Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Thursday, October 02, 2008

moving on, moving through

Summer is really, really over. I left for work in the dark today. Back to the big jail in East county to administer GED tests. I left at 6:30, figuring it would take half an hour to get out to the college and pick up the tests. It should have taken no more than half an hour, but it rained this morning. Whenever it rains after a long dry spell, all the oil and road scum floats out of the cracks in the asphalt and renders the surface slicker than snake shit. There was an accident which reduced freeway speed to a crawl. A full stop would have been preferrable because then I could at least knit. But no, I was trapped in the early darkness amidst the 18 wheelers and the SUVs, edging along between eight and a giddy twelve miles an hour. A couple of snails galloped past me in the fog lane, making insensitive remarks and waving their eyestalks in a mocking fashion. When at last I eased up to the site of the accident, long since dealt with and tidied away, it was like getting that first glop of catsup out of the bottle. Things flowed perfectly freely from then on.

Luckily, the fellow in charge of the programs at the jail, with whom I had to meet, was running late as well. No harm, no foul. But my day did not improve. This jail has been laid out with intent to confuse and disorient, and boy does it work on me. I was lost all day long. There are cameras supervising all the halls, and several times a heavenly voice would speak from above me to say, "Where do you want to be?" I would tell them, speaking to a point rather up and to the left for some reason, and they would determine that I was too helpless to be left alone any longer. "Stay there, and we will send an officer to guide you." This is especially humiliating because usually I have an excellent sense of direction and almost never get lost. Also, one of the nightmares that will bring me sitting bolt upright in bed with cold sweat squirting from every pore is the one where I am lost and late and alone amongst strangers.

So today was a learning experience. I have been lost and late and alone among strangers, and they sent kindly guides to lead me. Thank God!!

I will go back tomorrow. I don't know if I will ever learn to find my way around in there. I doubt they will let me unroll a ball of string so I can follow it back out. Nor are they likely to let me strew a trail of breadcrumbs. If only I could have a map . . . But if I can't take my car keys, I'm darn sure they won't let me have a map.

I'm home and safe and thinking perhaps I should bake some cookies. Gotta stay on the good side of the guards, or they'll leave me to wander forever.


  • At 5:08 PM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    I have a terrible sense of direction and would love to hear a voice from above asking where I want to be. And I would definitely need a guard to show me around. I'm never afraid of being lost, I do it so often, but in a place around a lot of strangers would be scary.

  • At 6:48 PM , Blogger Galad said...

    I'm glad they didn't leave you wandering around forever in the jail. A think a trail of yarn sounds like a good plan.

    Hope the guards like the cookies :-)

  • At 9:43 PM , Blogger lyssa said...

    I'm jealous of your weather! The last few days here have been really toasty.

  • At 9:58 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    They should just send a guard with you to stay with you at all times!

    Don't you just hate the first rain of the season? And here in SoCal no one actually knows how to drive in the rain.

  • At 10:05 PM , Anonymous Linda G. said...

    The snails! The snails! I can just SEE them -- Roxie you are so clever; thanks for the belly laugh, dear heart.

  • At 11:04 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Wow--that's scary--seriously--lost in a jail? And those snails will pay--someone's shoe out there has their name oozing along in it:-)

  • At 5:57 AM , Blogger KnitTech said...

    Could have been worse, he could have tried to give you directions over the speaker.

  • At 2:10 PM , Anonymous Norma said...

    At least I take it inmates were not wandering around in the hallways? Here in the maximum security prison, they ARE. And when I used to go down there for depositions, I never thought about how much risk I could potentially be at until I got home. Cripes. Security, much?

  • At 6:25 PM , Blogger the boogeyman's wife said...

    dude, not only is summer over, it's been snowing and we've got accumulation :D great, huh?

    thanks for the snail and heavenly voice descriptions - they got me smiling today.

  • At 9:14 PM , Blogger Jejune said...

    You're a better woman than I am, Gunga Din. And braver.

    I had enough trouble visiting my brother in jail and various psych wards only a few times ... totally galling.

    Good luck with the cookie bribes - sound like a very good plan indeed!!


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