[ Thursday, December 18, 2003 ]
You know already that I'm temporarily working as a courier for an outfit near DC.
I took a pickup from the UPS store; it was just an envelope, handwriten in little kid scrawl.
It was addressed carefully to Mr. Jose ______(fake name), 922 Jennifer Road, Annapolis.
Now, I knew already that Jennifer Road was all commercial, but 'way down the other end almost to Admiral Drive sits the county firehouse; next to it on county land sits the Detention Center.
I pulled into the parking lot and studied the envelope. No return address, but a little snowman sealing stamp. And full postage.
But it hadn't been mailed for that 37 cents.
It had been carefully delivered to the UPS store, where for $16., it could get hand delivered.
To the jail.
Someone paid $16.00 to move that little envelope six miles.
Someone paid $16.00 to avoid lost mail.
I brought it into the reception area, and asked the desk clerk to sign for it.
This she did silently, and took the envelope and placed it into a basket on her desk.
"What happens next? To the letter?" I asked.
The clerk stopped and looked at me, then the letter. She called over an officer. She spoke to him quietly, then gave the officer the letter. The officer moved to the back of the room where another officer behind a glassed and barred enclosure pressed a button. A door opened in the back and the officer went in. The door closed.
"Jose will get his letter right now" said the clerk. She still hadn't smiled or showed any emotion whatsoever.
"You know Jose'?" I asked.
"Yes" she said quietly.
I waited for more, but none came.
"Do you need anything else?" she asked, in that "please leave" tone of voice.
"No, thanks." I said.
Thinking about this fellow named 'Jose, and a little kid who sent him a Christmas card.
And thinking a little about freedom.
gonzoliberal [5:17 PM]