Pawn Takes King part 37

The needle seals his fate.
    "I'll talk to a lawyer, then." Donny says repugnantly.
Donny is read his Miranda rights in front of cruel men. Not all cops were bad, but the good ones didn't seem to be present that night. The overzealous officers were the ones gathered 'round. It was those who savored authority that enjoyed kicking around the meek.
    The cold and hungry men were taken away in 6 squad cars. Each car was stuffed 2 deep with people. 12 bums. These people were not regarded with any respect in society. They were charged collectively with unlawful assembly. Later, the charges came down to loitering and trespassing. It was a joke. Donny knew they were just trying to trump up the charges, as an intimidation tactic. Then, when they came in front of the judge, the new charges came out, seeming to relieve some of the other homeless men. Donny was sick of it all. What a stupid dog and pony show it was.
    The same lawyer represented all the men. It was the public defender, and he was a severe-looking bloke that gave the impression he had better things to do. He was always looking at his watch, and tapping his foot impatiently. Donny knew this guy was overworked, and probably did have larger cases preoccupying his mind. The judge didn't mention the syringe. Donny just played along, hoping that trespassing would be the only charge.
    A few of the bums didn't know they could get a lawyer pro bono. It was a part of the Miranda rights, which Donny knew by heart now:
    "If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you by the court of law. Do you understand these rights you've been given?"
    Donny knew some of the laws, but did not understand why this humiliation was necessary. Donny was taken to the county hospital, escorted by none other than Wynzinger. Donny was handcuffed to the gurney as his nose was realigned by an orthopedic doctor. Wyzinger did not leave Donny's side. Donny thought the cop was making sure Donny didn't speak about the incident at length. Wynzinger was covering his own ass.
    It hurt like hell to get his nose rocked back into place, but Donny had to admit he could breath much better once it was done. It took 3 different angles of pressure to line it up correctly.
    Donny wished he had some Oxy to ease the pain.

    How does it feel to be a non-willing participant in a protest? This was a question Donny pondered for his two day stint in the jail. There weren't enough beds for everyone. The cots that were there were already booked by the first criminals there. The accommodations weren't very impressive. It was a big holding cell, essentially a large square with bars. There was a concrete bench that ran the length of the entire cell, and most of the bums just sat there the whole time. When night came, some sprawled out on the floor.
    For a few of the bums, this was a better alternative than sleeping outside in the elements. There was a huge blizzard blotting out most of southeastern Iowa. Donny watched the colored swirl on the weather portion of the news. That blotch of precipitation could kill a homeless person, if they are improperly sheltered. A bigger fear was just where was Donny supposed to go when released?
    Perhaps Greg could offer some aid. No, the guy had enough to deal with as it was. Donny was a pest, and there was no use infesting Greg's life. Donny could not depend on his mother for anything. Gus was another ally that had peril of his own. Ben? Maybe.
    Greg and Ben are Donny's only other crutches to lean on. Eugene might be willing to let Donny crash on his couch every once in a while, but Eugene probably didn't want to make waves with his Asian roomate. Eugene had a nice thing going, narrowing his line of pot customers. Donny would only complicate things for the African American known as Green Gene.
    The best part of the prison stay was the food. That's not to say the food was particularly appetizing, but food is food. Donny didn't want to become used to this. Being in lockup wasn't fun. Donny almost got into a fight with another inmate over sexual orientation. The guy kept accusing Donny of something strange.
    "Hey, are you a CHO-MO?" a dirtbag with a mullet and few teeth said to Donny. It took a few minutes for Donny to figure out what this question even meant.
    CHO-MO: CHild MOlester.
    Donny grew enraged that the guy would ever think that. He would never rape a kid. Donny was many things, but a kiddy diddler was not one of them.
    "I outta stomp your fucking face in," Donny says with savageness. The biker's features filled in the details of his life. He had a ridiculous mutton-chop mustache, or handlebar mustache. Whatever it was, it wasn't complimentary to the guy's character. He looked like he belonged in here, locked up from society at large. He wore a denim vest, which draped his sagging gut like some kind of a mudflap, or something. His jeans were too tight, giving him almost a mangina in his crotch, his testicles wedged by the seam of his jeans.
    "Is that right, runt?" the man says, shoving Donny with jolting force. Donny is propelled backwards, the concrete cushion folding his knees, and causing his head to ring agains the bars.
    Before Donny can get up, the guy is on him. He rears back to give a mean jab when the nightwatchment rattles the prison bars with his nightstick.
    "KNOCK IT OFF, IN THERE, OR YOU'LL GET SOLITARY!!" the guard barks. The dude backs off. Donny might just prefer solitary confinement if it meant he could escape this rabble.
    Donny is released just after breakfast. Not even a cigarette after grub could be as fulfilling as being let out of prison after a meal. Donny was free. He breathed the morning air and felt immediately better. There were fines, but they couldn't get blood from a stone. Donny had no source of income. It wasn't a factor to him. Let them sit and stew, waiting for a payday that will never come. It was big business to be a cop.
    Gus is there to pick up Donny from the cop shop. Donny used him as his one phonecall. Donny saved the call until after he was released. Gus and Donny lived on borrowed time. Wherever they are, that's where they are. There was no other destination. Donny needed a ride then, so that's when he called Gus. Well, to be more accurate, Donny called the messaging service to Shelter House. Gus had been visiting there with frequency since Donnie suggested it to him. Supposedly, if you got on at Shelter House, they could hook him up with a job.
    Gus was a hard worker, with no labor to be done. He did odd jobs to pay for his gas, and keep himself afloat.
    "Hey Donny" Gus says cheerfully, lighting up a smoke.
    "Hey Gus."
    "You want a cigarette?"
    "Don't mind if I do, Gus."
    Donny wanted some sort of celebration. There was no alcohol, but a cigarette was an okay substitution. Normally he didn't smoke, because it hurt his stomach. WIth a full gullet, however, the smoke complimented his mood nicely.
    Gus drove him over to the YMCA. Donny asks the Carpet King to hang out for awhile, and heads inside. Donny's application has gotten a little bit further. It is on file now. Donny is told that if one of their residents can secure a job, a bed would open up, as that individual could then fend for themselves, so to speak. Donny couldn't even get himself a job, but he was determined to aid anybody, if it meant he could have a warm bed to sleep in.
    "I'd like to volunteer my time," Donny says to the warm women behind the desk. The lady looks hesitant. Donny didn't even have a home, what could he contribute?
    "What are you looking to help with?" the lady asks carefully. She won't meet Donny's swollen face. She stares at his collar instead. Donny isn't offended. He knows how ghoulish he looks.
    "I have computer skills," Donny relates, "I can tutor people on computer technology, to help them nab a job."
    The lady continues to look unconvinced. Also scared. Donny produces his battered college ID card and taps on it with his finger.
    "I was enrolled in the Computer Support Specialist program," Donny says, "but I had a change of life situation, and had to stop my classes."
    Donny was careful not to say "drop out", or quit, when retelling his school story. Word choice was important when trying to get your own way.
    The lady chews on her lip in contemplation.
    "I can't authorize this," she says, "but I can pass it on to someone who can."
    "Thank you, ma'am," Donny says appreciatively, "I'm willing to do whatever I can to help."
    Maybe it would've been better to wait to pitch this idea until Donny's face was healed. His appearance certainly wouldn't help his chances. However, Donny needed to line up a place to crash, and hold up for at least a little. The gazebo was now off-limits.
    "Where to now?" Gus asks, as Donny hops back inside the Blazer. Donny rummages through his plastic bag of insubstantial possessions. The cops had given Donny back the few dollars he'd accumulated. They even returned the sleeping bag, something Donny didn't expect.
    Whynzinger was probably the one who kept the syringe, and weed under wraps, Donny decides. Whynzinger was probably worried about getting police brutality charges against him, for the line-drive to Donny's face. Donny learned most communication went unspoken, even in the case of an arrest. If Donny tried to report it, Whyzinger would definitely reveal the existence of the needle. They were at a stalemate. It was a fair trade, Donny supposed. Whyninger and Donny both remained free, and no one else had to know about the arm-sticker.
    "Well?" Gus asks impatiently. Donny closes the top of his plastic bag, by the handles.
    "I have nowhere to go," Donny says absently.

Uploaded 03/04/2013
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