Home Girl

The closest thing I’ve had to a visitor this week was when a teenage neighbor caught me in my apartment wearing nothing but an ankle bracelet.  He was skulking around in the alley and saw me through the kitchen window.  I live alone, and I have embraced the freedom of being able to routinely wander around my apartment naked as a jail bird.

I heard a noise at the window and walked up to investigate.  I looked down about three feet from where I stood to see a pleased, yet very surprised expression on the face of one of my teenage neighbors.  I didn’t know how best to react, so I went with a quick, “Oh!  Hi!  Um,” and I hit the floor immediately.  I laid there for a moment, thinking maybe he would go away, but when I heard no such movement from the alley, I crawled on my hands and knees like a soldier in a trench to the next room to grab a bathrobe.  I have a lot of robes.  Over the years, I’ve accumulated something of an arsenal of matching sleepwear (the vast majority not being sexy, and leaning more in the direction of androgynous, pocketed flannel sleep suits).  This wardrobe has swung into full use since I’ve been on house arrest.

I had been standing in my kitchen, contemplating plans for the evening, wondering if it would be wise to invite someone over in the interest of engaging in general human interaction.  Isolation can be maddening.  It’s nice to have the occasional shout from the distant shores of sanity and invite someone in from the Free world to remind me of what’s out there.

I’ve been spending time with a new friend who loves to remind me of what’s out there.  I’ve taken my last few Earned Leaves with him, walking along Melrose and getting coffee.  He leads a strange life, owning a music/whiskey festival that feeds plenty of income, and with that he only works about 3 months a year.  He travels often, taking scuba-diving vacations in Thailand and yachting trips in Western Europe.  He has told me about his adventures during our coffee dates.  His stories are a far cry from what my life is at the moment, but I like to hear them nonetheless.  Most of my friends have been overly sensitive about telling me plans that I can’t be a part of, but he thinks it’s good for me to hear, so I will remember what to look forward to when I’m free again.  He has a point.

Coffee dates with him have been the closest thing I’ve had to dating recently.  My interest in pursuing dating has dwindled.  In the beginning of my home confinement, I dabbled in online dating…  It was all ill-fated, and I quickly realized that it usually led to me being cornered in my apartment by a hormone-stricken man with a possible fetish for bondage.  It’s easy to escape a bad date in public, but when they’re sitting on your couch and your bed is ten feet away, it can get awkward when you’re not feeling particularly friendly.  I only had two dates before I deleted the online profile and swore off internet dating forever.

Oh, dating.

208 days to go.

 

Photo by Nabil Rahme- Taken at home during house arrest

Girl in the Hood

Good morning, Inglewood!

I may not have a college degree at this point in my life, but damn it if I haven’t aced every drug test I’ve ever taken.  During my pre-trial services last year, which is like probation prior to a trial or a guilty plea, I had to submit to random drug tests eight times a month.  That wreaked havoc on my sleep schedule because I had to report to a recovery center on Sunset Blvd between the hours of 5am and 9am.  I would barely rest the night before, and I made an unhealthy habit of staying up until 4:30am, living in fear that I would oversleep, when I would leave my apartment in time to be there early and go home to collapse in my bed in a desperate attempt to reclaim my sanity.

Now, in my post-prison probation supervision arrangement, I am called in by my general probation officer (meaning the PO who is not my home monitoring officer- These are totally different departments) the night before to inform me that I’m required to come in and have my way with a plastic cup in the interest of proving my innocence of drug abuse.  Mercifully, the hours of testing are from 6:30am to 2:30pm.  My home monitoring PO requires that I get there early, so I usually leave my apartment between 6am and 7am.

My phone buzzed with a restricted call last night, and I answered to hear my general PO telling me to be at the probation office in Inglewood this morning.

I crawled out of bed at 6am and threw on a moo-moo of sorts from my closet.  Laundry day.  I drove down La Brea Ave into Inglewood and parked at the meters a few blocks from the probation offices.  The dreariness of this routine has been broken up only by the fact that there is a gas station along the walking route from the meters that I’ve found to sell unusually delicious string cheese.  To my dismay, they were out of string cheese today.  For the better, I thought, trying to console myself as I waddled along the sidewalk past bus stops and foot traffic toward the building.

Even walking through Inglewood, there is something about an obvious ankle bracelet that makes me less weary of any dodgy locals thinking they can get one over on me.  I noticed people at the bus stop staring at it, and I gave no acknowledgement, save for an occasional nod behind my sunglasses.  “Yeah, that’s right.  Not a good time to mess with this.  If you abduct me, this little baby is going to tell the feds my exact GPS location, and yours too.  If nothing else, I can weaponize this thing pretty quickly in a high kick.  Run an’ tell that, homeboy.”

I took an elevator up to the probation offices.  Per usual, I walked in and grabbed a sign-in sheet at the glass window that protects the front desk from the usual steady stream of criminals.  The sheet just asks if I’ve consumed any narcotics, and if so, what those might be.  I went through the metal detector and security set-up before settling into the waiting area with other offenders.  After a few minutes, a woman appeared from behind a door and called my name.  I followed her in for a quick test, then I was released back to the streets of Inglewood.  Usually, at this point, I would reward myself with a handful of string cheese from the gas station on the way back to my car.  Barring the potential threat of a false positive, this is my monthly routine for drug testing.

216 days to go.

Deliver Me From Pizza

 

My insatiable appetite for cheese, combined with the limitations of house arrest, has become a problem recently.  I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, so I got lucky in that regard, but I have always had a taste for inhaling inappropriately large servings of cheese.  Ever since my cheese club membership ran out last month, I’ve been getting worse.  I’ve more than made up for the lost membership by having a veritable revolving door of delivery men coming through.  It’s been an ugly scene here.

Being on house arrest, my options for seeking food are pretty limited.  I basically either arm myself to the teeth at the grocery store during Essential Leave every week, anticipating everything I could possibly want to eat for the next seven days, or I find myself ordering delivery after scoffing at the selection in my kitchen.

After four consecutive days of ordering pizza this week, I flashed ahead eight months to when I’m released, and I pictured them having to knock down one of the walls of my apartment with a backhoe because I can no longer fit through a standard door frame- only to hoist me onto a heavy load bearing motorized cart that will wheel me onto a sound stage where Maury Povich will help me confront my morbid obesity.

I made the difficult decision to delete Domino’s number on my phone today, like so many other ill-fated relationships, and I’ve sworn never to Google him or look on his Facebook page again.  Pizza Hut and Thai World can still be on my roster though, because we’ve always kept it casual.

Off to the gym!

220 days to go.

(145 days in!!!)

The last delivery 🙁