Friday, May 1, 2015

My Mother, Savior of Convicts

On the Greyhound bus home from seeing my dad in the hospital, my mother said she met some convicts who were in the process of being transferred between prisons.  One of them stole her cell phone, or she left it behind and he kept it.  When she got home, she said she called her phone and the man who had sat beside her answered.  His name was Jeremy.*  She told him to give back her phone, and Jeremy explained that he couldn't.  She threatened to cancel her phone plan, and he begged her not to.  His life depended on that phone, he said.  Another prisoner would kill him if he didn't have that phone and let him use it.  So my mother continued paying for her cell phone while a small subsection of the local prison population used it.

Some months later, Jeremy got out of prison.  He contacted my mother, who invited him to live in her home.  My dad was still in the hospital, and Dante had found his own apartment, so no one else was around.  She promised Jeremy and another ex-convict, Sam*, several hundred dollars per day to clean the house.  These were the kinds of extravagant offers she often made and never paid. 

She also invited another woman, Beth, to live at the house too, though I don't know how they met.  I only know that Beth slept in a hospital-style bed my mother claims to have spent several thousand dollars on, and bled on it, and had hepatitis.  My mother complained about her hepatitis blood ruining the mattress long after Beth moved out.  I remember talk of a second woman living there briefly, but I remember nothing about her.

As one of their odd jobs around the house, my mother asked Jeremy and Sam to fix Dante's car, which was sitting broken in the driveway.  She gave them the keys, and when she came back outside and discovered both the car and the men were gone, she called the police.  She told the police her son's car had been stolen.  The police found both the men and the car at a local gas station, and both Jeremy and Sam went back to prison.

*This was not his name.

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