Below is Chapter 1 to Apolo Drakuvich. I won't be posting the entire book on the blog but I did feel like giving out a taste to the world.
Chapter 1 - In Jail
Awakening from a dream and finding yourself in a jail cell is disheartening to say the least. You hope and wish that the dream you once had was actually reality with the cell being the true nightmare. “Surely, this can’t be real.” Quickly, you realize the situation. Perhaps, not a good one either. Find your composure, don’t lose your mind.
How long have I been in this cell? Surely, not for more than a few hours, perhaps days? No, not days, that’s silly. Ah, yet again...
I must find a mirror and gaze upon myself to see any changes. My reflection shows slight beard growth, my only indicator. It seemed important at the time to find a sense of time at least to keep things in perspective. This was difficult to do with no clocks and no windows.
How spoiled I am. Not truly realizing how much I was taking my watch for granted. But is time important, in the big scheme of things?
The guards gave me a bologna sandwich, which I didn't eat. You never know, it could be laced with some sort of outlaw drug in hope of me spilling my beans all over the place. No! This must not happen. Keep it together and keep it cool.
I need to pee. With cameras all around, Hell No, I’m not peeing in front of them. I can wait, I can hold it in.
What to do now? What can you do except stare at the concrete painted walls. There was nothing special about these filthy white walls. Specks of blood are plastered around the room. My guess it's for decoration. Just add a little color here and there. The buzz of the fluorescent light must be some sort of torture device.
My plan is straight, clear, and simple. Say nothing. Trust no one. But what do I do? What does a caged animal do? Eat, sleep, and pee and I’ve only done one of those listed items.
Keep your mental state in the clear. Don't think you're locked in, unable to leave. Freedom is suspended at this point and it doesn’t feel good. Do criminals feel this sense of loss? They curse themselves and mainly others for being in their situation. Don’t panic and just sit, relax. Bide your time.
Now, what do I do? I guess I can go to sleep again. Soon this will get old, but not yet. Let me retreat to my dreams, my new reality.
I once had a dream, a premonition, where I saw this jail cell. Mainly it was the seven cinder blocks I'm seeing now. Maybe I’m still in that dream. This premonition was dreamt up several years ago. There was no cause, no reason why I was in this cell. I hadn't been in a jail cell before. But clearly, I was dreaming of this cell. This torture device of the mind, to crack and place fear into the souls of man. As I soon found out, this wasn't the true Hell about to be felt.
My parents gave me the name Apolo, but that wasn't such a great idea. Over time, through various migrations and multiple marriages, the Drakuvich family came to America. My parents felt that having a name like Apolo Drakuvich would show some form of authority of life. “Hey, listen to this guy, he knows what he's doing” or “You don't want to mess with a guy with a name like Apolo Drakuvich.”
To sum up my life into one sentence, I'll quote a woman on whom I had a crush for years in high school. “He may look smart, but he really isn't.” Of course, she didn't say this in front of my face, but word did eventually come back to me. This isn't something that I'm proud of; just stating the facts so we can have a clear picture.
Back to the name Apolo, it's one of those names where other people feel threatened. It's not a common name and, when kids start to learn about ancient mythology they just laugh and point. Some scrawny kid with the name Apolo is nothing near the Sun God. Not even close.
So the kids tested me and won. I didn't want this name; it wasn't even a name that I had picked out. Something like David would be more fitting. Years back, I remember a conversation some kid was having with me.
“Apolo Drakuvich sounds like some sort of Godly Vampire. You're nothing like that. Just kind of pasty, you dork.” It was true, I needed a tan, but aren't there nicer ways to point these things out? Kids can be mean.
And so here I am, with plenty of time on my hands to reflect, to see which paths I should have taken or which I shouldn't have taken. One thing is true, I let it all slip away. The mighty Apolo has wasted away such a good name, so many opportunities lost.
I heard a knock at my cell door as I was awakening from a slight dream state. The noise that the key made an echo heard throughout the cell.
“Do I need to cuff you? You're not going to run, are you?” the fat pig spoke.
Now, of course, I didn’t say this out loud, and I knew if I did, it would only make my situation worse, but how in the Hell am I supposed to run away? Yes, I could run away from the pig and get to the edge of the hallway, only to be severely beaten by cops with nothing better to do. Sure, I was going to run away.
“No, sir, I’m not going to run away.” I spoke in a low tone of voice.
“Good, good. You don’t look like the violent type.”
The “violent type”? Of course not! I’m some skinny white dude who hasn’t said a peep to anyone and has basically offered little resistance. Nah, I thought, I can kick your ass, pig, then I’ll take on the entire San Pinto Police Department.
I walked in front of the pig down the hallway. A cop, out of the blue, would make an insulting remark. I can see he was bored. Hell, not like there were actual crimes to be solved or real criminals to be apprehended. Insults are the easiest and most fun activity to do. I’ve always kind of wondered what goes through the minds of cops. Granted, not all are bad. There are a few good coppers out there; it’s just I haven’t met any of them. Not tonight at least or is it the morning? What time is it?
After a quick analysis I’ve come to the following reasons for the assholeness of the pigs. Their pay sucks, a lot of stress at the job and probably low education has a huge factor on why they're assholes. In a system where an individual is supposedly guilty till proven innocent, where the system is backwards and upside-down, one mustn't sugar coat the details. One must look out for himself.
“You do know why you're here, right? Sir, you're here because you’re a deviant to society” the pig spoke.
I sat there and said nothing.
“You frightened the poor souls. Can you see the problem here, son?”
“No. I really don’t think you understand the entire situation here.”
“You have a problem, serious issues. You're going to burn for what you did. I want to be there to personally see you get fried to a crisp. The smell will be wonderful. I mean, look at yourself. You're an animal. The filthiest, the most vulgar creature I've ever seen in my thirty years in this department. How would you like to be thrown in with the rest of the animals so you can be with your own kind?”
I didn't say a peep. My plan was clear and I was sticking to it.
“I've taken the liberty to have a professional come and speak to you. I think he can help.”
Help? Really? I’m not sure why I was here. I’ve had some problems with the law in the past. It was nothing major but it became a problem for me nonetheless. These people can’t be trusted. Not in this situation.
“Hello, Apolo. I’m Dr. Brand. Tell me about yourself. Tell me your dreams. And start from the beginning.”
“I can have my glasses back, please.”
“Glasses? I see. You don’t need those now. You're not going to read anything anyway.”
“I can’t see without them.” And then I stopped talking. The idea of these bastards helping me wasn’t going to happen. These pigs aren't my friends. I have no friends. Minutes flew by and a staring contest had begun between the three of us.
“You don't want us to help you? I'm here to help you.” The doctor spoke in a kind, but fake voice. He was hiding something.
“Where's my lawyer?” There was silence. Perhaps they didn’t realize that I could actually get a lawyer, an expert, to defend me. Rules and regulations didn't seem to matter.
“We're going to have to hold you awhile.”
They threw me back in my cell. I hadn’t actually performed any crimes. They were keeping me here because it was a Friday night, and they had nothing better to do. This has happened before. They make an arrest, then hassle me some more because they think they’re doing society good because I’m the criminal. Right? That’s what they would like for you to think. Place a label on something and you’ll believe it. Why question the “experts”?
The pig came up to do my cell door. “We’re going to let you go. Stay out of trouble. You should get ready for that hurricane. It’s coming this way.”
“Hurricane?” I had no clue what was out in the Gulf.
“It’s a category four. It’s all over the news. Probably going to get bigger, too.”
“I don’t watch the news.” I replied.
“Maybe you should start, son.” The pig opened the door and I was once again free. Or as free as I could be.