Mile Marker 149
Flashbacks From The Year 2000
The Conversations Start in My Head
Conversations Kill, You Know
The Bakery Outlet on my right reminds me of when D and I were parked outside the old Thriftway in West Seattle. Were we waiting for someone? I was starving. Hadn’t eaten in days. A bread truck parked with the side doors wide open stocked with bread and rolls, the driver no where in sight. I wanted to get out of the car and grab a loaf of bread. Just one. Harmless. Who would have noticed? But I didn’t. I mentioned it to D hoping he would do it, come to my rescue.. He didn’t care that I was hungry because he wasn’t. He never was. His hunger and intentions were only for more crack. This saddened me and I resented him. I wanted to get out of the car and never return to him, but where would I go? I couldn’t hide out in Thriftway, live there, like the girl who lived in Walmart and had her baby there. Too cold. I couldn’t find sleeping bags in Thriftway. Too bad we weren’t in a Walmart parking lot. My life would have turned out so different.
Blue Rectangular Sign
Lodging Next Right
The Motel 6 on my right just off Military Road is what gets me the most. When I see it, I feel like I have been punched in the stomach. I was arrested there. I took my first ride to jail from that motel. The heat had been on us for a while, but I didn’t know it. D was so paranoid. I just scoffed. He had a ‘gut feeling’ we should leave our apartment and go hide out in a motel. Fine. Whatever. Our neighbor had in fact informed us that some detectives were snooping around asking for us and knocking on our door. So I agreed. We had lost our car, the first of many. Not lost as in ‘Oh where did it go?’ But lost as in a drug dealer ended up with it and we owed him so we couldn’t get it back. I walked up the hill from Fauntleroy Way and Raymond Street to 35th Avenue and Morgan Street, and walked into Budget Rentals to get us a car. I was nervous, but pretty good at the game by now. D wouldn’t do anything. Too paranoid. His credit was more fucked than mine anyway. I pulled a maxed out and possibly cancelled credit card from my wallet, one of many, accompanied with a smile and a bullshit story about why I needed to rent a car. It wasn’t their business anyway, but the more I talked, the better chance I had at success. I was a pretty distraction. For some reason the computer system didn’t ‘like’ my card, the associate told me. “Hmm, how could that be? I just used it yesterday.” I said with a puzzled look. He believed me. “Must be some computer glitch. It happens sometimes first thing in the morning.” he said. I watched as he forced my card through with the push of one button. I smiled inside. Not a ‘Oh those are lovely flowers’ smile, but a ‘you are a sucker and I am a genius’ kind of smile. I quickly thought of my dad and thanked him for the raw talent and amazing genetics. The associate I had captivated with my deer-in-headlights charm informed me all they had available immediately was a Red 2000 Dodge Ram. Like I was going to be picky. I stepped up into my shiny new red truck and drove away. I figured this called for a celebration, however that magic I had just worked gave me an instant high. The same high I experienced from the sound of the cash register accepting my check or the ATM spitting 20’s at me. So I made a few stops. Picked up some food and Febreeze. Got cash back from the checks. Went to a pay phone to call a dealer. Met for the exchange along with compliments on my new ride. I Headed home. D was sleeping. Must be nice to rest while I did all the dirty work, I thought. I went inside. Tossed the hard earned sack on the dresser and told D to look out the window. He saw the truck. He was impressed I had pulled it off, as he should have been.
I took a box of checks with me not knowing how long we would be gone. We left the place a mess. We were in a hurry as the paranoia grew. Plates with crack residue filled the sink. We packed the necessities…and were gone. We headed South. Always in search for the perfect yet affordable motel, we found one. I loved it. We were on the back side of the King’s Arms Motel. The side that faces the freeway. We had stayed in our share of nasty places and this one was a step up to say the least. I set our stuff down and looked around. It was spacious and clean. It even had a refrigerator. I took off to get some food. The usual. When the high wore off and we got some sleep, we actually got hungry. I went kitty corner across International Boulevard and ordered from Pizza Hut. Then went into the nearest 7-11 and loaded up on quarts of chocolate milk, pint bottles of Dr. Pepper, as many pepperoni sticks as I could fit in a little bag from the counter with those nasty tongs, and a big box of Hostess jelly filled powdered doughnuts. And of course, Newports, lighters and scratch tickets.
I was so comfortable here, I actually slept. We had so much dope, I smoked until I couldn’t get any higher, then took a nap. Some motels were such dives right on International Blvd with the door facing the busy street. D would get so paranoid, he couldn’t flick the lighter without thinking that someone could see through the old, dilapidated curtains. He spent hours peering through the peep hole, which unnerved me and ruined my high. Telling him to relax was useless. So we would have to leave. That’s how we found the good motels. We even got to where we could request certain rooms. After a couple days at the King’s Arms, I didn’t want to leave, but D’s ‘gut feeling’ worsened. We headed to Motel 6 on Military Road.
We had been to other Motel 6’s, but not this one. We had never hopped around so much in this short of a period. After the usual hassle at the front desk, (it was becoming more difficult to come up with money for rooms, they wanted to hold credit cards while I wanted to pay cash or write a check,) we headed toward West Seattle. I was down to my last check. I knew a box must have come in the mail during the last couple days because I had just opened up a new account. I would write as many checks as I could before they caught on to my game and closed the account. Oh, the things I did for drugs.
We used the remaining checks to stock up on some cash. Met up with a few dealers so we could be set up for the night. We didn’t make it to the apartment until around 3 am, possibly later. I was driving the big red truck. I loved driving that beautiful machine. I felt powerful and untouchable being high up off the ground. I was thankful we were unrecognizable in that truck as we approached our apartment. Blue and red lights spinning like ice-skaters at the end of their routine, bouncing off every building, house and car in the vicinity. There were approximately 10 police cars all together. A mix of Seattle Police and King County Sheriff. Our place was surrounded, front, side and back. As we slowly drove by in shock, an officer looked directly at the truck, standing in the street as if waiting for one of us specifically. D dropped down in his seat practically onto the floor. I kept driving. If I would have been driving the Blue Honda Accord registered to me, they most likely would have flagged us down or followed us. I kept going straight for the West Seattle Bridge. Holy Shit, my heart was pounding. D had crawled into the back of the truck (it had a backseat) convinced those cops were there for him, that the detectives who had been lurking were looking for him. His ‘gut feeling’ proved right. With one exception.
I had to get those checks. It was our only way to stay high. We had nothing else to live for anymore. We were officially on the run. D was too paranoid to make the drive with me. I headed back to our apartment in the morning. The cops like to sneak up to your door when think they’ll catch you at home. Startle you from a sleep. That’s why they were banging our door down at 4 am. My heart pounded and my hands were sweating so badly I could barely feel the steering wheel. I was so scared I couldn’t feel anything except panic and dread. Like I was about to walk into a den full of starving lions. I had no idea what to expect. I can’t believe he made me do this by myself. I was doing everything else by myself at this point so Mr. Paranoid could stay in the hotel rooms. What’s one more thing? I had grown quite the pair of balls having never been in trouble with the law. I felt invincible. When I arrived in West Seattle, I made it a point to come in from the opposite direction as usual. Not from the bridge, but from the South. I parked on the sidewalk on Fauntleroy facing North so I could make a beeline for the bridge if necessary. I never parked on the street. This felt so out of place, like people were watching me. More specifically, like cops were watching me. Even if they were, I was sure they hadn’t tracked the Dodge Ram yet because it was in my name. Just like the motel rooms and the checks. And they were after D. He was the one with the criminal record. I walked up the front stairs, a very long set of front stairs which only seemed longer now. I stayed alert and walked along the side of the old run down 4 plex and turned the corner to the front of our unit. Afraid cops would be there waiting, like they went to the local bakery, came back and made themselves at home on my couch waiting for our return. My eyes met what would have been our door. But it was gone. It had been ripped right off the hinges, rather nicely though. Not like your average battle ram where the police just tear through and apart everything in their path. It was as if they had removed the door and just set it down. Except I couldn’t find the door. I didn’t want to waste too much time looking for a door. My only mission was to find more checks. I slowly walked inside noticing a piece of paper placed strategically on the coffee table. It jumped out at me, I knew it wasn’t there before. I remembered the place of everything during our frantic departure, but this paper stuck out like Rudolph’s glowing red nose. As I picked it up, I saw my name. My mouth dropped open and my heart just about closed. My face felt like it was on fire. It was an arrest warrant. FOR ME. It wasn’t a search warrant or a battle ram, which explained why nothing had been displaced. The police had took the door down, come in, looked for me, and left the paper. In shock, I walked over to the sink and saw the plates with the residue of cooked cocaine. “They saw all of this.” I thought. “What the hell do they want ME for?” I found the checks. I managed to place the box in my bag despite my vigorous shaking, and made my way back down to the truck.
My mind raced the entire drive back to the motel 6. D’s demeanor changed when I told him the police were at our apartment not for him, but in search of me. His name was nowhere on that paper. Just mine. I was officially a bad girl. Important. I had earned it. And I was petrified. We decided to stay one more night and leave upon check out in the morning. We had to keep moving. We had just left the last motel and hadn’t been here too long. They didn’t look alarmed when they watched me drive by in the red truck. How smart could they be? How fast could they be moving in on us? I wasn’t THAT important. They had far worse people to arrest. Our time was short. We needed a good high. With no sleep, I set out to make it a good day with my brand new box of checks. I felt like I had won the jackpot. The smell of the box when you peel the plastic wrap off. The feel of the untouched checks when you flip your thumb through the perfectly bound stack. It’s like Christmas. D was still too paranoid to come with me. I asked him to go do some ‘work’ today. You know, contribute a little? After all, I hadn’t slept or eaten in days. And the cops were after me. But all that remained was me and my checkbook. I was the only reason we were getting high. At this point, it didn’t matter how tired I was or how much I objected, he made me go.
Pissed off, I screeched away in my shiny red truck. I had a lot of stores to hit. A lot of purchases and a lot of ‘cash back’ transactions to collect what we needed. Not to mention a lot of charming to do. Unlike many drug addicts, I still maintained that look of innocence. I wasn’t hardened by the street and could pretty much talk my way into or out of anything. The beauty of persuasion. I owned stock in it. I left the Fred Meyer in Burien, my strategic last stop, because one of our dealers lived just across 1st Avenue. I had only been to her house a few times. Usually she came to us. During the day, her daughter was in preschool, making it okay to drop by. Otherwise she was out driving and meeting people, or as we called it, ‘rolling’ or ‘out and about.’ I parked the truck and took my money inside. She asked how I was doing when we sat at her round kitchen table. Her place was normal looking. Lived in. A home. It didn’t look like the kind of place you buy crack. She didn’t smoke it which weighs heavily upon all that. She was nice to me. I didn’t have to worry about the female dealers propositioning me for sex. I always called the girls first. There were only 2 though. Her and one other. I told her what had happened the other night. The arrest warrant. She told me to be careful. I am sure she was thinking, ‘Don’t be bringing that kind of heat around my house.’ She knew I had never been in trouble. I had driven her around a few times because her license had expired and she couldn’t afford being pulled over with a bra holding an ounce on each side. I headed back to the motel with a couple hundred dollars worth of rock in a baggie. I always took a couple out for myself and put them in my cigarette pack for later, some D didn’t know about and couldn’t take from me when he ran out. I made my way through International Blvd and onto Military Road. I usually followed Intl. Blvd. the whole way but midday was nearing an end and traffic was at a stop. Needless to say, I was exhausted and just wanted to get back to the motel.
Being that I was sleep deprived and my head was buzzing with the sounds of cash registers, I wasn’t as alert as usual. I should have been pondering how I was now a wanted woman, but I don’t even think I was worried about cops at the moment. It slipped my mind. The forefront anyway. I drove, smoked my Newports and sipped on Dr. Pepper. D was probably wondering what the hell took me ALL day. I noticed a car following me a little close. Then I realized it had been behind me a while. I didn’t think too much of it until I passed an off ramp from I-5 and a police car pulled out from a cleared patch on the side of the road. He pulled out with force and intention. I knew instantly the car behind me was an unmarked police car that was communicating with the squad car which had just pulled out between my truck and the unmarked. The unmarked car slowed down and allowed just the right amount of space for the cop to wedge itself between us after I passed him. Fuck. I fidgeted around knowing I needed to put this baggie of dope somewhere. Raquel warned me as I left her house to shove it up my crotch, especially after I told her about the arrest warrant. Why hadn’t I listened? I shoved the bag of rocks down my pants. That’s it. I was driving and not about to do a full on up inside shove. So there the rocks were. Inside my panties. I knew if I were arrested, that was a lot of dope to be busted with. I couldn’t throw it out the window like they do on the TV show ‘Cops.’ They would see me do it and find it anyway. The cops paced me. We were getting close to the motel when the sirens came on. I didn’t stop. I wouldn’t pull over. I wanted to wait until we got the motel so I could pull up in front of our room. I wanted D to know what was happening. This went on for a few minutes. Pure panic. My mind must have raced across the country and back in these life altering minutes. As I drove with the lights and sirens behind me, passersby and oncoming cars looking at me like some kind of monster, I considered not stopping at all. I could speed up and crash into the side of the hill, or drive over the bank and roll the truck onto I-5. Death would be an easy out I thought.
The motel approached, and for a split second I considered driving past the entrance, but my body wouldn’t let me. I drove all the way around the motel parking lot. It’s a huge lot, circling the entire motel. I pulled into a spot in front of our room, but across the lot facing the other direction, with the back of the truck toward the room. In not even a full second, the truck door opened and I was staring at the tip of a gun and deafened by a man yelling at me. There were no longer two cars, but three, surrounding my truck. One clueless Tukwila police officer (because that’s whose jurisdiction I was in, he was required to be there) One Snohomish County squad car (I’ll explain later,) and one unmarked VICE car. The VICE guy had the gun on me. It was apparent he was in charge of all this. I reached for the keys to shut off the engine, and he shouted at me “Leave them alone, hands up, out of the truck!” I followed every command. I had never had a gun pointed at me before. I stepped out. He put his gun away and hand cuffed me. The other officers saw that he had me contained and withdrew their weapons as well. Once I was cuffed, which is extremely uncomfortable, just like on TV when the suspects are complaining and begging for the cuffs to be loosened ( I was one of them, whining about the cuffs hurting), he reached in the truck and took the keys out. With one hand gripped tight to my arm, he spoke with declaration into his radio with the other, ” I have the suspect is in custody.” It didn’t sound real. Suspect? Is that me? A VICE unit? 3 police cars? A detective? A gun in my face? What in the world did I do? Or what on International Blvd did I do? It sounded so legit. Like I was a real criminal.
All the commotion got D’s attention. I saw him peering out the window. One of the officers went up to the door. It was at this moment I realized that he was inside that room with all the paraphernalia. Simultaneously, I was relieved that I had left the motel room that morning smart enough not to bring any of it with me as I often did. It’s dangerous to drive with your fixings if by chance you get pulled over. It had happened to me many times. I had glass pipes, bags of dope, and rubber hoses under my lap while sweet talking a cop, excuses flowing with ease, the reasons I had just pulled out of a known dope house (hot house.). “Officer, I had no idea they were selling drugs in that house. I was just visiting my friend, she’s sick. Do I look like I smoke crack to you?” He would run my license in his system. Squeaky clean. Off I drove. With a smile. That ‘you are a sucker and I am a genius’ smile. I knew when I saw D look outside and saw me handcuffed and surrounded by cops, that he had stashed everything. He opened the door and talked the local Tukwila officer. He let him in the room as I am sure the cop was ordered to look around. He didn’t see anything, so he had to leave him alone. D was asking questions about what happened, what the charges were… He was also trying to get my attention, mouthing the words ‘in the truck?’ ‘is it with you?’ He meant the dope, but I couldn’t read his lips and had no idea what he was referring to, especially with a detective drilling me. D wanted that dope. He wanted to get high. Fuck, so did I. Maybe I should have taken the pipe with me so I could have taken one good last hit before getting arrested. When you drive and smoke, that’s where the rubber hose comes in handy. I would lick the edge of the pipe so the hose could slide on, slip the hose up my shirt so that it came out the top of my shirt and into my mouth. Load the pipe and light it way down in your lap so no one could detect the illumination of the lighter. The hit comes through the hose and into your mouth. I lit a cigarette and exhaled 2 kinds of smoke simultaneously out the window. An amazing feeling.
The VICE detective was not nice to me in the slightest way. He rummaged through the truck insisting everything in it was stolen merchandise. I insisted everything had been purchased. With what? My checks. They were bad checks, but they were mine. Fuck. The rocks in the Newport pack. I forgot about those until he pulled the pack out of the truck, shaking it like a package of tic-tacs. “What do we have here?” He condescended. All I said and continued to say resounded something like “I don’t know,” or “it’s not mine.” That’s all he could get out of me. I may have been sleep deprived and scared, but I wasn’t stupid enough to give him any satisfaction or information. Especially since he was acting like he just arrested the most valuable and dangerous drug dealer in the state. He pulled out one of those drug tests. He dropped the rocks in the liquid, it turned immediately blue. Positive for cocaine. So I was really going to jail. I was still unclear as to what I did. He pulled out a driver’s license. It contained my name and a picture of a girl they presumed to be me. I took one look at it and knew it wasn’t me. Someone had found one of my old I.D.’s and tampered with it. In fact, I knew just who it was. One of our so called friends we let hang out in our apartment was a paper expert. That was her special talent when it came to getting high. We had left her there alone a few times. She went through my old files, gathered information and an old I.D. She made a new one. She withdrew money at a bank in Lynnwood, which explained the cop from Snohomish County, and proceeded to take the cops on a high speed chase down I-5 at speeds reaching over 100 mph. She was driving a Black Lexus. I had never been in a black Lexus. The officer said my finger prints were all over the car. This is how I knew he was lying to get me to confess to something I didn’t do. This is how I knew that scandalous bitch went through my stuff. But it was too late, the detective found drugs in the car, and apparently all this stolen merchandise which he would later learn wasn’t stolen. He said he had been following me for days. I retraced all of my steps and imagined him following me in that nice, black, unmarked car. I got a cold chill down my spine. Suddenly I remembered I had a big bag of crack in my panties as he put me in the back of the police car.
Handcuffed, I wondered how I was going to get rid if this. I pictured sliding my arms down under my legs, around my feet, up to my waist, and then pushing the baggie all the way up so they wouldn’t see it, even if I had to strip, bend over and cough. I couldn’t do it. He kept one eye on me in the rear view mirror. What I really wanted was to hold on to this dope until my release so I could get high again. This stress was unimaginable. I argued with the detective in the car. I told him he had nothing on me. I said I never touched the inside or the outside of a Lexus. I pompously informed him I had attained a Criminal Justice degree and all he did to become a cop was graduate high school. I was just as brilliant as a smart ass as a I was a charmer. I couldn’t charm my way out of this one. My inner bitch had been released.
Travelling Northbound I-5, the King County Jail to my left, I asked why we weren’t taking the James Street Exit? He said “We’re not going there, we’re headed to Lynnwood” I felt like he had just hit me with his stun gun. It had never dawned on me that I would go to any other jail. I had never seen the outside of another jail growing up in Seattle, and since I didn’t commit the crime I was being accused of, Snohomish County just didn’t register in my head. I had never even been to Lynnwood. We arrived at the Lynnwood City Jail. A tiny little building where they hold and process people before taking them to the real jail. He escorted me inside. Before we entered, he instructed me to read a sign on the big metal door. It instructed those who entered to behave in a respectful manner, etc… The one warning that caught my eye read “Introducing Contraband.” The detective even asked me before we entered the facility if I had anything on me that I don’t want to be charged with. If I told him about it now, I could throw it away and he would disregard it. With a sick sense of hope that I could still survive this mess and come out with my sack of rocks, I said “No, I don’t have any contraband,” as I could feel the plastic against my skin in my underwear.
Once inside, the officer handcuffed me to a bench. They actually have a row of benches with metal loops sticking up to handcuff people. Wow. I was relieved that King County Jail wasn’t my destination because I probably knew some inmates there. That would’ve been far too uncomfortable. They ask if you need to be separated for any reason because you think someone might harm you. I would have said “Yes” for sure. Who knows what crazy bitches were in there. Probably Christine! Remember that post? “This is Red, Nigga.” I actually did see her in jail. Snohomish County. Just not this trip.
After sitting there a while chained to a bench, I finally heard someone say it was time to put me in a cell. They needed a female guard to search me. Shit. This was it. I knew it was over. Me keeping $200 worth of dope for myself. I motioned for the detective to come over to me. He sat down next to me. I confessed that I had a sack of crack in my underwear. I knew it would fall out as soon as I took them off. He thanked me for being honest and said that this would help my case, that I came forward with the information. The female officer came in, escorted me into a small, cold, concrete cell, and began the search. She had me open my mouth and slid her latex glove in between my gums and cheek all around my mouth. Next, she had me take all my clothes off one garment at a time. It was summer so there wasn’t much to disrobe. I told her where the dope was. I slid my underwear down and the baggie fell to the floor. As did my only chance of forgetting this moment. Oh, how I wanted to forget this was happening. I wasn’t even in jail for the right reason. Once I was naked, she instructed me to turn around, bend over, spread my cheeks and cough. I thought only men had to do that. At the doctor’s office. I followed orders and she left me a matching dark blue pants and top. She closed the door. I sat down on the metal shelf they called a bunk. It was cold. I was cold. I shivered. The detective came in. He threatened that I was in serious trouble being held on 4 felonies. I told him with a tremble in my voice to look at those surveillance videos at the bank, to compare my finger prints they just took with those they found in the Lexus. What kind of guilty person would say this? I begged him. “Look at those tapes. Look at them really close and you’ll see that it’s not me. That is NOT me in that picture.” Expressionless, he walked out, enclosing me in the cold, metal cell.
Sometime in the middle of the night, a guard came in and woke me up. He shackled my hands and my feet together. Then led me to the transport van and said we were headed to the Snohomish County Jail. Finally. Myself and another inmate were scheduled to go . The back of the van was a big metal cage with a metal partition down the middle consisting of small holes just big enough for fingers. Me on one side, the other inmate on the other. Again, something you see on TV, 4 point shackles on a murder suspect, a van transporting convicts. The little holes. I couldn’t even stretch my legs out. It was so cramped. I could see the outline of my fellow inmate through the holes. He could see me. I know we could have talked if we wanted, but it was 4 in the morning. We were tired and disorientated and scared. All I could think about was that I had shackles on my feet and my hands which were connected at the waist. If that weren’t enough, I was shackled to the van itself. They better fucking figure this shit out!
After 72 hours of nervous anticipation, I finally heard my charges. I was being held on 4 felonies. A big deal for a first time offender. “Felony Eluding” among them. I would never lead the police on a high speed chase; I’d pull over and cry. I’m not that bad ass. Also, among them, “Introducing Contraband,” the charge the detective said I would be free of if I came clean about the drugs stashed in my panties, which I did. Asshole. In the end, after only serving 11 days, I was released with only the possession charge. That detective had been working hard to keep me in jail, and the truth prevailed. The possession charge as a result of the drugs I brought in, meaning he actually did drop the Introducing Contraband charge. All I could think was “If only I would have shoved that dope up there farther, I would be completely clean and free.”: The mind of an addict. The places my brain takes me. The hallways and closets I talk myself into and can’t find my way out.
Remember this happened in 2000, before marriage, before kids. The times I write about with D involving the Domestic Violence and my heavy resistance to using drugs are from 2007-2009.
I was going to keep writing about this drive. In fact there is a lot more to come about my feelings heading Northbound. More conversations. I just had to expand and explain the arrest at the Motel 6. I had never talked through it before.