From 11:30 to 4:30 we sit outside the South Bronx Criminal Courthouse in the 95 degree heat with a humidity index of over fifty percent, wishing we had worn anything but these courtroom "professional" looks that are better suited for fall. The sweat drips slowly, the sun beats down and there is no sitting on window sills, no loitering, no reprieve from the sun. The waiting, the not knowing, has an aggressive effect. The architecture of authority looms all around. Every time we buzz in to the little corrections corridor where we have to speak through the crack in the open door, we are treated a little worse.
Anton decides to try to scratch a message on the sidewalk.
A little girl plays down the street, waiting just like us.
To be family of a loved one in prison, is to be in another type of prison. Waiting, sitting in jail, or on a sidewalk outside a courtroom as the seconds, click to minutes, click to hours, click to days. The police and court officials and lawyers who exercise power in the small spaces they control to make up for what they don’t control, expands the reach of these bars.
When he is finally released, he is quiet. Changed. As if he carries something with him now, as if he is not yet free.