Sunday, December 12, 2010
It's my birthday. And thanks to some EVIL do-gooder I didn't get what I wanted. So, I gave myself a haircut, instead. Four inches. Gone. Just like that. But the pain? Hah! THAT shit is still stickin around. ON MY BIRTHDAY, TOO!!!
The BFF and I were happily on our way down the Brown Paved Road to Steward about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta cuando entro una llamada de la mai de Ali. She told me some woman from an advocacy organization had already been there to see him and that he was sending word that this quack job had probably already used up his ONE visit a week he is allowed. We pulled off the road as I called the center to check, and sure enough the idiota on the other end of the line helped my apparently illiterate ass understand what WAS NOT written nor sufficiently implied that "each detainee can only receive ONE visit every seven days, NOT several different visits on one day."
We turn around and head back....... a bit relieved that we were spared the remaining 2 hours of the drive that would have resulted in just being turned away, but with increasing resolve with every inch of ground gained on the retreat to hacer algo about what we were finding out as we got the details from Ali's mom was really a total and complete violation of basic human dignity and rights...................
Apparently a detainee can be MADE to receive a visitor even though he or she makes it CLEAR a particular visitor is not desired. Please tell me how this is in any way RIGHT, FAIR, or even SAFE??? As the BFF pointed out, what if a visitor came with untoward intentions toward a detainee? The detainee would have to sit there and feel threatened? I fail to understand the humanity in obliging a detainee to receive an unwanted visit after he has made it CLEAR that he not only did not want to entertain that person, but that he, in fact, WAS WAITING for a specific visit from someone ELSE. This is a 19-year old KID who is not able to see his immediate family and who COUNTS on seeing the next closest thing-ME-keeping my word to visit him regularly. We are talking about alimentando espiritus, here. And not just Ali's, but my own, and that of the BFF, as well.
We don't go to see this boy out of some insatiable need to quiet any voices from the past blaring messages of insufficiency at us. We do not go to bed early on Saturday nights in order to be refreshed for our Sunday journeys as bleeding heart, guilt-ridden Americanitas who unbenounced to them, are really just patronizing with our presence the victim of a system of Western Hemispheric imperialism, domination, and economic decimation by this great land we happened to be born in and to where he happen to be brought as a child. We go out of love. That's it...........................
Tonight my boy will go to sleep on a hard slab of a mattress in a cruel, love-less cell. I will sleep on an expensive mattress, after having been showered all the live-long day with love. Mi muchacho may not have seen the snow falling all over Georgia tonight, but he will feel the frigid cold that made those flurries possible as he sleeps IN A MERE THIN COTTON SHIRT AND PANTS (because we can't bring him any warm clothes, nor do they issue the detainees any!) on what will surely be a COLD hard slab of a mattress in that cruel, love-less cell in a detention center he probably never thought he would ever be sent to. I, on the other hand already have my snug nighties on, and the heat is pumpin just fine-I am warm. And he is not.
If he is uncomfortable, then I, too, shall be........... If he is humiliated, then so will I be.............. If he has to do without, then so must I.
So, even though I loved my long, lovely locks, away they went. My hair will represent my solidarity with my muchacho. If he must struggle to be free, and that freedom is what he wants, then I will struggle symbolically in some way (even though the suffering in my heart is VERY real and struggle ENOUGH when one has at least ONE GOOD CRY A DAY) to regain the vanity and beauty that I want. I think it's a fair enough exchange........ Besides, I WANT people to look at me and see something so different they have to ask me why I did it.
Then I can tell them about my Ali. And hope that one more person cares..................................