the keys to my apartment. And in my email box was a mandate to suffer a random drug test at the Eastern District Federal building. I’ve passed each and every drug test administered (except one for oxycodone for which I had a prescription). Thus, that struck me as repetitive but I figured “What the hell! No way I’m gonna fail. And it will look good on my record.”
So effectively, it wasn’t until Friday that I could resume my normal life – whatever normal is for me. But first, a trip to Westchester was in order to thank she who went my bail – and let her know I was ok and no worse for the wear all things considered. The contrast between jail and cushy suburban life was considerable in all respects with the exception of how boring both were. There I stayed kayaking in the lake and finishing the Andrew Jackson biography I was busy reading when apprehended until Sunday night when it was time to resume my life.
Which is exactly what I did. The staff at Trinity Church gave me a cross-eyed look when I entered after missing 7 straight weekdays (I generally go almost every day), but nobody asked where I’d been. I got the idea that maybe they knew – but was happy to not be interrogated. I’m not a very good liar and I didn’t think the truth would set me free. Day one saw me in charge of several Minnesota teen volunteers. And I couldn’t help but think what the feds who investigated me thoroughly for pedophilism might think if they watched how good I am at relating to the youth of middle America.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I continued at the same pursuit and then took off Thursday for a hike in the country – complete with a dip in a roaring stream brimming with crystal clear and very cold rain water from the previous week’s deluge. Given that it was a weekday – and a not-very-traveled trail, there was almost nobody around. I had the wilderness entirely to myself. Fucking brilliant! Friday I was back at church – and just one of two volunteers to serve 27 pantry clients. The staff loaded me down with food as thanks for my performance. The other volunteer is an old and slow lady and everybody knew I took the brunt of the work burden. Convicted felon…alleged promoter of prostitution…or whatever…they know what they have in me. I am in all immodesty, their best and most-present volunteer. And in between, I read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to put some perspective on my recent study of America in the pre-Civil War years.
Anyway…life goes on. That’s the point. If the State or Fed wants to deprive Trinity Church or the Meatloaf Kitchen of one of their steadiest volunteers – and spend mid-five figures to do it when I didn’t hurt or rob anybody – and paid twice what I owed in income tax, I’ll just have to live with it. What else can I do?