Monday, 2 July 2007

Chapter 29 - The Valley Police Station

"Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence. "
Milton Friedman

August 2000 5:08pm

The cops who arrested me were reasonably friendly at first.

“Just have a seat here sir, this wont take long, now you will probably be charged with possession of a dangerous drug, but once the paper work is done you will be free to go, and you will receive a notice in the mail to appear at court. Is that clear?”

“Yeah.”, I hoped I would be released soon.

“You will just have to bear with me while I process your details on the computer, and you don’t need those on anymore let me take them off”, he reached behind my back to undo the cuffs.

“Can I get you a drink of water?”

“Thanks that would be great”. I thought maybe its going to be OK maybe they won’t find my outstanding fines, I prayed.

The young copper went off to enter my details into a computer. Once he had a look at my computer record, his behaviour changed. He came striding back to where I was sitting, unceremoniously put the handcuffs back on, took me into a small room and sat me down in front of a computer screen. On it I could see my name and in bright red a note mentioning the federal police and a computer theft I was wanted for questioning in relation to.

“It says here that you are a whacko and can’t hold a firearms license as well hey?”, the cop smirked. This was a reference to a time when I had gone to see a Doctor for depression. It was just after the Port Arthur massacre. I told the doctor that I was thinking of buying a semi-automatic rifle and killing a whole lot of people. I didn’t really want to kill a lot of people, I was just trying to show how disturbed I was, so that I would get the help that I needed. It didn’t work.

The doctor told me she would have to inform the authorities and that my name would be placed on a list banning me from getting a gun license. I had always wondered whether she had followed up on that promise.

“Well it looks like your going to be staying with us for a while, you’ve got a hell of a lot of outstanding fines, and it says on the computer that the feds want to talk to you about some stolen computers”

My first impulse was panic. Holly shit I thought, they got me and I am going down for a long time. I felt totally defeated. I desperately wished that someone would help me to get me out of there.

I decided to call my brother to see if he would come and bail me out. I needed about $1500 to get out of gaol. I got my brother’s wife on the phone and left a message. Surely they would get me out. I mean my family was not poor, my brother and wife were both Vets and on good money.

But they would not help. I was shocked I had been certain that they would bail me out, I had no doubt about it. But to have this belief shattered was a painful wake up call. My brothers voice was distant and patronising

Years later he would deny the fact that he had turned me down his response was to state that “But you never asked for help”, what a load of fuckin crap. I must of rang him four or five times to discuss the situation or did I, memory is a curious thing.

I rang my mother, she would not help.

“Its time you faced up to your actions, you need to learn to be responsible”

She felt that it was time to put her foot down. She had always helped me but this was the first time in my life she had turned away. I had never felt so alone in my whole life, I was truly shocked that my family had turned their backs.

My actions were the actions of a sick, screwed up bloke, I needed help, the soft fluffy kind, not more abuse in the form of gaol. The injustice of it was beyond belief, the only victim in my actions was me, yet here I was about to be punished for my addiction and my indigence.

Or were there victims, were my family victims of my reckless and destructive ways, yes they were, they were ripped off lied to and taken advantage of. Later I would try to understand their anguish, but at the time I could only see it through my own eyes.

It was like they wanted this to cure me to fix my problem, maybe gaol would be the answer, the school of hard knocks and all that.

My father was overseas and incommunicado. He distanced himself from me, he like most of the rest of the family were ashamed of me.

I couldn’t help thinking that they were happy to see me in prison to see me suffer for my crimes. I was in full poor me mode.

I rang my mate Darren he seemed sympathetic but he didn’t lift a finger to help me. On the phone he listened with a detached sense of interest, I could hear laughter in the background.

“Yeah we’re watching the grand final, should be a good one, you got a telly there?”

“Oh yeah we got that shit, but you know…………”

Not that I had many friends to call, a couple of years of heroin had seen to that. They listened to my plight and heard my pleas for help but no help was forthcoming.

I felt that I had been abandoned to the whims of the law and feared that the system would consume me. My mind played a montage of images from all the most violent prison movies I had ever seen, the bashing, rapes and murders filled my mind and I felt scared and alone. It was one of the low points of my life.

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