Monday, May 17, 2010

Friends in Low Places: What Makes a Woman?

Friends in Low Places: What Makes a Woman?

What Makes a Woman?

When Catlin came into the dorm I knew it was a mistake. She looked every bit the woman. Her long blonde hair was beautifully arranged in a high style that screamed Madison Avenue stylist. Her make-up was an art. Catlin wore a tan cashmere sweater, a brown tweed skirt and over the knee dark brown suede boots. I took her back to my office at once. Catlin began to cry. "This a a mistake. I was accused of shoplifting. It is not true. I have plenty of money to pay for anything I want. Please, let me call my friend. Once he knows where I am, he will bail me out immediately."

Catlin used my phone and reached her friend who said that he would go to the closest police station and bail her out at once. Unfortunately, 'at once' can be 24 hours. I didn't know how I was going to protect her now.

Catlin told me that she had gone through most of the treatment to complete her sex change. Her body certainly made that clear. However, she had one more operation to be completed. According to the Department of Corrections, as long as the penis is attached, the person was considered male.

After some thought, I asked Paul to come into my office and asked Catlin to wait outside to stay very close by. Although Paul is a small man, not very strong, and a paraplegic, he ran the dorm. Rumor had it that he was a very important drug dealer and was very well connected. There was no one who would disrespect him. Whatever he was on the street, his reputation followed him and he was the man in charge.

I asked Paul if he would protect Catlin while she was in the dorm and he agreed to place her in his charge. I brought Catlin back in and introduced them. Paul was a perfect gentleman. He treated her with courtesy and kindness. I knew she would be safe. She was safe and she was released the next day.

A few weeks later, Paul came into my office ans showed me some pictures. They were pictures of Catlin as a model. There were pictures of her in an evening dress, a pants suit, and pictures of her in a tiny bikini. Catlin was a beautiful woman and even in a bathing suit there was no evidence that she was anything else. Paul and I were very pleased.

When I come home to the upper east side of New York, I feel as if I am on another planet...a white bread planet. I miss the energy of jail. I am easily bored by talk of fashion, new restaurants, or choice of another vacation. I can't talk to these people about my job because they can't relate to it. They think that the people in jail are worthless. It is their fear that makes them anxious but their disdain makes me angry. I am not a bleeding heart liberal. I don't see my job as saving or serving the under privileged. My job is great because the beautiful the people I work with are great. The Correction Officers, the medical staff, the other civilians but it is mostly the residents. It is their greatness of heart, their generosity of spirit, and their wonderful sense of humor that makes me love this job. It makes me happy to go to work on Monday. It makes me excited to pass through the gates. It makes me feel special because they make me feel special. I would rather have their respect and affection than most of the people on Planet White bread.