As I finish reading my little note from Vontay, I look around the Social Worker coup and Vontay was right. They haven’t done a damn thing since I left for vacation. I see Deborah tipping down the corridor hoping not to get my attention. The look of “Damn I didn’t know her ass was back from vacation” is written all over her face. Just for that, I am stopping her ass. “Oh, hey Deborah! What’s going on? How were things while I were away? Anything, needing my review or approval?” She thinks she is not rolling her eyes, but she is and doesn’t even know it. I can tell that she thinks that I think that I am better than her, that is simply not the case. She is going to have to figure out why she mad, but right now, I want her to answer my questions.
Deborah takes a sip of her hot ass coffee and says that everything was normal as usual. Nothing out of sorts on the floor. We had a couple of new patients, but nothing that we normally didn’t get. Ok, so here is the problem with that statement. Even with her giving that info to me, I have a log in my computer that gives me not just the scans of each patient, every 15 minutes, but what was actually going on during that scan. Disgusting’s dumb ass probably writing some horrible shit and adding some extra shit on GP. You just never know what or who to believe in the “Doom Room” Deborah looks irritated that I am still processing what she has said and at this point has her lips all pursed like she bout to say something stupid. I help her…. “Girl, you know I am going to have to step my game up. If Raul was to see me in your outfit, he might leave me for you.” Her whole demeanor changes and inside I am dying laughing because she actually thinks that getting Raul is possible and thinking that Raul would look at her God awful ass is something that is never going to be in the cards for her. She is still tickled and tells me that I can go with her shopping sometimes, just so I can add some spice to my life. She thinks that this statement has one up on me and I shake my head laughing as I walk away from her in my Christian Dior pumps that she probably thinks is Steve Madden just spelled with the “S”. Idiot.
I began my rounds of checking out the “Doom Room” floor. Instead of shooing Maria off like everyone else, I approach her and ask her to make my rounds with me. She has a slight smile on her face as if she has been waiting for my return. And in good ole fashion “Doom Room” style, she is on my heels and I cant feel it because her ass is floating. Fine. I knew what I had signed up for when I told her to go on my round with me. While everyone is suppose to be eating lunch, I notice Mary Catherine and a new face huddled up on the side of the room talking. Here is the red light going off inside of me:
1.) Mary Catherine doesn’t have friends. She only has accomplices and boyfriends who have put her in every fucked up situation that she has ever had to come in contact with. I have never seen Mary Catherine talking to anyone. EVER! Cursing out, yes. Slapping the shit out of someone, yes. Stealing someone’s food, yes. Threatening to kill someone, yes. My personal favorite, kidnapping one of the patients for a carton of cigarettes as ransom, yes. However, this chica that she is talking with is cool and calm and they are actually having a real conversation. A private conversation, but one that is non-violent all the same. I go through my list patients to try to pin point which patient the new girl is and I land on Jacinta Daniel. No wonder Vontay wanted me to look at her chart. She is in here forming a cult. It is as if she has some homemade Kool Aid in here and everyone wants some.
2.) As I am looking around the prison tables no one is even paying attention to Mary Catherine and this Jacinta talking. It really is like all is normal with them. Too much like right.
I take my chances and I walk over to Mary Catherine who has just had tray number three put in front of her. She is about to go off on me when she realizes that I am not who she thought I was. She smiles and says “Hey Ms. Doctor lady”. I correct her each time when she does this, but I decide not to do so today. She starts on by saying that so many people in the “Doom Room” doesn’t eat turkey sandwiches, so today must be her lucky day. “Mickey Mouse” Carol is sitting across from us and gives me the “yeah right” look. I sit down at the prison table with Mary Catherine and she has the worst look of defeat on her face. I ask her how had she been, such and such, small talk. Then I ask her about the new girl who I point to with my eyes. Mickey Mouse goes into full effect! “Oh she is the sweetest thing. I even let her use my color pencils!” Carol quickly regrets the announcement of having the color pencils. Not because she thinks that I am going to confiscate them, but because Mary Catherine has the look of “oh really??” on her face. I try to reel the group back in and ask them what they think about her. Carol is just singing like a Canary. Mary Catherine, gets frustrated and kicks Carol under the table to indicate that snitches get stitches. I take that as my cue and I walk away. Carol is taking this as her cue to go and hide those damn color pencils. Mary Catherine stops eating and pushes the trays away from her on the table. She looks like she feels bad about them questioning her about her “new” friend. She just hopes Jacinta isn’t in any trouble or on the run.
After getting off the phone with Joseph and giving him our update, Nicole has made it a point to remind me that we need to get Jacinta’s personal clothing/ items ready for visitation in a few hours. I agree and start to head back to the house. Nicole is giving me the side eye. I look up and I finally say “GIVE Nicole!” Her response is to stop huffing and puffing at her. Our first stop will be La Terecita again! Then off to Nordstrom to get her girl some “personal things”. “Nicole, I am not going to take Jacinta anything to the “Doom Room” from Nordstrom. Now La Terecita is a different story. So let’s head there first.” Nicole rolls her eyes, but is not going to put a fight on the La Terecita piece. The Cuban bread is just too much for anyone to turn down. Silence is in the car again and then Nicole, not being able to contain herself, wants to know why can’t Jacinta have anything from Nordstrom? Which explains the half “Hangry”, half “but I wanted to go shopping too” look. I tell her that we are spending any unnecessary money only for them folks in there to take her nice things. Walmart is where we are rolling. Nicole understands the logic, but makes it vey clear that she is only getting out of the car to get Jacinta some replacement garments is if we are at a store that looks like a bullet hole!….. Target! Shaking my head.
I see Deborah about to get group started on time and before she can even get all of that ass out of that chair, that is thanking God for it’s temporary freedom, I tell her that I would like to do group today, just so that I can get back into the swing of things and get caught up on who is up to what. You would have thought I told her that the place she bought her outfit from had just released double coupons. I take advantage of her thought process. “Girl, just take the rest of the day off, you know you deserve it. Plus I have been gone a whole week and I know they dumped all of this work on you and you alone.” This bitch face says, “I hit the damn lotto!” She is packing her shit up fast as hell. As if she is putting all of her $1 bills and half dollar quarters into her Hennessy bag from her stripping job. As I am walking away from her office, I hear her telling the new boo that she trying to get her garlic crab lunch on and then after that she is making desert. That ghetto laugh is too much for me….
“Hola, Senior Daniel!” It is Attorney Fernandez on the line. As usual, I am hopping off of my bar stool at La Terecita to go outside to speak with him in private. Nicole is stuffing her face with fried plantains and is super happy about the hot basket of buttered Cuban bread that she has laid on the side. Fernandez tells me that his clerk friend is going to be able to get us a Baker Act Date on Monday for sure. We may not be able to get seen by the judge, but we will definitely find out what day and time we can start her trial. We go back and forth on some other things, but I end the call with a better understanding for next steps. I am siked that I will be able to tell Jacinta about our progress. Fernandez has promised me that Jacinta won’t even be in there for more than three months. As mush as that makes me want to punch a hole in the wall, I realize that no one in her facility has been there for that short amount of time. I will not tell Jacinta this part of the scenario or strategy. I just need her to know that we are busting her out of here ASAP.
“GROUP!” All hands are in the air for Disgusting to scan them. The only one that is looking perplexed about things is me. I see Deborah running her size 20 ass with size 6 pants out towards the matrix and the woman who looks like Jordan settling down to lead group. Lieutenant and the rest of the guys are super involved in Group today. It is as if J-Lo is sitting there front and center. Susan is sitting there starting to weep again and without looking up, J-Lo passes the Kleenex box to Susan so that she can get it together while group starts. J-Lo introduces herself as Sofia Dupree to all of the new faces and she is glad to be here with us today. She makes it very clear that we are all in a safe space. We can talk, cry, laugh, whatever as long as we are respecting each other.
Now as I have mentioned before, there is nothing about group that is different in topic from day to day. It is just a different Group. This Group is Baker Act Education Group! My favorite! Sofia goes around the circle and starts to asks all of us about our progress in getting court date assignments. Each response is the same, including mine. She continues to go around the room and address the notes that she has from her last Baker Act group meeting which has been about two weeks ago. Daniel speaks up and tells her that he doesn’t even know who his social worker is. The thing with getting your Baker Act trial is that your Social Worker serves as the advocate and/or liaison between the state appointed Psychiatrist, Hospital Physician/ Staff notations and their suggestive next steps for Baker Act process. There must either be an advocate on the outside whether chosen or state appointed to help with the guardianship of the patient once he or she is released from the hospital or institution. You can tell that Sofia is getting super pissed as she is shuffling all of the out of order paper work that she has on each patient here in the “Doom Room”. She takes a moment so that no one can catch her on her toes. She looks at each of us in the circle trying to figure out how the system that we are in is so fucked up. The embarrassment on her face says that she is so sorry and she does not want us to think that she has given up on us.
Maria, of all the damn people in the room, looks at her and says, “it’s not your fault. You can’t be John the Baptist to everybody”. The room is at a complete stand still on this statement. Lieutenant looks up and says, “She ain’t lying about that Miss Sofie!” Sofia tells us that we can take a 15 minute break for more graham crackers. I start my way to the fake cranberry juice. As I am walking away, she says my name in its’ Hispanic pronunciation. I stop. She says, ” I hear that you are our newest queen here” I look at her as if to understand if she is giving me a compliment or if she is trying me. I tell her that I am not sure what she is speaking about. This opens the gates… “You seem to be highly functional. Why are you here?” Instead of telling her, I have no idea, I just go in and tell her everything. I tell her that I am functional. I tell her that no one believes me. I am frustrated and pissed in every direction that you can name. She listens intently and for the second time that day, someone is listening. Not judging or looking at me like I am full of shit, but actually listening. The “Doom Room” crew starts to gather back toward the circle of “Group” chairs. Sofia looks up and says, “Guess what? It isn’t fair that I have been away for a small vacation and non of you have been able to do the same. How bout we do “Free Time” for the rest of today. I will see if I can get us some passes to go on the outside terrace after dinner for music!”
The crew looks at her as if she is an angel. Maria floats pasts me and winks her eye at me like I did good. I get up to go towards my “assigned” prison table to work on my puzzle. Sofia, looks up and says that this play time doesn’t apply to me and I need to come to her office. “What did I do now? Is this going to push my time in here up?” “No fool, we need to go through your paperwork to find a loop hole to get you up out of here….”