Monday, October 23, 2006


At one of the Mental Health Team meetings last week, the senior counselor noted in passing that an inmate was no longer with us. He'd been sentenced to two years prison time for burglary.

"He couldn't have been much of a burglar," Ed blurted out, "The dude is stone blind."

Which reminded me of Zippy. Used to come to jail alot, a talkative young man in a wheel chair. He was usually quick witted and funny, but sometimes sullen and he could be a real ass.

He's been in a lot lately. I could have looked it up, but I decided to just ask: "Zippy, why do you keep coming to jail? You're in a wheelchair, what kind of crimes can you do?"

"I usually come in on UUMV, sarge. Stealin' cars."

"You steal cars?"

"Nah. But my friends, they know I'm bored, see, so they take me along when they go joy-ridin'. When the cops show up, they all run off, but I can't run so they leave me there. I get charged with posession of the stolen motor vehicle."

"Zippy, you need some better friends. They just leave you there?"

"That's all right, sarge. What jails gonna hold me tighter than this chair?" He'd been flip and funny and laughing until this sentence, and there was a little glimmer of anger or resentment, something dark. He could stare at his walls and watch TV in his chair at jail just as well as at home.

With my dedicated, military "no man left behind" background I'd expected him to feel anger at his friends betrayal, but he felt greatful for the hours of excitement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, you could really make some good shanks out of pieces of a wheelchair. I shit you not, Macguyver made a blowtorch out of one once.