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Alone


The ant trail crossed through the dining room into the living room and went up the couches leg crossing over to the wall behind Judge Sandeep's head. I'm guessing his name was Sandeep something or other, everyone in India is named Sandeep. So judge Sandeep, wearing his white Gepeto pajama sat on his red velvet and gold Louis XV couch and stared profoundly at my eyes. He looked me up and down and took a deep breath as he grabbed his pen and signed the arrest order. "Tomorrow at 600 hours the accused will be remanded to Tihar Prison until further action can be taken on their case. I am not the appropriate judge to form an opinion on this matter." "Here you go", he said, as he handed over the folder to the arresting police officer. "Hijole mija...." Were the famous last words I heard from the Mexican consul. I was dragged out of what I now refer to as "The Ant palace" by two police officers. I was put in the back of a police car. Firecrackers were going off like it was the fourth of July. The police car dodged every single explosion on the road to the holding cells at Defence Colony police station. I was in a dream, I couldn't tell the difference between reality and imagination. My mind was confused, was this really happening to me? I was going to jail. Shit. When we finally arrived at the holding cells, a police woman wearing a nice pink dress, came up to me and held my hand. She guided me this way up to a military truck which then took us both to another station far and away. It seemed like and old abandoned jail in the middle of nowhere. My lips were swelling like Angelina for no apparent reason. I think I was so nervous I ate the top layer of my mouth without noticing. By the time they locked me up in my stinky cement jail cell my lips had started bleeding. Mosquitoes swarmed all around my head like that character in the peanuts cartoon. As a welcome gift I got a blanket just like his too, all peed on and stiff from old vomit and junk. It was a freezing cold night I spent there wondering what my life was gonna be like in that Indian prison. I tried to sleep but the blood dripping from my lips kept waking me up. The smell coming from the hole in the ground they call toilet, was more than I could bare. I threw up in it and then proceeded to vomit again from smelling the mix of my own puke and the old crap that floated in the hole. This was me, staring into a hole full of shit, crying, bleeding and puking. Wondering what the fuck I had gotten myself into. Wondering if It was real or if it would all be over in the morning like a bad dream. I fell asleep crying curled up in the cold concrete, covered by a filthy blanket and the mosquito swarm. I have to thank them for keeping me warm that night. Morning came around, the sound of crows woke me up. As I woke and looked around in disbelief I thought; shit, I'm still here. It's real. I'm in jail in India. The nice woman in the pink dress, came into my cell and gently held my hand, helped me get up and walked me back to the military truck in the parking lot. The truck took off and took me to my final stop before the real deal. At this stop I met another Sandeep that offered me some chai. Things started looking up. I got warm chai for breakfast! I sat down in his office and tried to talk to him, he suggested that in India, things could be done a different way. If I knew what he meant. Bells went off, this sounded awfully familiar. I was from Mexico, land of the bribe. I had bribed my first cop at the age of 14. I knew exactly what he meant. But did he mean what I thought he meant? If not I could be in deeper shit than I already was. I had to be careful. I had to wait until he asked and until he told me how to go about it without telling me straight on. I had to wait. I knew we hadn't done anything that broke any laws. I knew we were innocent of their accusations. But I also knew the third world, and the fact that we looked like and ATM machine to most people in that country didn't help our case. The fact that we lived in Los Angeles and were working on a film, made us look like walking dollar signs to everyone. Nobody understood we were broke. My Gucci leather bag didn't help my "I'm broke" argument either. The west is strange like that, someone can be flat broke and still be sporting a Gucci bag with no money in it. That's just how we roll. How do I explain this to an indian that makes maybe 3 dollars a day salary? I started to understand I was in for the ride of my life. I was entering a whole new dimension where the things that mattered to me didn't matter to anybody. I was entering the dimension of being human. I was leaving behind my name, my parents, my education, my knowledge. I was leaving me behind to go find myself again. I was alone, truly alone for the first time in my life.