My Nightmare IS Someone’s Reality

A civil-forfeiture

Last night without provocation or subliminal suggestion, I had a truly vivid nightmare…

I was in a rural town much like the one my company’s branch office is located in and working with people I did not know although they seemed familiar in my dream. As I was about to depart, I found myself behind the wheel of a car, which was not mine, with someone I did not know and was apparently about to give him a ride home. Before I could start the engine, police swooped in and pulled me from behind the wheel while forcefully dragging my unknown passenger out of the passenger’s seat. I heard his arresting officer utter the words, “So, you thought you could just escape from prison and disappear forever…”.

Appalled, shocked and utterly confused, I intensely watched this scene unfold before my eyes until “my” arresting officer was handcuffing my hands behind my back. I was so dazed by what was taking place that I could barely ask what I was being arrested for. I received no answer. It wasn’t until the next scene, that of sitting with my hands behind my back against a wall in what looked and sounded like a police station (a small town Hill Street Blues), that I could inquire more forcefully about why I had been arrested. No answer. When I asked why hadn’t my rights been read to me, someone appeared and indirectly answered the 1st question without answering the second. “Prison break. Why’d you think you’d get away with it?” After surreally responding that I didn’t know what he was talking about, had they checked my social (I hadn’t seen my purse in what seemed like ages so someone had to have it), that I had neither a parking nor a speeding ticket to my name, etc. I felt increasingly dehumanized. I finally remembered to ask about my phone call which I promptly got.

Instead of calling a lawyer (’cause I don’t know any and the paranoia that maybe this was some sort of conspiracy was palpable and making it hard for me to breathe), I called my mother and instructed her to call everyone in the family and who she knew and tell them where I was and they were to do the exact same. Furthermore, I asked her to enlist my son’s help and get on my Twitter and Facebook accounts & hashtag in so many characters my plight and the town I was in. I obviously believe in the power of social media! Still breathing, but barely, I finally got around to asking her to send me a lawyer. By then, visions from movies and real life of what happens to Black people in small and large towns mixed with  flashes of factual injustices from Rodney King to Marissa Alexander to Trayvon, etc. started to flood my mind. All this culminated in realizing that I was now standing on my feet with someone pressing a sharp object into my back and demanding that I sign the papers on the desk in front of me (the “or else” was literally sharply implied and truly felt!). In a moment of lucid clarity and reawakened empowerment, I said, “You can’t do this and I refuse to sign”…

And this morning, I discovered that they can…for even lesser allegations Sarah Stillman’s TAKEN.

This nightmare and the article above have given me a deepening revelation throughout the day. I have never felt so consciously and continually physically unsafe and anxious in my entire life even though I enjoy “relative safety and security” as opposed to millions of others in this country. Loopholes and irregularities in civil, penal and tax laws, effective representation and preference of corporate and BIG interests over public and little interests as well as laissez-faire attitudes towards people who need consequent support have allowed practices to arise that obstruct the creation of a nurturing, healthy and peaceful society. Life’s legal, economic, health and educational prospects here are so much more precarious and fragile than in all of the other nations I have had the privilege to live in or visit.

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Filed under Education, General Socio-economic & Socio-political Issues, Health Care, Religion & Spirituality, Women's Empowerment

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