Defeaning Silence

After spending what seemed like eternity in my one night of jail, I waited and waited for them to come open the cell door. I had to give back my uniform (I was bummed as I wanted a souvenir), and prepared to go before the judge. I sat in the same room where I had been “booked” only now there was a television set. I told the cop standing there that I was looking forward to talking to the judge to explain that this was all just a misunderstanding. To this he pointed out that he would not recommend doing that. He suggested I say nothing unless I was addressed/asked by the judge. What? Really? I had no idea what I was getting into, and based on the previous night's experience this lead me to being scared. Was I really leaving today?

Finally the judge appeared on my television. I had a camera pointed at me so they could see me in all my striped glory. I heard that my wife was in the courtroom. Oh how I ached to see my wife. I hoped that the camera angles were like those you see in a gas station where the security cam switches to different views every 15 seconds. Maybe I could catch a glimpse of my wife. To let me see she was OK. I could just get eye contact…….

But it was a single camera shot. All I get was the judge who wasn't even looking into the camera. There was another person in the courtroom. My wife had been appointed an advocate. She was now the victim. She had victim's rights, etc. She needed protected. I didn't realize it then, but I understand it now. When I closed that cell door, my life changed. Previously I was innocent until proven guilty. Now I was guilty until proven innocent. This goes for the court system, and for certain members of my family. I felt like running to a mirror to see if I had somehow put on a stained white t-shirt with a hole in the shoulder. You know the type of “uniform” that most domestic violence men wear.  It was like someone had placed a “kick me” sign on m back, only it read “wife beater.” I again wanted to scream “STOP!, HOLD ON, Can I PLEASE get someone's attention?” Instead I sat with my mouth shut listening to the judge. I learned how I would have to pay for a lawyer to defend me and I had another hearing in about two weeks. In the meantime, there would be a protection order against me and I couldn't be within X-amount of feet of my wife. I could not communicate with her in anyway. If I violated this in any fashion I would be thrown back in jail. Even if she contacted me first, if I answered the phone I could go to jail. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS MISTER JACKSON? “Yes your honor,” I answered. I was scared. I was not going back to jail.

I had to wait for a cop to escort me back to my house where I was not allowed to talk directly to my wife. I had to ask the cop to ask my wife a question. After about four messages back and forth the cop had enough and said, “Look if you guys can be civil, I'll let you communicate.” We talked about the bills that would need paid. How to run the house going forward. The nurse had done me a favor and packed some clothes for me in. This was not in a “get out now” fashion,” but more as a favor to save me the hassle. She said she didn't want a divorce. I don't remember much of the conversation. I just remember having to hurry as we couldn't keep the cop all day. I had to pack enough in my Toyota Corolla to last me a while. Before I left she asked if she could hug me, and the cop said that was fine. So three feet from where our act of stupidity happened, I hugged my wife fo what would be the last time for a while.

We all take things for granted every day. We are to busy to realize the every day things we do that are a privilege. My wife an I had gome from shouting at each other to talking to each other, to cour ordered silence. The silence was deafening. I couldn't email, text, chat, call, look, etc at my wife or risk going to jail. She called, but I refused to answer the phone. I wasn't going back to jail. I didn't trust the justice system, and for all I knew they had my phone taped and the minute I said a word, the men in blue would bust through the walls and haul me back to jail. I felt like a person must feel in a lifeboat. You are so far off course, but you are breathing. You have the means to make it to shore, but you have no idea what waits for you.

I think I made it two days. I remember going to bed at night and looking at the ceiling. I wanted to somehow telepathically send a message to my wife. I wanted to let her know how much I missed her. I thought long and hard about how to send a message to my wife. To let her know I missed her. To let her know how sorry I was. I couldn't send any communication to her, or through her children to her. Anything that was intended for her ears could get me thrown back in jail.

Being a musician, I love music. What I decided to do was start telling me friends and family on facebook. I'm not sure how but I stumbled across Ray Charles and posted the video on my facebook page.

I love brother Ray, and these lyrics really hit home (Lyrics by Leone Russle)

I've been so many places in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs, I've made some bad RHYMES
I've acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we're alone now and I'm singin' this song to you

I know your image of me is what I hope to be, baby
I've treated you unkindly but girl can't you see
There's no one more important to me
So darling can't you please see through me
'cause we're alone now and I'm singin' my song for you

You taught me precious secrets of the truth, withholdin' nothin'
You came out in front and I was hiding
But now I'm so much better so if my words don't come together
Listen to the melody cause my love's in there hiding

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I love you for my life, 'cause you're a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singin' my song for you

I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I've loved you for my life, yes, you're a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singin' my song for you, yes
We were alone and I was singin' this song for you, baby
We were alone and I was singin' my song,
Singin' my song, singin' my song, singin' my song
Singin' my song

1 thought on “Defeaning Silence”

  1. Hey Dave,

    I gotta tell you I’m hanging on each episode right now. You’re story is one that scares the hell out of me…I’m 41 with two kids, and I’m not the strongest with vices or the smartest with choices. I’m constantly wondering “what if…”

    Prayin’ for ya, dude!

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