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The First Ride To Jail

I guess something Law Enforcement wants at the onset of a raid is for their target person to be maximally disoriented. I definitely had scatterbrained moments as the VSP assault team swarmed the house, and the reverie-like mental mess that ensued upon their ingress still confuses me to this day. But sooner or later that hinkiness they originally introduce has to ebb. Consternation will be replaced by cautiousness. When it starts to sink in you’re probably not going to be killed by a door-kickin’ aggression-stricken trigger-itchin’ Super Trooper, that is such a good feeling! You may even return to your normal state of mind enough to be acutely aware of what occurs from then on. At least that’s how it went for me.

I have tiny wrists -- 5 ½ inches around, to be exact. In fact, I once (voluntarily) helped a Sergeant demonstrate how, with individuals like me, both hands can be easily secured in a single side of manacles and the remaining empty shackle can be fastened to, say, a belt loop. The point is, locking metal rings on me, well, it’s pretty much like handcuffing a young child.

Smurfette, Special Agent Trent’s perfunctory VA State policewoman, very nicely noticed the size of my wrists and pledged she wouldn’t put the restraints on too tight. I felt by her manner she meant it sincerely but, between her fluster under Mr. Trent’s scrutiny and the uncooperativeness of the equipment itself, I knew the things would end up clamped like alligator jaws. By the time she pulled the key away, the route my blood usually cycles was already ten fingers and two palms shorter. Pain. Pain. Pain. Ow. Pain. I kept my mouth shut about it as all it took was one look in Jason Trent’s eyes to figure it wouldn’t be fixed. Additionally, I didn’t want these guys thinking Smurfette was any more inept than they already thought.

When Mr. Trent motioned me towards a branded State Police car, I expected to be shoved in the rear of it. Therefore its hind door is what I moved for. But the thewy investigator stopped me and informed me -- somewhat snippy, I thought -- that I’d be riding up front. Really? Not-auh. Really? How come? How weird.

With Agent Trent in the backseat, me in front of him, and Smurfette as our chauffeur, we were ready to… not be trapped in the driveway like we were. Their remaining unmarked vehicles combined with the three or four belonging to the residence made the usually maneuverable lot anything but. A little deliberation and it was decided, with my permission, Smurfette could turn around on the lawn.

I thought she would pull straight onto the grass a few feet, reverse to the left, and exit on the right. Elementary technique even a newly-licensed sixteen-year-old could pull off. But she hesitated and instead drove significantly out into the turf. A field, really. Wide open field. Mkay. So she’s just gonna swing ‘round here then drive back out the way she came. That’ll work too. But rather than the sensible U-turn I was expecting, she whipped right, realized her mistake, and jammed the brakes.

We’re on a hill. Facing down. On damp sod. Oh no. No. Shes not going to… Smurfette thrust the gearshift. She wants to back up now?! From here?! Tires spun. She wrenched the steering wheel. Muddy pieces of green strands flung. I sighed.

Remember how I’ve said the lady was exhibiting wracked nerves? Yeah; try to imagine what this stupid ordeal was doing to her. In front of all of her colleagues, no less. I thought about Mr. Trent rooted behind us. Sure. You’ve dominated this girl all along and this is when you decide to hold your tongue? You douche.

The perturbed Smurfette quickly threw it in D and gave the cruiser some gas. And by “some” I mean “way too much.” Also she didn’t adjust the steering wheel. So the tires were as far to the right as, I think, mechanically able, which had them once again revolving in place, and the car was sliding in the muck they were churning up. I growled, a discontented I-cannot-believe-this-is-actually-happening throaty growl. Smurfette spoke: It’s all right. It’ll be all right. I know it sounds like she’s reassuring me but, no way; she’s consoling herself. This. Poor. Chick. I felt so bad for her.

Take charge Trent finally finally piped up and in splenetic tones directed the rattled officer. He was giving efficient instructions and though it took a few minutes for Smurfette to absorb his calls, ultimately we made it to the highway.

In the confines of the car,


•Declared he’d brought less men than is standard for their raids.
•Alluded my JADE-related activities had escalated over the previous few days.
•Quoted me from a prior chat that Task Force watching “isn’t something a normal person would do.”
•Unctuously implied that I had followed Paranoid Person X.
•Insinuated there would be pictures on my camera showing me tailing Paranoid Person X.
•Suggested I could use my auto as collateral for bond, if it came to that.
•Asked if I would leave JADE alone “now.”
•Managed to not only exhibit, but also maintain a perfectly balanced incongruous mixture of cockiness and courteousness.


•Examined the interior surroundings. Lotta stuff in here. Neato.
•Studied Smurfette. She’s pretty.
•Replied to Sir Trent I wished he hadn’t told me he’d under-packed for the raid. I’m so “dangerous” they didn’t need to bring their full team?
•Fidgeted because of the cuffs. When am I gonna feel my hands again?
•Doused Mr. Trent’s escalation theory with facetiousness. Could this guy be a bigger cheezball?
•Clarified the quote with “Normal people don’t go to the moon; that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” The man takes everything I say the wrong way.
•Specified, hotly, Paranoid Person X was someone “I’ve never even seen” let alone followed. Following PPX? Aha ha ha ha...
•Denied photographing Paranoid Person X. Shoot! Are those ones of [unidentified] going to show up on the camera? I know forensics can recover deleted images, but from how far back? Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.
•Pointed out how tough it’d be to do anything with JADE “now” considering I was in handcuffs. I bet I won’t have to paint my nails for the rest of my life. Because they. Are. Turning purple. And going to fall off, along with the digits theyre attached to.


•Mostly just breathed.

We arrived at our destination, Blue Ridge Regional Jail. Funny. I just put in an application for employment here.

(Continued here)