Each cell has a small sink attached to the top of a commode, a bed, a locker, and a shelf or two along the wall. My cell door doesn't have bars on it, it is a solid slab of steel with a tiny peep hole and a slot in the center of the door to pass your trays of food through.
Pretty much, I was enclosed in a rectangular concrete cell at the juvenile county jail being held until my mother came to sign me out and take me home. Standing on my bed looking out the thick opaque bullet proof glass, the only dilemma that crossed my mind was, "I'll never hit the streets again, you really did it this time Big Shorty." I strained on my tippy toes to look into the lost stars, daybreak upon me.
The smell of fresh air was out of my possession, I failed short to take advantage of my freedom. Of course, I have been in this predicument over half a dozen times. Most people call the juvenile county jail the, "Audy" home. It was located on Chicago's Westside.
A sudden sharp blow on the iron door scared the "crap" out of me. "Get yo' butt down from that window." A few seconds later the speck of bright silver reflected from two officer's badges. The jerks unlocked and kicked open my cell door in seconds. I was off the bed in a heart beat. The jail made us wear a white T-shirt representing a blue bird on it, along with light brown khaki pants. The only thing remaining in my possession that belonged to me was my Air Force Ones.
When the pigs referred to us as "jail birds", it really got under my skin. The two pigs that kicked open my door approched me. I gave them both a feign smirk and had my little fist balled in a tight hatred knot. I get told, "Wipe that smirk off your face young punk, before we hog-tie yo' little butt and leave you sitting in the hole." Yeah, I was in the hole for riding with my folks. I was a Gangsta Disciple from the wild 100's, Chicago's Southside. Two uniform pigs hovered over me like the "Sears Towers." "You keep it up and your little butt will be in the department of corrections for a long time," I was told. I had been in the hole for ten days and had ten more to serve. A riot broke out the first few minutes I checked in to the unit. The jail was my second home, so I know who was who. I took on one of my old rivals, the fin ball. We beefed with Vice Lords and Black Stones in the jail over kool-aid, milk, or whatever came up short during meal times. The Gangstas' weren't going to come up short on nothing, and that's real talk!
The pigs eyes ballooned at the sight of my paper work, containing a list of series of crimes. "Damn kid, you're only nine years old." Came from the grey-headed pig while dabbing a bandana across his moist forehead. I had felt my heart beating through my bird shirt and couldn't wait to jump out of it. Once I heard the case manager shout, "His street clothes are in his personal property." They escorted me down a long corrider to the elevator. I stood on the elevator with my hands behind my back as ordered.
Big Shorty, at the age of nine years old, was placed in Juvenile Detention for selling crack cocaine for older members of his gang, who called themselves, "The Gangsta Disciples." They were one of the more popular gangs from the inner part of Chicago's Southside. Big Shorty was short, even for his age, with brown skin and light brown eyes. Even at nine, he know how to walk with a thorough swagger. Unlike the other boys his age, Big Shorty had a very muscular body frame. Intimidating some of the older Gangstas, he wore a small thick afro. He liked to think it made him look older or at least a little taller. He looked up to the older Gangstas and adapted to their ways, at what would seem to most, a very young age. It was a maturity that came with living in the streets.
"You'll have to be picked up by your legal guardian, so give me a number where I can reach someone," said the case manager at the detention center. They were inside his small office, which was encased by glass on three sides of the office that started at waist level and went up to the ceiling tiles. Which were stained brown in some areas from the last time it rained. Outside the office, Big Shorty could see other kids waiting. They sat in blue hard plastic molded chairs that lined the walls of the outer office. Some were asleep, others looked bored, and yet others looked as if they might try to run out when the oppurtunity presented itself. The juvenile detention center could not afford the extra staff to guard the amount of teens that flow in and out of the center on a daily basis.
Big Shorty looked up at the case manager, who was standing behind his desk with both hands placed flat on the desk. One hand on an opened folder which was recently typed up saying, "Big Shorty's name and address." The other hand was rested on a small pile of manila folders with different color tabs. The man was obviously fairly organized, as the folders on his desk were the only things that werer out of place in the small humid office. "Call my mom and ask her to come get me out," replied Big Shorty.
After twenty-eight years on the job, the case manager wasn't about to start taking orders from anyone now much less a troublesome kid. He cleared his throat and looked away from Big Shorty to the square tan phone that sat on the corner of his desk. "Pick up the phone, dial your number, and then give the phone to me," the case manager said in a threatening tone. Big Shorty slowly reached for the phone and dialed his home number. After hearing it ring once, he handed the phone over to the case manager.
"Hello, ma'am?, I'm calling about Tyrone." Big Shorty's mother, Victoria, sighed on the other end of the line. "Yes, what did my baby do this time?" Victoria asked. The case manager hesitated, then stated, "He was caught selling crack cocaine." The case manager winced and pulled the phone receiver a few inches away from his face as the voice on the other end of the phone yelled, "WHAT?, My baby's in jail?" Big Shorty could hear the worry in his mothers voice from the other side of the desk. "He could be released to you if you can show that you are his mother and legal guardian," replied the case manager. "I'll be right down there with my belt!," said Victoria. Big Shorty wasn't sure he heard the last part. He thought he heard his mother say, "belt?"
To be continued....