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A.A. Bondy
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Leaves in the Gutter

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Glossary
For What I Don't Become


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The Thick of It
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Saddest Ghost Lamp

Friday, July 08, 2005

Me and Judy

As Wonkette notes, there's been a lot of in-depth coverage of the jail Judith Miller's holed up in. It's the Alexandria Detention Center in my hometown of Alexandria, Va., and I'm proud--or is it ashamed?--to say I think I spent a night there more than a decade ago. But I can't be sure because I was very very drunk. In public. Which is apparently a crime, and explains why I was taken to jail. This would have been around 1993, when I was 20 years old; I know I was taken to a holding facility at or near the Alexandria Police Department headquarters, which is right next to the Detention Center. What I can't be sure of is whether I spent that enchanted evening in a holding cell in the stationhouse, or in the actual detention center itself. I guess we could know for sure if Judy finds the jailhouse poetry I wrote in an ink I made from my own urine on a scrap of wall behind the toilet (in truth, it was just half-remembered lyrics to Smiths songs, but I didn't think my cellmates would be able to tell).

If it was indeed the same facility, I can attest to the fact that, contrary to some coverage, it's not a cushy place. It smells precisely the way you'd expect a jail to smell. I shared a cell with a disarmingly charming sex offender who declined to get more specific about his charges, and a Bible-reading lawyer who'd reached the end of a bender.

Anyway, now it's apparently like awsome or something for reporters to end up in the Alexandria jail, but back then there was more of a stigma attached to it. Mom, can you finally forgive me now?