Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

No hummingbird when you need one...

Still circling OT so here's more of chapter 2, beginning where the first section left off, of course. The first bit is an e-mail Jake's relating to Antony and Matt, from Owen.
I met with a deputy district attorney about my case, today, in Riverside. Not the most fun of drives. You have to cross the mountains and the city stinks, literally. Plus parking is very expensive, unless you want to take your chances at a meter and hope the petty fascists who hand out tickets don’t find you if you stay one second over the allotted time. I think it was done deliberately, to enforce how in control they are. He has an office in Palms West, as well, but that would have been too convenient.

His name is Bennett, and he is the epitome of an aging metrosexual. He and Ms. Ginty tried to make me take a deal. “It’s a really good one,” he said with all the sincerity of a used car salesman. “Disturbing the peace. Six months probation, and if you meet all conditions, the conviction will be expunged. This is the best I can offer.”

I told him, “I’ve done nothing wrong or illegal, so I see no reason to say I did just to make your job easier.”

“Cut it out,” said Ms. Ginty in this really snotty voice. “We have a witness who backs up the officer’s version of the arrest.”

Which was nonsense. There was no one around but me and that officer. I told them this, and they shrugged. “That’s not a good defense, telling the judge everyone’s lying about you. He won’t believe a word of it.”

“Then I’ll have a trial by jury.”

“Owen, do you really want to waste taxpayer money?” said Bennett.

“I told you, I’ve done nothing wrong or illegal.”

“The jury won’t believe you,” he said, giving off this heavy-hearted vibe. “I’ve gotten convictions with less evidence.”

“Who’s this other witness?” I asked.

“We’ll provide you with a witness list,” said Ms. Ginty.

I grew angry and snapped, “Meaning you don’t know who it’s going to be, yet. You haven’t found anyone willing to back the officer up.” I rose and headed for the door, saying, “When you do, let me know and I’ll deal with it, then.”

“We’re not done, yet, Owen,” she snapped.

I glared at her and said, “It’s Mr. Taylor. I haven’t given either one of you the right to call me by my given name.”

“Oh, please.”

In answer, I slammed the door on my way out. Well, tried to; it’s on one of those auto-close pump-action set-ups, whatever they’re called, so it only bounced back and then slowly settled shut on its own steam.

Of course I went straight to the County Clerk and paid for a copy of the arrest report. Not a word of there being a witness on it. Hardly a surprise. So I immediately went back to Page’s and got a copy of the security surveillance video. It’s all strictly indoors so doesn’t show any of our interaction, but it does back me up in so many ways, this trial will be quite the experience.

I’ve also learned a friend is facing the same charges, so he and I met with his attorney last Tuesday. He’s got too much going on to defend me, but he gave me pointers on how to work the trial. I’m actually beginning to think this will be more than a little fun.

I called Uncle Owen when I got it, and we talked for about half an hour, while Tone was in one of his therapy sessions.

“The video’s only back-up, Jake,” he said. “I can use it to cast doubt on his version of events.”

“But if it doesn’t show anything...”

“It shows he’s alone. And he followed me all over the store; I didn’t follow him as he claimed in his report.”

“You’re not goin’ to Bennett with it, are you?”

“Of course not. That prick of a cop already changed his story about there being a witness; I’m not giving him cause to change it more.”

“What’s his name?”

“Didn’t I tell you? Sheriff's Deputy Chet Morrow. I seriously doubt it’s his real name; it sounds too porno. I’m close to deciding I ought to depose him. Get his version locked in before the trial.”

“When is it?”

“Week from next Thursday. Doesn’t help this DA’s proven himself to be as much of a dick as his predecessor.”

“They’re all dicks, Uncle Owen.”

“And as in life, some are bigger than others...and his dickishness would gag a horse.”

“Shit, what’d he do?”

“Didn’t I tell you about the previous asshole who was DA? No, wait, it would’ve been about the time you were dealing with probation and the new psycho in your life. Speaking of which, how is Anthony doing?”

“An-TONY,” I laughed. “You ever call him anything else besides that, you’ll find out what a dick really is.”

He laughed. “Good for him.”

“And he’s fine.”

“I’m glad. Okay, the previous DA. Well, it started with the Palm Springs Police Department setting up a sting against gay men, one night. One of those entrapment set-ups, where a cop entices you to expose yourself then arrests you for public indecency. A number of us in the gay community got together and fought to have the charges dismissed. After all, they don’t use female cops to do the same thing to straight men, and when heterosexual couples are caught going too far in public, they’re warned off whereas gay men are arrested. He ignored us, so we pumped our money into his opponent during the next election and kicked him out. It helped that the Palm Springs Chief of Police was caught on tape saying some very un-nice things about gay men during that sting; he wound up resigning.

“Anyway, we get a new DA into office and what happens? He repays our help by pushing through with the criminal cases against the men who were arrested. I told the son-of-a-bitch at the next election we’d fight to have him kicked out, too. His response was, The law is the law; if you don’t like it, change it. I’ve been his opponent ever since, but the problem is, so few others want to. They’re demoralized by the prick’s betrayal and some are leaving the Palms area.”

“So it ain’t just Texas.”

“You find assholes everywhere, Jake. Anyway, Palms Springs' police department also pulled a couple stings, since, including the one the night before I was arrested. I’m caught up in that group, and Bennett is being hard-assed about it. Most of the men have just taken deals. I think they thought I could be forced to, as well.”

“You think the arrest was aimed at you ‘cause you’re helping against the DA?”

“I doubt it. Little deputy Morrow seemed more upset at the fact that I didn’t find him attractive than anything else.”

“Not a muscle queen, huh?”

“Oh, stop it. I like real men, not fake ones. What’s interesting is how many straight men I’ve spoken with who feel the same way about a woman’s breasts. They prefer them natural as opposed to silicon implants.”

“You know straight guys?”

“The man who tends the community’s grounds is straight. Him and his girlfriend. Tend the grounds, I mean. And are straight. Anyway, no gaydar bings off him.”

“So you were checkin’ him out.”

“Well...Ed does have a certain trailer-park-trash kind of cuteness to him, and he usually works shirtless. Showing off his tattoos and broad back and slim hips. And when he wears these holey cargo shorts...” His voice trailed off.

“Uncle Owen,” I said. “Sounds like you got some fantasies goin’ on there.”

“Jake! I’m hardly dead, yet. But nothing’s going to happen; Renate’d cut my dick off if I tried.”

I chuckled. “Be careful with those two. You want me to drive over during the trial? Moral support and all that crap?”

“Thank you, but I have friends and plenty of back up. If I present my case correctly, I doubt it will even go to verdict.”

“What about the other guys who’re fighting the charges? Maybe you oughta let their lawyers handle yours, too.”

“The only reason those attorneys are fighting is because their clients will not accept a deal. I know a couple of them, and they’re the type who probably did do what they were arrested for. And did it erect. There is this one other who’s from Upland and his career would be harmed by any sort of record, so he’s gone whole hog and brought in a couple of big guns from LA. God knows how much it’s costing him, but the DA is already hinting at backing down.”


“No shit. The out-of-towners have gone after the arresting officers’ records and have given interviews to the local paper on how one-sided the DA’s policy is, so Preston – that’s Don’s lawyer – he’s playing copycat.”


“Rice. You met him when you came out, that time.”

“I did?”

“Six-six. Blond. VERY much a Viking. Dressed up as Our Lady of the Howling Dogs for Pride?”

Holy shit, how could I ever forget that? “He said his name was Dion, and you introduced me to him as Rose from The Golden Girls.”

"Oh, my God, you're right. I'd forgotten."

No comments: