This week I was arrested. I was in jail for over 14 hours.
At times it was so hot I was sweating.
At times it was so cold I was shivering.
And at all times it smelled rancid.
We sat or huddled in the women’s cell atop either hard cement benches or hard metal bunks (with no mattresses) covered by dried and crusted bodily fluids and years of dirt. A guard saw our sunburns and assumed we had contracted a rash from being in the cells. Without windows or clocks we were deprived of our sense of time. The fluorescent lights lit everything into a brightly illuminated nowhere. It took over 9 hours until we had access to our phone call. From the architecture, to the way guards ignored or yelled at us, everything was designed in a way to strip us of our sense of self and power. At one point, I overheard a guard saying “A beating would not harm that one.” It was a very long 14 hours in jail. Continue reading