Thursday, April 28, 2016

William Myrl; Letters to No One (50)

Dear No One,
Squim was a young man of color with a rape charge. He didn't talk to me at first, and I don't make a habit of going beyond pleasantries with most people. At some point, he discovered that I was what you would call an "active listener", nodding at all the right moments and never expressing disinterest. This is a good way to collect stories. He gave me his in driblets, and we didn't work our way around to his crime until some months later. There had been a party, and he had had sex with a girl there, as had his friend, apparently at the same time. His contention was that they, or his friend, had promised the girl drugs and then renigged. Afterward, the charges has been filed. Knowing the young man, I doubted he had intended to harm the victim, but an encounter doesn't have to be violent to be rape. Like most such cases, it is impossible to say what happened in reality. Over a game of spades someone else confided that Squim must have done something really bad to the girl for her to charge him. This fellow knew her, and he said a bottle of liquor was a sufficient bid for temporary use of her mound of Venus. There's only so much stock to be put in these kinds of statements. The whole affair is not uncommon, an unpaid bill is among the most often utilized explanations for a victim's allegations. Statistically, I imagine it must be true of some cases, but only some. Rape, like robbery, often occurs without any outward sign of savagery, as the intimidated party submits. The victims are no less victims for their quiet. 
I was taken to another county jail for a few days when I was formally indicted on my second robbery. I stayed in a holding cell for three days so I could meet my public defender there. Overall, my experience with public defenders has felt positive. It isn't that they don't want to help you, it is that they can't. Mr. Love (no kidding) really seemed to care. He met with me in a perfunctory fashion, going through all the relevant details and making sure I knew a plea deal was my only realistic option. His assistant came the next day, and I said some things to her that apparently caught his attention. He came back the third day, and we talked more. We talked about robberies, and I expressed my feeling that what I had done wasn't the same as taking from a person. He asked if that was because they were big corporations with insurance and I said not exactly. It was different because the money didn't exist while it was in the bank, that by taking money from the bank and putting it into circulation I was creating value. Note that I am not expressing my current beliefs on the matter, only recounting what was said by a nineteen year old to his lawyer at that time. I know there is no excusing my behavior, much as my cellmate was not excused because he did not feel like he was raping his victim. I had told his assistant about my writing habit, the first story I did was a parody of Dante's Inferno. He asked about it when he came back. I wasn't in a great state by then, I still wasn't acclimated to my incarceration, and moving and being in an empty holding cell for three days hadn't helped anything. They felt sympathy for me, which was nice. 
When I was taken back to my own jail, and back into intake, sadly, I wrote them a fourteen page letter and sent it out the following day. This is how I ended up getting my first psych evaluation.

William Myrl

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