Reader Mailbag: Fights and Jail

21 Feb


I am still going through your catalog when I have time to read, so apologies if this has already been asked, but have you ever wrote about or just been involved in any jail time? Maybe been in a fight? Sobriety Test? Close Calls?

Last fight I was in was my college roommate and he beat the fuck out of me.  I deserved it.  Little guy but he was black.  Racial stereotypes are all 100% accurate.  I threw the first punch and I was being an asshole.  It taught me a lesson, which is: I am a dick and anyone who wants to beat my ass is probably right.  Since then I’ve avoided fights because I’m a pussy.  Generally, you can.  You can talk your way out of anything.  Dudes will get pissed at you but either they don’t really want to fight, or they do and that means they could kick your ass, so you just back down.   I don’t give a shit about feeling like a pussy.  I own pink underwear and I fastidiously groom my fingernails.

My last sobriety test was like 2 months ago, the cop just made me follow his finger around without moving my head.  I passed.

Jail time: no, but close.  I was engaged when I was 20, to my first girlfriend.  She became a needle junkie when I was with her.  She fucked every heroin dealer on the face of the Earth.  One night we got in a fight about it; I was drunk off my ass.  We kind of grappled around and I got on top of her.  She told me after the fact that I beat the piss out of her.  I didn’t remember that and I remembered pretty much everything else.  Plus, she didn’t have a mark on her.  So that seemed weird.  But you have this idea that when a woman says things like that they’re to be believed.  Later, when she was engaged to another guy, she told me she’d been violently raped in a parking structure and had a note left on her that said “you get what you deserve, bitch.”  I stopped believing her after that.  It was cribbed from some movie of the week.  She said she told me because she needed someone to sit in the car with her while she drove past the scene of the crime on her way to her new fiance’s house.  Really she just wanted me to have to awkwardly talk to the new guy.  She made it up to torture me.  Anyway, back to the fight:

I figured it was the end of the relationship and therefore the end of my life so I crawled out on the ledge of her three story building and got ready to jump.  I was out there moaning and hands grabbed me from behind and pulled me in.  It was the cops.  They cuffed me with those cheap plastic riot cuffs and were going to arrest me for some domestic violence charge, but then told me that since I was going to off myself I could go to the mental hospital instead.  I said “sign me up, I’m crazy.”

This was in Pittsburgh; they drove me to Western Psychiatric Institute in Oakland in the back of a big empty paddy wagon.  I was still cuffed and the seats were fiberglass and I would slide up the bench and slam into the big metal cage every time they took a sharp turn.  I got admitted for 24 hours and a nurse interviewed me.  She’d say something like “talk me through a normal day,” and I’d say, “well, I wake up and think ‘what am I gonna wear this morning,'” and I would see her writing “hears voices.”  So I thought they were gonna lock me up like McMurphy.  But ultimately the verdict was I had a substance abuse problem, and had to go to substance abuse counseling.  Then at the one group counseling session I went to, they determined that my problem was mental illness and my substance issues were merely a symptom, and I ought to just go to therapy.  So, I did.

Obviously, now I’m cured.

12 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: Fights and Jail”

  1. Jessica Maisonet February 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    obviously, this is just the level of vulnerability we are looking for….so we can pounce on you. silly. Just kidding, Please know I love the honesty of your writing in all accounts of life, but my favorite has got be “Work Shit” or something like that.

  2. vsoze February 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    You’re cured? ha, right.

    Just fucking with you man, crazy story. You’re lucky you didn’t marry that girl, and good thing you got your shit straight.

    “I crawled out on the ledge of her three story building and got ready to jump.” You would have survived that jump like Omar from the Wire jumping from a high rise apartment on that last season. You’re an invincible motherfucker. Whoop that trick, get it!

  3. Stephen February 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Wtf were you doing in Pittsburgh? Besides trying to kill yourself, I mean.

  4. Anonymous February 26, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Good shit, DT.

  5. A♠ February 28, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks for the inspiration:

  6. Ahhhhh, so you did go to college with the dude that played Nick on The Wire. I was wondering what the fuck that commentor was talking about when I posted that clip a couple months ago.

    Never been to Pittsburgh. Furthest west in the State I’ve ever been is State College. I’d like to visit if only to catch a game at PNC Park; that’s a nice fucking stadium. Maybe get one of those coleslaw and french fry sandwiches they have out there, those things look fucking terrible. I’ll bet they got good Polish food in Pittsburgh, though.

  7. Here’s a funny story that involves a fight and jail. A couple years back I was invited to a house party out in West Philly one of my ex’s friends was throwing. I was getting rid of some weed at the time; not much, just about a half pound a week for some extra spending cash. I had a connect for some cheap weight: $350 QPs, and the weed wasn’t that bad. Not exactly good, but it wasn’t dirt, either. Low end mids. People liked it cause I bagged it up in four gram+ twenty sacks, and rather than spend fucking $80 on an eigth of some bubblegum brontosaurus – or whatever the fuck the latest strain of space weed is – they could grab a couple of twenties to last them. Figuring I’d be able to get rid of a few at the party, it was mostly college/post-college kids who smoked a lot, I threw five of them in a bag to take with me.

    Sometime after I got there somebody wound up pouring several rounds of Jameson, like six or seven in a row. Everytime I turned around this kid was handing me a shot. I had popped a couple blues (1 mg xanax) before I left for the party, and I had probably drank around a six pack before the Jameson, so, needless to say the shots were the fucking tipping point for me. If you’ve ever drank a lot on top of eating xanies, you’ll know the combination has a tendency to make you sloppy, and/or blackout, and/or lose all muscle control. I don’t remember much of what happened in the hours after that. I remember at one point fucking my ex on the sink in the upstairs bathroom while people were pounding on the door. I remember smoking a blunt in the backyard with a couple of black kids who had bought a couple twenties off me. And then I remember convincing my ex to take me to Wawa, which is a combination deli/convenience store, so I could get some food in me and try to sober up.

    For some reason, these two kids from the party came with us to the store. Now, I was not normally a violent drunk, so I’ll have to chalk up what happened next to unresolved trust and jealousy issues, even though my ex gave me absolutely no reason not to trust her. I mean fuck, a half hour before that I had her propped up on a bathroom vanity with her pants around her ankles, but when you’re that fucked up you can hardly be expected to act rationally. We parked a couple blocks away from the Wawa. As we were walking towards it I just remember one of the kids talking to my ex – for some reason I thought he was hitting on her – and I just lost it. I got out some half-slurred taunt before hooking the kid in the side of his head without warning. Him and his friend took off running. I chased them about a block and a half, they ducked down an alleyway, and I was out of breath so I turned around and started walking back to the store. As I come walking back down the block I see my ex standing there with her mouth all twisted up looking fucking furious. She was pissed. As soon as I reach her she starts yelling and swinging. After a minor domestic dispute, she jumps in her car and takes off, leaving me stranded at Wawa, which was ten or fifteen blocks from the party. So I call up my friend who was at the party to come get me.

    My friend pulls up at the corner I’m waiting on, and as I’m about to jump in his car two UPenn campus cop SUVs come pulling up behind and along side of him with their cherries flashing, blocking him in. Before I can even react they’re out of their cars with their weapons drawn screaming at me to get on the fucking ground. They pull my friend out of the car, poor bastard, and they got us both face down on the pavement cuffing our hands behind our backs. At this point I had completely forgotten about the remaining three bags I had in my pocket. Even if I had thought to get rid of them, I wouldn’t have had time to, cause I really didn’t see the cops coming at all. As they’re searching us, the one cop walks back to his vehicle, and who does he let out of the back seat but the two kids I had chased up the block. Apparently, after they lost me they flagged down one of the cops and told him they were getting chased by some lunatic. The cops ask them which one of us it was, and they point to me. He asks them if they want to press charges, they say no. I’m pretty sure if it had been city cops I would’ve gotten let go right there. They probably would’ve had me stomp the bags out in the street, and told me to call it a night. City cops, they don’t even want to be bothered with the paperwork for a bullshit possession charge, they’ve got enough actual crime to deal with. But these were campus cops who spend most of their time breaking up fucking frat parties and filling out robbery reports(which they never solve) for college kids who venture a little too far off campus, so they decided if the kids weren’t gonna press assault charges they were gonna charge me for the weed. Not only that, but because I had it bagged up in seperate baggies inside a ziplock bag, they decided to charge me with “possession with intent to distribute” instead of simple possession, which is a fucking felony. Technically I was intending to distribte it, but still, they didn’t know that. They were just being jerkoffs about it.

    They take me to the 18th district station house, otherwise known as “The Pine Box”, which was all the way the fuck out on 55th and Pine in West Philly. Now, West Philly is by no means the worst section of the city, but there are some rough areas. Fuck around out there and some five finger gold ring wearing thug is likely to pick you up over his head and twirl you around like a figure skater. Next thing you know your grandma’s shipping your ass off to Bel Air. Shit gets deep out there. The front room of the station house after you pass through the lobby is where they do the processing at. One side of the room is set up for fingerprinting and mugshots; on the other side there’s a bunch of desks strewn around, a big whiteboard on the wall for keeping track of inmates, a long wooden bench with a metal handcuff railing, and a TV mounted up in the corner that the turnkeys spend more time watching than they do doing anything else in the fucking place.

    While I’m getting processed I notice this flamboyantly dressed guy sitting in a chair in front of one of the desks watching TV and eating Chinese food, commanding the attention of a couple turnkeys who are huddled around him talking. He’s got on some kind of reptile skin loafers, designer jeans with all kinds of elaborate embroidering all over them, diamond stud earrings, and he’s got on one of those fucking houndstooth Sherlock Holmes’ deerstalker hats with a bill in the front and the back. I’m thinking maybe he’s some fucking hotshot detective, with the Sherlock Holmes’ hat on. Or a crooked vice cop who’s shaking down corners or some shit, cause the dude is dressed way too slick for a West Philly lockup, but I notice he’s got a prisoner wristband on. Who knows.

    After they process me they lead me through a set of steel doors into the back where the holding cells are. I don’t know how jumping this place usually is, but it was a friday night in the summer time and it was fucking packed. The station house is the worst. Generally speaking, the longer you stay in jail the better your accomodations get. In the station house, they put me in a 6×9 foot, one-person cell with three other dudes in it. There was a bunk connected to the wall with two guys sleeping back to back on it, then another guy sleeping on the floor next to it. I’m not even sure if the shit they were doing was constitutional. To me it seemed like cruel and inhumane punishment for people who haven’t even been convicted of a crime yet. The only spot left was next to the toilet that god knows how many rotten dopesick assholes have exploded in. The amount of half-digested Crown Fried Chicken collard greens, and cheap chinese joint platters, and Ramen soup malnourished ghetto shits have been taken in this thing is unimaginable. They give you the bare minumum amount of food and water to keep you alive: like every twelve hours – if your lucky – they’ll come around with these cheese sandwiches on stale bread, this weird tasteless cheese that’s all covered in talcum powder… some kind of fucking dust. An orange, and a little hug sized bottle of water. The same kind of twenty-five cent bottles of water that dopeheads buy to mix up their shit when they’re shooting up on the run. They probably give those out just to torture the withdrawaling heroin addicts. Another time I got locked up I managed to sneak a couple of bags and a set of works in the station house with me. I used the water bottle to mix up my dope with so I could bang the bags before I got taken up to CFCF(Philadelphia County jail). There’s a silver lining to every cloud, I guess.

    There’s no trashcans in the cells. When they’re done eating everybody throws all their wrappers, orange peels and stale bread crusts through the bars out on the floor in the corridor outside the cells. Then once in a while the turnkeys will let one of the prisoners out to sweep all the trash up and throw it away. This duty is considered a privelege and is vociferously vied for among the inmates. As you can imagine, the floor being littered with food scraps and trash constantly makes it like an all-you-can-eat buffet for rats and cockroaches. The turnkeys sprayed the floors down every day with this horribly acrid smelling industrial pesticide that permeated everything. The smell is so overpowering it just lingers in your nostrils indefinitely. For like two days after I got released all I could smell was this pesticide. Eveything I ate tasted like it. Of course it didn’t keep the rats and the roaches from crawling out the walls at night. I dozed off one night for a little bit and awoke to a swarm of cockroaches, hundreds of them, crawling all over my legs and a piece of breadcrust that was laying next to them. Before I could react they scattered, instantly dissapearing through the microscopic cracks in the walls and around the toilet. In the early morning hours when things relatively calm down, rats scurry up and down the corridor trying to scavange a meal.

    The place is a raucous cacophony of noise constantly – twenty-four hours a day. Rowdy young bulls screaming and pounding their bunks. Making outrageous demands like, “Let me make a phone call”, “let me get a cold pack”, which are the chilled, plastic bologna sandwich meals they give out when you get up to the county, they got an orange AND a fucking oatmeal cookie in them. Getting one of them is like winning the fucking lottery. Or they’re screaming for the guards to come move some poor fucking dopesick bastard out of their cell before they stomp the shit out of him while he’s throwing up in the toilet and shitting himself. Nobody wants a dopefiend in their cell. If you’re one, best thing you can do is to not tell anyone, and if you start getting sick just hide it as best as you can. People yelling back and forth through the vents and down the cell block. Most of them are acquaintences on the street, some of them are family members. Bright burning overhead flourescent lights in all the cells and the corridors that never get turned off, overstressed ballasts incessently buzzing. Toilets that sound like fucking jet engines constantly flushing.

    I did get lucky, to a certain extent, while I was in there. There was two corner boys in the cell next to me who must’ve been in and out of there constantly, because they knew all the turnkeys by name, they had a cell all to themselves, and they even had one guard bringing them back cigarettes. I got to smoke just by virtue of being in a cell next to them. Every time the guard would come around to give them a cigarette he’d reluctantly let me bum one, too. Just blow it up the vent so you don’t get me in trouble, he said. That may seem like a petty comfort to most, but when your stuffed in a filthy cell with barely any food or drink, no shower for days, feeling the first stages of opiate withdrawal sett in (I was on methadone at the time) it’s a fucking godsend. Even if you have to share it with two other people.

    Saturday night this young couple from some suburbs in South Jersey got booked on drug charges. Apparently the girl was in hysterics, even the dude was crying. I could hear the girl pleading her innocence to one of the guards as she was getting led back to a cell, she didn’t do anything, she said through muffled tears. The kid, they wouldn’t even put in a cell with anybody, they put him in the hole for his own safety. I guess they didn’t want to take any chances with him. Tall lanky kid, skinny as a rail, dressed like he was getting ready to go to a Phish concert: flip-flops, flowery board shorts and a tie-dyed t-shirt. The turnkeys decided to fuck with them a little bit by putting on their own little scared straight show. They gave them the job of sweeping up the corridors, which meant parading this kid and his girlfriend – who was actually kind of cute – in front of a cellblock full of West Philly thugs, all of them black, and letting them have their fun with them. She had this little sundress on, and dudes were snatching at her skirt trying to lift it or rip it off, yelling the worst kind of crude indignities at her while her boyfriend was forced to listen. I actually felt kind of bad for them. There was air of spiteful vindictiveness about the whole thing on the part of the guards, who were all black. They took a little too much pleasure in the humiliation of a couple of strung-out white kids who were already down on their luck.

    I struck up a conversation with one of my cellies and he asked me if I saw Money Mike up in the front when I was getting processed. I ask him who the fuck Money Mike is and he tells me it’s the pimp from “Friday after Next”. I told him I had no idea who he was talking about. I saw the first “Friday”, but I didn’t bother watching all the sequels to it. Ghetto blacks have an entirely seperate sphere of media entertainment completely alien to white people that they follow; it’s all BET and UPN57, underground rappers and hood celebrities. The type of “celebrities” you see in between the fight videos on World Star Hip Hop. He says the guy up front is a comedian named Katt Williams. It occured to me then, every time the guards would open up the doors leading to the back, dudes would start yelling, “Bring Money Mike back here. Put that motherfucker back here.” That must’ve been the guy chilling up front with the turnkeys. I asked my cellie what he got locked up for and he told me he didn’t know exactly, but he heard he got caught at the airport with a gun on him.

    Monday morning rolls around and I finally get my video arraignment. They stuff like three people at a time in this little cell. There’s a big TV monitor in there with a telephone headset attached to it, and you sit on a milk crate in front of it and talk to the judge. One of the guys in there with me was this immigrant from some French speaking African country. I think. It sounded like he was speaking French, he couldn’t speak a fucking word of English. Dude looked like he just swam across the fucking Atlantic before he got there, his skin was all cracked and leathery, his hair was a big tangle of dirty knots. He looked like the guy from that “you gonna get raped” meme.

    to be continued…..

  8. You should’ve seen this African dude’s face when the monitor screen lit up and the judge walked into the screenshot and started shuffling papers around. He let out this laugh – he fucking guffawed as he pointed at the monitor and gave me a look as if to say, “Are you seeing this?!” The guy was in absolute awe of the wonder that is closed-circuit video conferencing. He’s just staring at the screen mesmerized, so I gesture for him to pick up the reciever. After a minute or two he hands the phone to me, and the judge says to me, “what’s his name, is it abaduku momundublah blah blah?” I’m thinking, ask him, what the fuck do I look like, an interpreter. I turn to the guy and repeat the question, and he rattles off some shit in what sounded like French, so I say, “parlay vu france”, which is the extent of my French speaking abilities. His eyes light up and he starts babbling in what I assumed was some kind of French African patois, so I turn back to the judge and say, “I don’t think he speaks English.” Now, this is at like 5am on a Monday morning. The judge is half-asleep, completely apathetic. He’s like, “alright, forget it.” This poor fuck probably got shipped up to the County and had to go through at least another 2 days of processing before seeing another judge.

    The judge didn’t even bother setting a bail for me, he ROR’d(released on recognizance) me on the spot. Thank God, because by that time I was on the verge of full-blown methadone withdrawal.(Kicking methadone is ten times worse than kicking dope. The plus side is that it stays in your system a lot longer than dope, so I was relatively normal the 2 1/2 days I was in there.) The prison system was so fucking overcrowded at the time they had to re-open this 19th century jail that looks like a medievel castle where they used to conduct biochemical and all kinds of other fucked up experiments on prisoners, Holmesburg, that had been closed since the mid-90’s to house everyone. I heard the place is a fucking nightmare. And from the type of people this came from, that’s saying something.

    Of course the charges got reduced to possession, even the prosecutor was wondering why they charged me with intent for such a small amount of weed. But I still had to shell out a fucking grand for a lawyer, then another couple hundred in fines.

    I’ve fucking scoured google to see if Katt Williams was ever arrested in Philadelphia, and… nothing. I don’t know who the fuck the dude in the Sherlock Holmes’ hat was, or why everyone in there thought it was him. He was obviously somebody special if they wouldn’t house him in a cell, and they ran to get Chinese food for him. I didn’t really question it at the time, and I can’t recall his face well enough to say it was him. This was before his stand-up special on HBO, and his much publicized meltdowns and arrests ever since – I had no clue who the fuck the guy was. I’d love to know for sure. You know people in the entertainment industry, DT, see if you can get ahold of his manager and ask him if Katt Williams was
    locked up in Philly in 2006.

    • Zillah November 24, 2013 at 1:57 am #

      Where is your blog?

  9. Here’s another “hood celebrity” I was locked up in CFCF “quarantine” with, “Reesie Rolex”. He was in some rap group from North Philly that was popular a couple years ago, “Major Figgas”. I think the dude’s all wiggled the fuck out now (smokes a lot of “wet” – PCP) He looks bad; he’s all fucking washed up. Here he talks about why he doesn’t conduct business dealings with Jay-Z, lmao.

  10. Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 8:05 am #


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