The days and nights have officially blurred together. I have not had more than four hours at any one stretch and am sleeping more away from a bed than in one. I’m grateful to the women I work with for offering me couches and beds at their homes for naps between community service and work, but I’m really starting to run ragged. And this is only the SEVENTH day? I have 28 more to go. I must look like a zombie by now.
The night was filled with sweeping, cleaning, mopping, toilet paper rolling. I say goodbye to my fellow service workers who are finished with their hours already.
I brought in a magic eraser and took it to the walls like a lady on crack. Pilar was impressed. She’d never seen one before. She was so impressed she sent me to work on ALL the walls. In the whole building. It made the night go by quickly.
In the morning, one of the ladies hollars at me.
“They’s a BED BUG in da bed, lady!” She’s waving her hands around at me to prompt me to action. “Come see!”
I walk over and ascertain that yes, indeed, there is a bed bug. Oh glory. “It needsa be KILLED! You gots gloves on. Keel eet!”
And without a second thought I pop the bed bug until it’s bloody innards run red on my finger.
She looks at me a little shocked as if to say, “tha white girl done squeeshed a bed bug jus cus I tol her to. I thot she’d a told me ta shove off.” She was obviously shocked I didn’t squeal or scream or complain about it.
I walked back to the courtyard and stomped my feet. Stupid bed bugs. Nothing but boiling heat kills those things. Of course they’re here.
Nothing here is new. I’ve lived this all before. It’s as if God is saying “I knew you would be here a long time ago.” And that gives me hope that He knows where I’m going next, too.
Before I leave to go home, the supervisor comes on duty. I grab him in the hall and ask him about getting a status report for the court. When we finish talking he hurriedly adds, “Hey… what’d you do to get this felony anyway. I know it says you rode an animal… but really?”
“I delivered a baby.”
“What? Oh, so it’s illegal to ride an animal pregnant?”
“No. Forget the animal. I delivered a baby. Someone else’s baby. I helped her have her baby.”
“Oh. Serious? That’s crazy.”
This man has seen all kinds of crazy. And he’s calling my conviction crazy. The irony is so thick I need highbeams.