I just had a this conversation with an old friend about how life can throw curve balls to even the most well intentioned. Let’s say you’re out with some friends or at a business meeting and you have a couple of drinks. Your not drunk, just pleasantly buzzed. On the way home, on a dimly lit street, you are doing the speed limit when you feel a bump. You think maybe it’s a pothole or a frost heave. Let’s say.
So you pull over to survey the damage. It’s not a pothole or a heave, it’s a human. Whoa! Now you got a problem. You call 911 and the responding officer is there in minutes. He looks around, checks the victim, asks what happened and you don’t know.
You get a breathalyzer and guess what? You’re just over the limit. Panic. Now the rest of the gang descends on the scene, local news, fire, ambulance, more police and the scene is cordoned off with crazy lights everywhere. Bingo, instant perp. There you are on the evening or early morning news, which ever comes first.
For the moment, no one seems to be paying much attention to the injured, all eyes are on you.
So they take you in and even though you have a spotless record, they gotta book you. You have to spend the night until probation comes in bright and early with a bail bondsman. There’s been a rash of hit and runs lately, so they need to tighten up on someone. That would be you. It’s $50,000 dollars bail.
Let’s see, that means $50 dollars on each thousand that you won’t get back. You can’t afford that because you’re recently divorced and paid a ton of alimony. Hard times, you can’t hit that nut.
Meanwhile, the person you unknowingly hit, expires. Bail goes up, you go down. Now your whole family’s involved. Calls go out for money to save you from county lockup. No help.
A friend of the family’s lawyer shows up and tells you not to worry. He’s thinking how he’s gonna sell your house to get paid. Now you’re in the system. You get the news you have to be held until court. Someone has to call work for you because you’re sick. But you forgot your boss was watching your life unfold on the 6:00 am news. Shit!
So it’s off to county where the denizens are just “dyin’ ta meetcha.” In here, it’s guilty until proven innocent, period. You don’t get a different color jump suit because you’re not a serial offender. You look like everyone else and treated the same way. Guards are not going to make sure your new neighbors don’t “get at you.” Let me disabuse you of that notion right now. They got their own problems.
So some ratty looking gang member wants to know which gang you’ll affiliate with and the downward spiral picks up speed. Another low life wants your sneakers. Now. “And what are you gonna do about it?”
Depending on what happens to you while you’re locked down, you get in a fight, (a very real possibility because you will be pushed to the extreme,) accept a gang offer, (they usually have requirements that will put you at odds with the establishment,) you’re fragile existence will do a 180. More time will be added and this is only a holding pen, not even real prison yet.
Your family is desperately trying to get you sprung to no avail. You’ll probably arrange financing in a week or so, most likely, too late. The enemies of society are just beginning to figure you out. In there you’re either a rat, a snitch or somebody’s bitch. They stole your bunk, your canteen, (which is food you can purchase to survive prison chow, if you should have a little money in your prison account,) your sneakers and your self respect. I won’t go any further here because I know you get it. Or, at least you should.
So let’s recap: Just out with friends, few drinks, an eventful ride home and this. You ask, “How can all this happen to me?” Life. Because once you think you’re out, you’re in.
Watch yourself out there.