I give her ten for the train so she can go back to jail and she calls next day, hey can you take me up there? I don't ask where she's been and what happened to yesterday's ten.
I can't take her. I have to go to Cicero, to the halfway house that gave her the boot, the second one in two months. Otherwise they give her clothes to the pawn shop downstairs. The girls in the house get a kick out of seeing their clothes on someone else.
Someone scoots and two months later comes back to see someone new wearing a sweatshirt she used to own.
"Damn! That was my shirt."
Rose didn't have shoes or clothes the first time I picked her up at the jail, just the paper sandals and scrubs from the hospital. So we've taken her to Target, gotten her outfitted. I don't want to lose the stuff.
My wife takes her to the jail, while I haul ten Hefty bags full of stuff down from the third floor in Cicero. I get it home and shove it in the crawl space, hoping it can stay there for a long time this time.
Mom texts me: She won't go in. What do I do?
Call 911, I respond, thinking it shouldn't take 'em long to get there, parked outside the jail.
Rose is developing institutional thinking. Might as well get buzzed if you gotta go back in. But she'll have to pee in a cup upon entering the facility. A dirty drop is a violation. This apparently occurs to her after getting buzzed, so it's, I'll go tomorrow, for four days.
I head north and thirty minutes later see a cop dropping a twenty-five dollar ticket on my wife's car. No sign of anyone else. I half-expected to see swat teams, black helicopters, a bullhorn sqwaking we don't care your father is an asshole. Come out with your hands up.
I park, feed the meter, knowing a cop circles the block around the jail all day, and see my wife walking toward her car. The Public Defender walked out of the jail and saw them screaming at each other. He talked Rose into going in, promises her he'll get her a court date tomorrow.
I go to court the next day and bring Elmore Leonard with me, Road Dogs. It continues the story from Out of Sight, in which the bank robber escapes and screws a U.S. Marshal, before she shoots him and sends him back to the slam. George Clooney played the robber in Steven Soderbergh's wonderful film. Jenifer Lopez was the marshal. The sex was nice, but the issue of primacy was at the heart of the story. Over and over, a crook who thought he was in charge turned out not to be in charge.
Clooney helped a Michael Milken character survive his stretch. Clooney gets out and the Milken guy thinks he'll even up by giving him a job as his chauffeur. Clooney saved his skin in prison and figured he was due a few mill, but his criminal wiles were no match for the security staff of a corporate raider.
The stories here are just as interesting, I think. Rose's case gets slapped on the docket after a sentencing hearing involving a shooting. Guy breaks into a house and issues a beat-down to someone inside. Another guy who lives there comes into the room and shoots the intruder. The shooter faces serious time. I am sitting in between the two families, who fill forty or more seats in the courtroom. The judge gives the shooter probation if he helps pay the injured party's hospital bills. The shooter could've called the cops, or intervened without a gun, as the assailant was unarmed. But he's never been in trouble with the law. He's the main provider for his family. He owns a business and signs paychecks. The judge says there's no way the community benefits from this guy doing time.
He then addresses the families, who had been addressing each other throughout the hearing.
"The families involved really need to think about healing. If you don't, then we'll all be back here next week or next year and maybe someone does have to go to jail. No one wins these things."
I love the judge. He speaks carefully and personally to everyone who appears before him, but I think he is losing interest in Rose's case. He's given her chances. The State's Attorney and the Public Defender say they'll have an agreement by the end of next week. The PD says she is suffering from panic attacks and he has spoken to the mental health department. They have agreed to keep her for observation until her trial date. The judge shrugs, as does the SA.
I move from the courtroom to the waiting room at the jail, and finish my book. I like how it ends, these crooks and schemers tripping over each other and by the time the primacy issues are settled, there are a couple of bodies in a walk-in freezer. Chick was gonna have the second body, when it was still walking around, dump the first one in a river, but then the second one flew off a roof and landed splat on the patio.
The bank robber isn't as tough as the thugs around him, but he's smarter and settles stuff by shifting alliances and playing one off the other better than they play him.
"Here's how this is gonna play out...." he says to the girl with the gun, then explains why she shouldn't pull the trigger.
She's out in a couple of hours. Without her meds. She has to ask for them and never does. So she tells the girl behind the bulletproof glass. The girl calls for the nurse. This will take twenty minutes. I send Rose across the street with a fin for a dog and cheeze fries. I catch the nurse when he comes down.
"How's she doin'?" he asks.
"I didn't think so."
A slight girl with brown hair pulled up in a bun whisks past us.
"Go get 'em girl."
She jumps into a '95 Honda Civic with red tape where a tail light used to be. Billy says she used to be worse than Rose. Now she never misses a drop. Works and goes to school. It can happen, Billy tells me. Hang in there.
A girl at the mental health department interviews Rose, then asks me to join the meeting. They can't take her. Rose is too healthy. She sees a doctor, takes her meds, has been through treatment. The county program is for people off the street. Rose has resources. Rose has me and my insurance card.
I wondered what the lawyer was thinking, sending her here. I assumed maybe he knew someone and asked for a favor, trying to give Rose a soft landing. Jailhouse detox sucks. I call. He impressed upon me he has to be somewhere very soon but will make a phone call. If it doesn't work, she has to go back in. It's after four o'clock on a Friday. We drive back over to the jail. I want her out of my car. She was batshit yesterday and I don't want another episode.
She says since no one specifically told her that she has to go back in, she is free to go where she wants for the week, long as she shows up at the next court date.
"They assumed you would get in the clinic," I say. "But you're still under arrest. You already violated your parole with all the relapses. You bolt now, they'll add an escape charge."
The lawyer isn't returning calls. Rose says she isn't doing anything without talking to him.
"Here's how this is gonna play out," I say. "You are going to get out of my car. If you don't, I call 911. You get out of my car, you can do whatever you want, see if you can roust someone to come get you. Up to you.
"What you ought to do is go back inside and wait for your court date. I think they're gonna kick you loose, let you plead down. From there, you deal with a probation officer. Otherwise, you're in DOC for a couple years at least. Your call."
She asks if she can have a cigarette first. They don't let you smoke inside. And maybe, while she smokes, a tornado comes by and blows the jail down and she doesn't have to go in. I say no. She goes in.