The Case of the Drunken Beach Ho
A Semi-Fiction Novel
By.... Peter Hill
The Block & The 45th.
An Officer comes in the big room and starts calling out names. As he calls out each name he motions us to line up
against the wall, single file. Four of us that get called. As the last man is being directed to the wall the Officer says;
“through this door and down the hall folks”. All four of us start walking. “Stay close to the wall on your right” the Officer
says, and down the hall we go. We get to an elevator and the Officer says “everyone in the elevator”. We all pile in
and he takes us up to the fourth floor to Cell Block F. I remember delivering food to Cell Block F twenty something
years ago when I was a trustee. Now it looks like I’ll be getting food delivered to me. I know I’ve missed dinner, because
as I look through the tiny windows in each cell I can see that it is dark outside now. Oh well, I guess I’ll get breakfast in
All of us walk up to a window and the Officer there tells everyone to take a boat, a mattress, blankets, sheets, a
towel and a cup with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a comb in it. He then directs everyone to their appointed cell block.
Mine was number four. I wait by the secured door. It opens, I walk in and it closes. Then another secure door opens
and I enter the main block. They call it “The House”. The door closes behind me. I look around and see six cells with
six bunks in each one. The bunks are all taken and there is one guy sleeping on the floor of each cell. There are also
two dudes on the floor outside of the cells. So I figure I’m going to be the third dude sleeping on the floor outside of a
cell. As I position my Plastic bed by a wall not far from a phone. I look around wondering what’s going to happen
tonight. Back in the day, the new guy used to get messed with on the first night. So I do as best I can to mentally
prepare for the perceived crap I will be likely be enduring tonight. I spread out my sheet and blanket, lay down and wait
for someone to make their move.
As I am laying there with all kinds of thoughts from my past tours of incarceration running through my head I
wonder if that dude over there is going to mess with me. Maybe it’s the one on the phone (it looks like he’s staring at
me). Maybe it’s those dudes playing cards over there. I start to notice something different about this jail. It’s kind of
calm. Other than the TV and low frequency hum of all the casual Human conversation nothing outrageous is going on.
Usually, the Inmates are all arguing about stuff; their case, the card game, or how many cakes someone owes. These
dudes are just hanging out. Not much going on at all. I began to acquire a bit of control over my nervousness as I try to
convince my brain to stop producing more adrenaline. I guess you could say I relaxed a little. Enough to lay back in my
boat bed and take another look at my papers.
As I continue to be vigilant and as aware as I can be in this environment I start to read through my papers. Now
this is going to be hard because I’m older now, I don’t have any reading glasses and it’s been twenty years since the
las time I was here. I start to look at the big print. Boy they sure put my name and the charges in big print. I guess they
we’re thinking of us older inmates when they did that. Well, no matter how much I blink and squint my eyes I can’t seem
to make out the small print. The sounds of the TV and the Human murmuring are starting to relax me a little more now.
So I fold up my paper and try to take a pretend nap.
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