The Story of My Arrest

WI’d like to tell you the little story of my arrest yesterday, as a means to an end.  I am not a lawbreaker; I do not act unjustly and impulsively.  I am a mystic, but I also think it is important for anybody who chooses to be a mystic, to guide their mysticism by reason – and lots of it.  I push the envelope often of the common decencies, and against what Kalle Lasn calls the “conspiracy of silence,” because I am determined to leave this a better world than the one I was born into.  It matters not that I act justly if I act in isolation.  Because I am an enemy to those in power, if I act in isolation, there is no better place they’d rather have me than in their gulag.

I have been working somewhat actively for the Illinois Medical Cannabis initiative.  The Illinois version has passed in the Senate, but not the House.  My senator, Iris Martinez, is a co-sponsor of the bill, and my representative, Maria Berrios has previously voiced her support for the bill.  I had called Berrios’s office numerous times, and emailed her numerous times about my support for the bill, without a single word in reply.

About three weeks ago I went into her local office to enquire as to why not.  She shares her office with my alderman, a complete zero, who among other accomplishments, voted in support of Mayor Daley’s outrageous plan to lease Chicago’s parking meters to a private corporation, for $1 billion immediate cash – half of projected revenues – over seventy-five years.

I enquired as to whether I could talk to Ms. Berrios.  I was directed to her aide, and our conversation proceeded roughly like this:

Aide: “She’s in a meeting.”

Me: “No she’s not.”

Aide: “Yes she is.”

Me: “Can you tell me why Ms. Berrios hasn’t responded to my queries as to my support for HB 2514?”

Aide: “Do you know who I am?”

Me: “Do you know who I am?”

I wasn’t asking this in the insolent waythe aide was, as being some kind of moral superior to me because she had the lofty title of aide to a state representative.  I was asking it in the context of her putting a face to the correspondence.

Aide: “Do you know who I am?”

Me: “Do you know who I am?”

Aide: “Do you know who I am?”

Me: “Fuck you, bitch.”  Whereupon I turned on my heel and headed for the exit.

Suddenly appeared said zero from the shadows, and said “Hey,” as sternly as his zerodom would allow.

Me: “Free speech; don’t like it call the pigs.”

Whereupon I exited the whorehouse.

Three weeks later, yesterday, at 10:30 the cops knocked on my door.  I asked who it was whereupon they replied the police.  I asked whether they had a warrant.  They said we just want to talk to you.  I said I wasn’t opening up the door unless they had a warrant.  They left with the silence of a dog having just been kicked, skulking away with its tail between its legs.

Later that afternoon a friend and I were having a drink in my apartment.  I had just called maintenance to repair a ceiling fan in my apartment.  Subsequently, the maintenance man knocked on my door.  I called out who is it, he said maintenance, and I opened the door to him.  Three cops followed him in and shackled me and arrested me.  The maintenance man has subsequently told me it was only coincidence he was followed in by the police, and I believe him.

I spent the next eight hours in torture hell, six of which were in a cell with nothing but a toilet and a flat sheet of metal as a bed.  I was allowed no phone call, and no access to the outside world, nor were my questions as to my bond answered.  Upon being stuffed in the holding cell, I demanded a blanket and a mattress.  The deputies laughed at me and notified me that this isn’t a hotel.  I stuffed my shirt into the toilet and flooded the cell.  I was moved to another cell and did the same thing with my shorts.  I was moved to a third cell, where my underwear wouldn’t perform the same task, and spent the next six hours “shivering in a mean garret,” with all the cache of Twain’s hero in his very, very short story, “The Five Boons of Life.”  I was eventually released at midnight, without even my cane to help me walk home, and given a $750 recognizance bond and a court date on August 5.

When I periodically enquired to the charges, I was vaguely told it was for “assault,” for the incident described above.  There was no description of the charges, only that it was for assault.  I cannot even be sure it was for the incident described.

Tracy McLellan can be reached at: