I hated phoning Jane, but there were no other options because she needed to know my situation. The long distance operator took my info in a business-like manner and connected the call as I sat there with my hands cuffed together. Sweat dripped off my forehead onto the plastic-covered information blotter in front of me. The police officer standing next to me belched, coating the air with his garlic and onion breath.
“Dylan, what’s wrong?” Jane shouted into her cellphone.
“Well, I have a little situation here in San Francisco, but don’t worry —”
“Don’t worry! Are you kidding? Where are you right now? And where’s your cellphone?”
“I’m at County Jail Number Four, on Bryant Street in San Francisco —”
“Is this one of your jokes? If it is, it’s not funny!”
“Honey, it’s not a joke. I’m being charged with a hate crime and will be arraigned tomorrow morning. You need to call our attorney, Jacob, and have him refer me to a criminal lawyer here in San Francisco. Tell him I’m in County Jail Number Four.”
A gasp could be heard through the receiver, followed by a few sniffles.
“Hate crime? What’d you do?”
“It’s really no big deal. I just preached a short message to the gays in the Castro District. That’s all…no big deal. So don’t worry, please.”
“Gunsmoke, no big deal! It’s Pride Week there, right? Did they rough you up?”
“There was a little fighting, maybe even a small riot. I have a few bruises, but my nose should be okay once a doctor checks me out and sets it in place.”
“Sweetheart, don’t talk. That beep means we have thirty seconds left before we’re disconnected. Call Jacob and tell him I’m at County Jail Number Four.”
“Honey, I love you and —”
The officer tapped me on the shoulder as soon as my call finished. I stood up and he pointed toward the door, leading back to lockup.
Yikes, I thought as I walked through the door, Jane’s really upset because she called me by my college nickname –Gunsmoke – which she hates. Not only that, she’s probably wondering how my arrest will affect our forty-sixth wedding anniversary plans to travel to Tahoe for this upcoming weekend. What a jam you’re in, Dylan Matthews! I’d better geezer up and prepare my seventy-three year old body for what awaits me in the days ahead.
(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which is free on Amazon today. Check it out here.)
(Continued in Part 2)