‘You absolute MUPPET,’ said S when my lawyer handed the phone to me.
‘I know, I-‘
‘You just bout gave me a heart attack the other night. God bless Zeynep- she was on it- calling all the lawyers, calling every hospital and police station in Kadikoy, looking for Sara Perrick.’
The man will never learn how to pronounce or spell my name.
‘Then I get a message from Rachel this morning and apparently we should have been looking for Beth Smith.’
‘Yeah, I still had dreams of getting away. I did make a break for it at one point.’
I slipped out while my guard was otherwise occupied and, in hospital slippers, padded through the lobby and out the door to freedom! Warm asphalt smelling freedom! My police babysitter caught sight of me when I was rounding a hedge and ran after, yelling, ‘Bad! Bad! Bad!’
I spent the next three hours alternating between shudderey tears, (a Turkish man canNOT bear the sight of a woman crying) and making him fall in love with me. I am not proud. My running away incident is nowhere on my official record.
‘You IDIOT. You absolute IDIOT! So I was on the phone with me mum when you called, and I saw your call, at like, what, 2 am? (1:30 I think) and I thought, “aww. it’s just Sarah. She’s probably pished.”‘ (When have I ever called that man just cause I was pished?) ‘And then your text message popped up , and it comes up automatically, but all I saw was ‘I’m in the hospital’ so I kept talking to me mum.’
We both laughed.
‘Wasn’t til I got the end of that message, “…and I’ve been arrested”… did you get any of my texts or calls, by the way?’
‘Phone got taken away. Making calls when I shouldn’t have been.’
I denied having a phone at all- I didn’t want them to have access to my friends. When they took me in for tomography I laid patiently and let them scan my head and then I asked for two minutes from the technician and I called Rachel and S. That done I laid back down and the technician thoughtfully, sadly, squeezed my right boob.
Later the phone was taken away and I was left with no way to contact anyone.
‘How’d they get you, anyway?’
‘Believe it or not, I was not actually capulcing last night.’
‘Bullshit. I’ve been following you. You’ve been to every protest there is.’
AHA! I knew it. I knew he’d found me. He mentioned something once that I knew had only been mentioned on my blog, and I thought and thought, but then when he seemed ignorant of my holiday, I thought again, but yes. He knows where to find me, probably through Bigs, probably through Turkey’s For Life.
Also that rock throwing accusation? It would become a grim leit motif through my incarceration. I will state now as I have started before that I am against violence against the police. And I am saying this with police administered bruises on my body. I believe in civil disobedience. I believe in peaceful protests. It’s a long, slow and tedious process, and people get hurt along the way, (holla!) but hello, black Americans? Know how you can vote now and whatnot? Yeah. That was largely accomplished by sit ins and choosing seats on the bus, and not retaliating when people died horribly. That was accomplished by letting the cops make such incredible dicks of themselves that policy had to change. If anything the MLK assassination riots were bad for just about everyone, but that’s another story for the bottom of a bottle of whiskey, on another day. But Agent l has abhored and will continue to abhor the rock throwers and provacateurs as lacking any sense of strategy. Let the cops smear their own name, people. Turn the other cheek, as I was relentlessly taught as a child.
Throwing rocks on a barricade, on the other hand? Guilty. And what’s wrong with you, son? You’re moving too slow. Hep hep! That sidewalk ain’t gonna dig itself up!
But arguing your innocence is a chinese finger trap. Better to let the man be right.
‘I was walking home from my pal Katrinka’s house and stopped to talk to some folk who were standing around, bout what was happening and whatnot. Streets were super gasey. Cops everywhere. And then someone yelled run so we ran, and then they got me.’
I couldn’t see didley, cause of the gas, and someone grabbed my arm and guided me into an apartment building. Someone banged on every door on our way up, but no one opened. Well done, citizens. I hereby take away your right to openly support the protests ever again. I know you want to- I know you’re good people. But in the crucial moment you failed.
The cops stormed into the building and ran right up after us. (If they saw a picture of themselves dispassionately I’m sure they’d see how evil they look in their uniforms and go, “I don’t wanna be that dick!”) They grabbed me first, by the hair and arm, and dragged me downstairs. I was clutching a red shoulder and screeching ‘Don’t let them take me!’ in a most pitiful manner, so red shoulder came down with me. Poor fella. I’m sure his finger print bruises from me are worse than what I got from the cops.
They got us into the lobby. There were a line of cops with shields outside so noone could see what was happening within. They closed the door.
‘And they beat you?’
‘Yep. I didn’t get half of it. Some nice gentleman shoved me in a corner and stood over me and took the brunt. But they still got a couple good ones at my head and my back is bruised to shit.’
‘Knock any sense into you?’
‘I think so,’ I laughed. ‘My next decision was I didn’t want to be in a police van no sir no way. I’ve heard things about ladies in police vans and I think we both know I’ve had quite enough of that. (He can keep a secret, that one. He’s a good man.) So when I felt blood trickling down my neck I thought that was good enough and I went limp, rolled my eyes back, and pretended to pass out. They had to call an ambulance. Probly the smartest thing I did all night.’
There was a photographer, and one of the cops had a vested interest in keeping me conscious. He had me in basically a headlock and was trying to keep me upright, and was alternately blowing on my face and lightly slapping me. I didn’t budge. 54 kilos of girl plus gravity, it turns out, is too much for those tough men in their black uniforms. I was soon on the ground.
‘Ay, smart thinkin sweets. Good on you. Did they give you any treatment?’
‘Yep. Two cat scans and some antibiotics, I think. That’s when I called you and Rachel. Before my phone got taken away.’
‘Sneaky bastard. So where are you now?’
‘I’m at the hospital. they’ve just noted my injuries, and I’m waiting to go to court. So listen, I need something from you.’
‘My lawyer thinks I’m going to get deported. I might be on a plane tonight. I’m going to court now, and if I’m deported, things are going to move rather quickly after that, I think. So I need you to get my keys from my lawyer and at least get my kindle and my computer. If you can fill a bag full of clothes, great. If not, the computer and kindle are pretty essential.’
‘Okay, sweets, done.’
‘Really? If you find any money buy yourself a drink. And money- MONEY. Can I get an advance on my salary? I was literally walking home from a friend’s house- I have nothing. I have no money to travel with. Can it be arranged that I can get some in advance?’
‘Great. And you were late yesterday, too. This is going to be fun to explain.’
Does nobody understand that my class starts at 10, not 9:50?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!
Not the biggest of my problems right now.
‘I’ll do what I can for you sweets. How much are you owed?’
‘Dunno. Can’t count my hours. Under two grand this month, what with the holiday and everything. If I can get a couple hundred or 500 that would be great.’
‘I’ll do what I can. So what else-‘
‘They’re actually taking me onto the bus right now- talk to my lawyer…’
And that was the last time I talked to Sesame or whatever his Celtic ancestors prefer to refer to him by.
I spent a hellish day in court. You know when you sometimes find yourself saying, I must have died and now I’m in hell? I had that thought but in a very real, actual way. ‘When they hit me in the head, clearly, I died. This is my punishment. For all eternity I will be in this building.’ But in a serious, Occam’s Razor kind of way. From there I spent two nights in modified solitary confinement, (One police chief liked me, one did not) and then I spent a night in a detention facility with a bunch of women who were also being deported. (A NOVEL. I swear.) Then I was deported.
The good lord, in His infinite wisdom, created duty free for a reason.
More blogs on my adventures, soon.