Austin Law Enforcement
and the

by Bill Blackolive

That each year is a separate trip.

I have told this to would be wives, and Chama who did marry me nine years ago this September. Each year of the marriage is different, though more so are the years we are apart. This is a year of policemen. I expect my wife this weekend, wherein I can tell her I am busted for shoplifting.. A Class B misdemeanor, and I'll need money.

I have paid no rent, or even subbed dishwashing, for over three months. I meet many policemen. It is against the law to camp out in Austin, or park your truck at the river and sleep in it. On Red Bud Isle it is legal to fish or sit in your truck all night if you are awake. Individual officers will come in with their flashlights directly in your face while you sleep on Red Bud Isle, but let it go. They can be rude or polite or tell you to never move too fast in front or an officer, the alarm clock in the moonlight can look like a gun, they may be reasonable or stupid, then one or two will come along and enforce the Red Bud Isle law on sleep. They were coming to know the sixty-five Dodge pickup with the big hippy with big dog before Red Bud Isle. When I had bad flu I had parked across from Rattlesnake Dan's a couple or more weeks, in Pease Park. There were a few conflicting parking tickets. You're the one that was parking in Pease Park. From Red Bud Isle I tried Onion Creek, had to leave there after three nights. All of it be posted, claimed an officer. Texas Gang I sell on the Drag maybe a book a day, so need to sleep gasolene distance from the Drag.

My mind works non-mechanically. My truck was faltering. One evening I chose to rest with another brisket, feast under the stars. I'll spend five or ten on brisket before I will dope. Going up MLK Bvd. off Lamar my second gear would not make it, I slid backwards before gaining control and my battery had not been too secure and it fell wrecking my radiator. I got to the Clarksville station, owned by a friend, my old neighborhood, the best in town. I got a new radiator and shelter. There has been teenage theft and if I would watch the station three or four nights a week at least I would get free maintenance. Had a cracked distributor, bad plugs, got all that fixed. I was in here about one thirty one night, been tripping, drinking with old friends. Some drunks from Jeffrey's had finally gone off. I had the garage door up a couple or so feet for Grit, who was sleeping with me, and I was just about asleep, but hearing these fools outside talking about "rush in on'im now," I thought it would be Dan, Old Dave, Bix. Hell no, it was the irritating flashlights again, and pistols lined along the flashlights. Four of them, they went running through the garage and station. Keep your hands in the air! At first there was even a woman cop who left, and I had thought to pull up my sleeping bag. They were impressed with Griz, who growled. I told them, a few times, one doesn't do a burglary in this manner, but these boys were revved up and had to phone the owner. They settled enough, never apologized. One had done the talking, and as they departed he said, regarding the teenage burglary, I think: If you have any trouble, just call us!

I have about eight months of a two year probation left on a DWI which has felt nearly over. I've been trying to pay them fifteen dollars a month, which would be easy if I worked, but I have got behind and am supposed to pay twenty or twenty-five a month. Lately I have been out of food stamps, and have qualified for five more months, but they don't last and I've been stealing Coon cheese. Coon cheese is a good cheddar without food coloring sold in Safeway, in nice bricks for my down jacket pockets. I normally take four, but learned I can really load up, take six. I already had four Coon cheeses, but we were possibly having our last light cool spell, of which I took opportunity for more cheese (Coon cheese saved me from a felony. Any meat theft in Texas is felony.). Alas, they had been observing me. You doing alright? mumbled the Chicano cashier woman, and I replied and stepped out with my little sack of grapefruit juice and pig liver. Two fellows stood in my way, said they were Safeway Security, one of them reaching in my pocket. I thought they were employees of Safeway. They told me to come on back inside. No. I can't do that, I said to them. They shoved, I thought to brush them off and run around the corner. I would get the truck later, or a friend could. I worried about my probation. I may have put down the two cans of juice, three containers of liver, because the sack held together. My attitude disturbed these men. I could feel they had nowhere my strength, but my glasses were knocked off, a lens coming out, my lens for the weaker right eye (I had been thinking to wear a patch over my left to strengthen my near blind right eye) still intact with the ear holder, and I picked it up, to be putting it in my pocket, deal sonic body punches and run. Let me get my glasses! Just let me put away my glasses! Put the cuffs on 'im, said the one, and the other, a little stocky Chicano, lost temper, none of their arm locks were working and he attempted body punches. I was bent over his reach and he hung his hundred forty pounds on my neck. A third body, f1eshy, entered in my opposition, perhaps a Safeway manager, while I slipped about and extended my arm with my glasses piece,. I'll break your motherfuckin neck! grits the competitive Chicano cop, locking his forearms. I argued about the glasses. He might have hung on my back, anycase I went backward into Safeway, starting to be choked. On feeling the arteries being cut off I had to put down the glasses signaling I had given in. I was taken into the back, then handcuffed, arguing, you guys are really something, I was only trying to keep my glasses from getting more broken up. Chicano cop filling his report: You're an ass hole. He carried on about my giving them trouble. I wasn't fighting, I said in disdain. I knew I had to deal with them mentally, sadly. They retrieved my other lens, unbroken. More cops were brought in.

I was disturbed inwardly, not too rational, worried about my dog, the truck with dope and derringer. At the cop station finally was allowed to call the Hollar Service Center in Clarksville to have my dog and truck picked up. In my cell I ached for my wife.

Last I had been in jail was a year and half past for DWI. That night everybody was having a drunken time, somebody hollering for "Ocefer Reilly," etc. Now, mid day, people were joking like they were in a playground, laughing, bullshitting, mostly blacks and chicanos. Guy in my cell was a claustrophobic young Anglo who had been screaming at his wife over a pay phone when an officer told him to shut up, arresting him after some difficulty. He would pace. I lay down the body, wondered at my coping with the environment year after year. Jail has the stench of prison. I fear prison. Thoughts of breaking bond, getting alias! ID.

The Judge was Steve Russel, considered the most liberal in Austin. I did not know this, or that he is friends of friends of mine. Early thirties, fat, trimmed beard, wanted to read me the rules and tell me about getting a lawyer. I didn't want a lawyer, wanted to call and borrow and pay fine, bond or whatever, get out of jail. Judge Russel explained, a lawyer can get me probation instead of a sentence, that a sentence is bad on one's career or job or credit rating. I explained, I am a Drag Vender, just selling a novel I've written, hoping to find a publishing contact, so wasn't interested in any of that other stuff. You must be the infamous Bill Blackolive, said Judge Russel. Judge Russel stated that a thief is considered an immoral person, that a publishing house wouldn't want to give an immoral person an advance. I had to disagree, while wishing to be inoffensive. Repeated I just want to get out of there, take care of my dog and things, keep doing what I'm doing, contact a publisher, am forty years old and not going to change. Well, said he. I have read your book. You sold me an autographed copy. I also know publishers and have connections. But I'11 tell you right now, you might write something else better, but your book is a self indulgent pile of crap. I smiled. There was this other officer, now waiting to take me back downstairs. Consensus was I could get out on the recognizance bond. Look, I retorted. I have hundreds of people in this town who think the book is great. We have to go, said the other officer, nice plainclothesman. You need a hundred thousand to have a best seller, claimed Russel. I claimed I could sell a hundred thousand if I had them, having to go. In the hall the plainclothesman, telling me I should get the recognizance bond, be out that day, said it would have been easier if I hadn't given the guys in Safeway so much trouble. Look, say I, stopping, hang my arms. I could've whipped those guys. I went on further about the glasses. He believed me, I believe. Hope he told the fellas. Blackolive can whip 2 or 3 cops. Maybe 3 or 4.

Real world, real world. There is this tall student D.A. who did my bond papers. I think maybe he represents me. I am to call him. While he was doing the paper work he had to go back upstairs for something. I was handcuffed between two soul brother prisoners and driven to the court house. My student D.A. found me gone, had to drive over to the courthouse. Waving his papers. I was in the bull pen maybe one minute. Gads. I was getting popular, around the force, I mean, too I was given my grapefruit juice and pig liver in reinforced sack. Had not eaten. Lunch had been two shit bread sandwiches, one of them thin peanut butter and jelly, the other had thin slice fake meat with mustard. Out on the sidewalk I messily ate eight tenths pound pig liver. Walking along. Wary of the citizens. Protein, vitamin B. Stop at Shoal Creek to wash beard, hand,. The Indian out of prison. Stop at creek. This is the real world. Does the cramp leave the mind with the sky? Geronimo used to go to prison. Many people have. I think it eventually can. Back of Hollar Service Center Griz sleeps in truck. Pig liver for Griz. I take out my little Coleman stove for evening expresso.