The felons

OMG what a bus ride! So, I get on the bus en route to Knoxville and I ended up surrounded by a bunch of women who had just been released from prison this morning! Wft? I felt like I was on the bus out of Shawshank or something.

I didn’t notice their matching prison-issue day clothes at first (baggy white semi-see through T-shirt, pants made out of denim with absolutely no shape, standard issue bra).

What I did notice was an overweight chick inviting a random dude to come sit down next to her… “you don’t worry about a thing now sugar, mammas gonna look after you now y’all hear.” He looked off his dial and after about five minutes took off his shirt. To show her what I don’t know.

Then the chatter of the four ex-prisoners starts:
Chick 1. “Oh he’s still not answering his phone. I’m so worried. What if he has another girl? And I so wanted to have sex tonight. He said he was gonna come pick me up when I spoke to him three days ago.”
Chick 2. Talking to her mother on the phone who presumably asked “how does it feel to be out?
“I don’t know… It’s weird. I keep looking over my shoulder… ”
Mother says something…
“No, no I don’t have to go back to court for that one. That was from when I was in max security two years ago. I just have to go down to County and the judge will count that as time served..”
Chick 3. To someone on the phone:
“Yeah but he can’t come pick me up from North Carolina because he’s on extreme probation- he can’t leave the state.”
Chick 4:  Who is on the bus with a guy (presumably her boyfriend) and two kids aged about 6 months and three (presumably hers), sits quietly playing with them while the guy catches her up on family news. “I need a cigarette,” she says. “Hey they even gave me a pack out (a packed lunch) with real turkey.”

Chick 1 to the coked up guy: “You gotta come party with me tonight. Just come and stay with me.” “Ok” he says.

Time passes by:
Chick 1 calls MIA boyfriend’s brother. “William where’s Douglas?… He what?! Oh he got picked up…. When’s he getting out? So you will go and pick him up?…. How much? Ok, I will pay you back.”

To Coke Boy: “Oh I’m so relieved. He got arrested last night and is in jail. That’s why his phone was off. He got picked up for not having a license. I have to pay $250 to get him out.”

Me (to myself): “Yes, ‘relieved’ would certainly by my emotion if my boyfriend went to jail last night! WFT!!!?

Time passes…

Coke Boy to Chick 1: What’s your favourite Poptart?

Chick 1 on phone again to William: “Have you got him? What? Immigration is holding him. Are they going to let him out? Will he come straight back?”

Chick 1 to Coke Boy: “OMG! Douglas is being sent back to Honduras. Immigration has got him and William can’t get him out because they will kick him out too. Oh I’m so sad right now. What if he can’t come back?”

Coke Boy: “Does that mean we aren’t going out tonight?”

Chick 1: “No baby I need a drink to take my mind off things…. have you taken your anxiety pills?”

(How she knew he was even on anxiety pills I have no idea.)

Coke Boy: “Can I still stay at your house tonight?”

Chick 1: “Actually my mamma doesn’t like strangers. So I’ll just go collect all of my shit and then come pick you up. Maybe we can stay at my dads. He’s really cool.”

Coke Boy: “Does he have a pool?”

Chick 1: (laughs) “No, he’s a pour, drunk Cherokee.”

Coke Boy: “Does he have a jacuzzi?”

Chick 1: “No. Can I use your phone again? Hey you want to come to Atlanta, Georgia with me?”

Coke Boy: “Ok but I might need to borrow $200 from you.”

Chick 1: “I don’t know about that but I can pay for your food and maybe a new shirt. I’ve only got $4000 in welfare cheques and I owe my mum $1000 and have to put aside $1000 for my kids for Christmas so I only have $2000 left.”

Me (to myself): Well at least she’s thinking about her kids. That’s something.

She then taps me on the shoulder: “Can I use your phone to call my boyfriend’s flatmate Esmeralda in Atlanta, Georgia. See I have all my stuff there and my boyfriend is being deported (Like the whole bus hadn’t already heard!) so I have to go pick up my pocket book and all my clothes and credit cards and my friend’s (Coke Boy) phone is out of credit.”

Mmm, maybe no!

And so went the eight-hour bus ride to Knoxville.

Luckily the trip was broken up by a chance catch up with Charlie, my friend who I met in Jerusalem. He studies in Winston-Salem and the bus just happened to have a layover there at lunch time. So I text him and we met for the whole of about 11 minutes. 🙂

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