Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...
The author of Mark's Work

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Crossing the Eel River at French's Camp

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Butter in the fly...

July Jewels

July Jewels
Bees to the Kingdom

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jail Bling

Jail Bling
By the time I set out for Ukiah, to show support for Jamal, it was eight AM.  I stopped to pick up my mom’s mail, both from up here, and from in town.  I also had to give that nice Marcie in the post office proof of residency, which I was pleased to do, since Marcie is always so sweet to me.  I didn’t even inquire why it had taken them thirty years to get around to asking.
The snow which had threatened to turn me into an overland skier, had turned to rain around four, so I had minimal trouble getting up the driveway.  By eight, traffic had made Bell Springs more than accessible, so I blasted down to Willits, where I visited with Pauline, and then headed for Ukiah.  After overshooting my landing point, and heading up Gobi, I decided that I was early enough so that I could just cruise outward from the courthouse, until I jettisoned those two-hour parking signs.  The last thing I wanted to have to do, was run out of the courthouse, just at a critical time.
It took a ten minute walk to get to the courthouse, but I was still 45 minutes early.  For whatever reason, I walked straight into the rustic court building, back to where I was sure where we had been last week.  I was wrong, but Lauria, who had joined me, was able to guide me back in the right direction, in time enough to snag a couple chairs, all the way into the depths of the room.  I had to walk past the double rows of seats, to get to mine. 
There was a time, when I could not have made that walk, because I used to walk around with this notion, that everyone was watching me, as though a spotlight were on me.  There was no particular reason, just the way I felt. *  I would also have found sitting, so very far away from the door, to have been impossible.  However, now that I was sitting where I was, I was the closest person in the gallery to the alleged assailant, when he came in.
Lauria, like most of us gathered, was struggling.  She wanted to be able to “do” something, and I could say little.  We all want to do something.  I mumbled for a moment or two, incoherently, hoping she wouldn’t notice, before I thought to ask something relevant.  “Kids?”  Not eloquent, but enough to head off a skip-load of self-recrimination.  “Robert and Emma,” and then I was looking at this little guy, up on a stool, helping his mom cook the dinner.  Whew, no way one could be downcast, while looking at that dazzling expression on Robert’s face.  Robert is my father’s name, and I have a seven-year-old niece named Emma, who will be reading "Jane Eyre," before she is nine.  I felt kind of special, sitting there looking at pictures, of these two beautiful children.  I wondered idly, if Jamal wasn’t about the same age as Robert, when I’d first met him. 
Now the defendant was brought in.  Note that I did not say, the defendant walked into the courthouse.  That man no longer gets to operate in the active voice.  For the rest of his natural born days, this ... person will operate in the passive voice.  In other words, this man, no longer gets to be the subject of his own sentences.  That’s what happens when you gun someone down.  Then, you are led around by the shackles attached to your ankles, and to your wrists, with that chain wrapped around your waist.  The man had more jail bling on him than the jailhouse Christmas tree.  
This is what I observed, from my seat, in the gallery.  I never altered my gaze for more than seconds at a time.  Can you think of anything better for me to do, knowing I was going to be tasked with the responsibility of conveying to Nicole, who had to take a test, or the gal who FaceBooked (Can I really use “Facebooked” as a verb, and get away with it?) that she made it as far as Ukiah, before Blake got sick, and she had to get him from school.  She (and Blake, for I am certain she will tell him) deserve a first-hand account.  And I know from talking to Tim Watts, that he and his crew, they of the greek god, all want to be kept informed.  And Casey?  Who went to school with Jamal?  And Lito?  Do you think that they should be kept informed?  Just askin'.
The man was a gyrating mass of orange.  His right knee jounced incessantly, rhythmically bouncing, in such a way, as though his body resonated with tension.  He was as tightly strung as a cello string.  This unceasing bop made it appear, that he was on the edge.  No one could vibrate at that rate, without some inner turmoil permeating his soul.  The sharp point of the dagger-like tat on his left shoulder, kept edging into view.  I never saw more than a couple of inches of it, beneath the glaring orange of his shirt sleeve.
He wanted you to believe that he was impassive about the whole arrangement.  At a quick glance, his posture was casual, with his right leg stretched out, making contact with the low dividing wall, that let everyone know, who was the malfeasant.  But that very placement of his right shoe, against the wall, allowed for a stabilizing agent, to further guarantee that he was able to continue his dance of pulsating rage.  Was all of that pent up energy, responsible for the removal of one of the most kind and gentle souls, I have ever met?  Just askin’.
There darts that right index finger again, into the mouth, teeth furiously digging into the cuticles on that outside edge of his finger.  Looks painful.  I wonder why he feels compelled to harm himself.  I know a whole passel of folks who would like to help the fellow out.  I’m one of them.  However, there’s a difference between me, and a man human being like him.  I use a lap-top, instead of a weapon, to display my anger.  In these parts, it’s called civilized behavior.  As any one who has ever been in my classroom knows, I am a fan of civilized behavior.  One of the crowning moments of my teaching career came, when my good friend Andrew B, he of the Idaho Nation, declared one fine day, whilst his peers were clamoring about, “Hey! Rudeness abounds!”  I didn’t have to say a word.  I couldn’t.  I was laughing too hard.
But I’m not laughing now.  I’m like Lauria.  I’m having a hard time not crying.  
For clarification’s sake, if you read this piece, and you would like to see me continue in this manner, when I go to the court (you know I will be there every time, early, with my little red notebook) please indicate this by clicking the like button, on this post.  Thanks in advance for your support.

If being on FB allows you to leave a comment on my blog, and you wish to do so, I would be honored to 
record your "voice" on this, or ANY other post, on my blog.


*  I have been standing up on my soapbox, ever since I got on FB, talking about this nasty panic attack syndrome.  In "Six Days a Week," the very first thing I wrote, last March, I chronicled the re-emergence of myself, from 48 years of this malady.  If you knew me when I taught, you might not have suspected this.  My students never guessed that I was a far better actor than they ever gave me credit for.  (lol) 

Now I have loosened those shackles, to the extent that with medication that is not stamped with corporate America's symbol, I am able to take my seat in the inner regions of this soon-to be-expanded venue, if Melissa can convince you to hit that courtroom each time there is a need, and record a few idle musings.

I have also begun hearing from former students, who tell me point blank, that my words have had an
impact.  If you know someone who has a hard time in social situations, it may be because that person 
suffers from this problem.  A person in crowded places, will suddenly start to feel faint. She will start to sweat.  His face will turn white.  Her breathing will be fast and shallow.  His heart will be thrumming, thunderously.  Her pulse will race.  Their minds will begin to panic, and their bodies will follow.  What the-how do I get out of here?  If I do not, I will black out.  You do not want to hear the sound of my head hitting the cement of the floor.  That is the sound that triggered my first attack, in 1962, when I was ten years old.

If you read "Six Days a Week" and you see yourself in there, trying to escape, please contact me with themessage thing that allows you to communicate privately, and I will be able to refer you to a professional. I am only an amateur, but I have a big mouth.  By that I mean that you are going to get sick of this 
discussion.  But by that point, maybe I will have reached enough of you to make a difference.  Having 
already heard from two of my former students, I can only assume there are more.  Statistically, 10-12% of Americans suffer from anxiety issues.  We are not there yet.  Two people do not represent 10-12%.  I was horrible in math, but I know that.  Personal note to anyone who communicates with me.  I will never divulge your identity, but I AM POSITIVE that if you go to a competent therapist, and do the work, you will be standing up here, right next to your old reading teacher, shouting just as loud.

btw, I am abjectly sorry to all language purists out there (I being somewhere near the top) for the use of the FB jargon, but the times they are a-changin', along with me.

4 comments:

  1. This post is uber important. This post lets the world know that the evil doer is being watched and that people are taking care of Jamal's memory and his family.
    and you can use FB as a very - the times they are a-changing -
    xoxooxooxoxxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post IS uber important - and I hope if I ever need one, that I will have an advocate and a voice speaking, watching and caring for me like you are for Jamal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are a witness to the goodness of Jamal. A forever friend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is an amazing thing you are all doing, representing someone who can no longer represent himself and showing his family that they are loved and supported in his memory. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete