“All I need is a pig, a flute, a ticket to Italy and I’m golden.” Trey says, appearing very sincere.
“Say something normal for fuck’s sake. Jesus, do you want to stay in here?” I ask through gritted teeth. I am looking straight ahead at the Judge, trying to keep my voice low and my lips from moving. My son is standing next to me at the defendants table and his lawyer is next to him.
“What?” my son asks me. “She asked what I wanted to do with my life. I want to hunt morel mushrooms in Italy. Are you saying I should lie?”
“I’m gonna whip your ass when you get out of here.” I’m so mad that my lips may have moved a little. His lawyer puts his hand by the microphone sitting on the table in front of us and says in a sing-song voice while smiling at the judge, “They’re recording.”
This is Trey’s usual approach to life. On the surface he seems to be going along with the program, but he is really being a complete pain in the ass. All I know is, this is the third time this week I have had to take time off of work to deal with his bullshit. Pumpkin, that’s what I call Trey since he spends most of his time in the county juvenile detention center’s orange jumpsuit, is not your typical sixteen year old thug.
He ignores me and turns to the judge again.”If that doesn’t work out, I would like to adopt a Chinese baby, move to New York and become an actor,” he says. The judge just stares. “Phillip Seymour Hoffman moves me to tears,” he continues while nodding his head for emphasis.
This time I turn and say to him plain as day, “I can’t stand your ass. I’m your momma and even I want to whip your ass.” His lawyer sighs and looks at his watch.
The Judge finally breaks her silence, “What have I told both of you about swearing in my courtroom? Trey, are you ready to take this seriously? This is your life, you are only hurting yourself.”
“Oh yes, Ma’am. I am willing to do whatever it takes to be successful,” he says obviously lying.
“Good because I am releasing you from detention today. You will be on house arrest and must abide by the community control rules which your probation officer will explain to you. If you break any of the conditions of your release it will result in a new charge or charges. Do you understand?”
“Yes,Your Honor, I understand. I am anxious to get back home and to start school again,” he says.
Once it’s read into the record he can be released the guard takes him to processing. I go sit in the waiting area for him to come out. I hope it doesn’t take long and I can get back to work. But, I end up waiting two hours.
There is no Wi-Fi, so I listen to the conversations around me. There are the first time mothers. They are usually crying, saying their son isn’t bad and it’s all a big mistake. There are the mothers of the boys who have been accused of serious crimes. They are usually quiet and look scared. Then there are the mothers like me, who have been down here a thousand times. They know it’s no mistake and their kid did do it. It’s either a misdemeanor and they aren’t worried that their son will get a lot of time or sent to the adult prison or it’s serious but they’ve sat here so many times they’re just tired.
I hear the buzzer for the door and instinctually look up to see who’s coming out for the hundredth time that day. There is Pumpkin, walking towards me smiling. I stand up and give him my ‘I’m serious, I’m not playing with you, Boy’ face. Then he does what he always does, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out my favorite candy bar. He saves his points while he’s in and gets me a candy bar in commissary. This is the ultimate jailhouse show of love. Fucker.
I smile despite myself, stand up and give him a hug. “All right, where you want to eat?” I ask.
“Applebees,” he says.
“You got a cigarette?” he asks.
“Of course,” I say.