There is another dead one.
This one I do remember. Heavy-set, close-cropped hair, vaguely befuddled. He was sentenced to my jail for ten weekends, convicted of possession of controlled substance. I believe his drug of choice was heroin, I don’t remember for sure.
He played me like a cheap xylophone. Seemed like a decent guy. A guy who’d made a mistake, but who realized it, who wanted to get it behind him, get on to the next thing. Worked for a medical service and it was a good job. Decent pay, good benefits. The man was a veteran of the Iraqi war, a medic in the desert, patching together military and civilian alike, anyone who bled and hurt.
I guess he couldn’t find that same help for himself. Or maybe he got lost while looking for it. Or maybe he thought the skag was the help.
Ten weekends and on the ninth, he got nailed. Fourteen and a half pills secreted in his shoes. He swore the pills weren’t for him, that they were for the other inmates, that the other inmates had pressured him into the smuggle. That could be the truth. That could be part of the truth.
Could be bullshit. Like I said, he played me but good.
Said all the right things, did all the right things. Never caused any problems while he was incarcerated. Never gave me grief over the millions of details most inmates give me grief over (food…plumbing…mattresses…jail uniforms…heating…cooling…phones…commissary…innocence…guilt)
The day he got popped for smuggling contraband, he got charged. Went from nearly done with a relatively minor charge to the beginning of a charge that would — no question — land him in prison for at least years. He finished his ninth weekend but couldn’t leave because of the new charge. A day later, he managed to bond out, $100,000 or ten percent cash. His girlfriend brought a bundle of cash to the jail and he went home. A few days later, he was back for his final weekend, no longer saying the right things to me. In fact, no longer talking to me much at all.
Then he was gone, waiting for trial.
A few days ago, he OD’d. I don’t know on what, toxicology hasn’t yet come back from his autopsy. Maybe heroin. Maybe sleeping pills or pain pills.
Two dead now. The man who killed himself after beating an officer into the hospital, and the smuggler. For thirteen months, my first thirteen working at the Sheriff’s Office, nothing like this happened. Now, suddenly, two former inmates are dead in less than a month.
I won’t even try to answer their deaths mean, I have no idea. I’m not even sure what the question actually is. All I know is that these two guys, these two mopes or shitbags or perps or lost souls, whatever you want to call them, are dead and I keep on truckin,’ jailing people, releasing people, warehousing people.
It’s my job.