Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Taste of Freedom

I sleep for 3.5 hours because I have to get ready for my release. The officer comes by at 5am to inform me that once the institutional count is cleared, I'll be leaving.

Due to yesterday's riot, the count is delayed. Someone says that my release throws off the balance of the order. During the wait, people keep coming by to check on me and say their last goodbye. They can't believe that I am actually leaving.

The count clears around 10 o'clock. A few minutes later a Lieutenant shows up to escort me to the releasing area. A few guys walk with me to the door and help carry my folders. As I walk across the dayroom people yell out my name and wish me luck. They are in a a half circle line waving and chanting my name. I wave back and keep on walking. I feel like I am walking on the red carpet going to a movie premiere.

The ICE agents wait for me. It takes an hour for the prison guards to process me and a Laotion prisoner. We are handcuffed to each other and put in the back of the ICE van. Finally, after 19 years, I am out of CDC custody.

We head to San Francisco on the freeway going 90mph.

It is a bumpy ride.

Once we get to San Francisco, I can't recognize the freeway exit. As the van moves toward Sansome Street, I am immediately captured by the streets. It's the first time in 19 years that I have seen so many free people on the street. It is lunch time so people are sitting on benches eating and overlooking the ocean. Everything I see is beautiful. People are walking, sitting, talking on cell phones, waiting for the bus, eating at outdoor restaurants, and driving. I am soaking in the scenery.

Afer I finish the process with the ICE agents, I am led to a visiting room. My friends are waiting to visit me. Victor, Reverend Fong, Anne, Momo, and Perry are in the room. I am happy to see them. We have to talk through the telephone because the plexiglass separates us. Everyone congratulates me for getting out of prison. Later on, Shelly, Alice, and my attorney Zach show up. It is awesome to see everyone. Anmol is on the phone checking in with everyone.

I don't know where I will go after I am processed. There is a 50/50 chance between Arizona and Yuba County. After some last minute manuver, it is decided that I will go to Yuba County Jail. I was extremely close to flying to Arizona.

The drive to Yuba County Jail is long, but it has its fine moments. Before I get on the van, I am able to stand on the streets of San Frnacisco for about 10 seconds. I am in handcuffs and shackles. The aroma of food from the nearby restaurants brings a huge smile to my face. I close my eyes and inhale deeply this brief moment of freedom.

There are 11 men and 4 women on the van. I am surprised to see the women there. The van is holding a mini-United Nations. There are people from CHina, Vietnam, Phillipines, Kenya, Cuba, Mexico, Jordan, Ethiopia, and Mongolia.

There is traffic as we head toward the freeway. I have a window seat and my eyes are glued to the streets. It is around 6 o'clock. I see people waiting to go eat in a restaurant, women in jogging shorts, riding their bike, some guys skateboarding, and people walking. It's like I am watching a movie. I kick the van with my foot and wish that I was on the street with the people. The people in the van know that it is my first time in 19 years seeing the street scenery. They are all happy for me and tell me that I'll be out soon. I want a camera to record my emotions and what I see.

Being able to see the streets makes me cherish freedom even more. I'm determined to fight against my deportation.


Blogger T4L said...

Wow...I live this life you talk about seeing, yet I do not have as much appreciation as you do.

I am amazed about the spirit you have within you and and comend you for not becomming full of hate while you were "raised" in prison.

May the Lord bless you - and Keep you in the USA.

8:11 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban sunglasses, louboutin shoes, rolex watches, tory burch outlet, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin, tiffany and co, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, air max, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online sale, jordan shoes, louboutin, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet stores, uggs, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, ugg outlet, prada handbags, replica watches, cheap uggs, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, longchamp handbags, tiffany and co, prada outlet, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet, nike shoes, uggs outlet, polo ralph lauren, louboutin outlet, louis vuitton handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, gucci outlet, air max, longchamp handbags, oakley sunglasses

6:07 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion jeans, air max pas cher, michael kors, hogan outlet, coach purses, timberland, nike roshe run pas cher, hollister, louboutin, nike tn, michael kors uk, kate spade handbags, longchamp, air jordan, coach outlet, kate spade outlet, nike free pas cher, coach outlet store online, vans pas cher, polo lacoste, hollister, vanessa bruno, ray ban sunglasses, converse pas cher, air max, sac burberry, polo ralph lauren, new balance pas cher, chanel handbags, sac hermes, true religion jeans, sac guess, nike air force, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, michael kors pas cher, true religion outlet, north face, sac longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, oakley pas cher, north face, lululemon outlet online, nike blazer

6:17 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ghd, reebok outlet, air max, beats by dre, wedding dresses, nike roshe, lululemon outlet, jimmy choo outlet, north face outlet, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, new balance shoes, nike free, mulberry, baseball bats, mont blanc, ferragamo shoes, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys, p90x, hollister, giuseppe zanotti, birkin bag, abercrombie and fitch, babyliss pro, vans shoes, longchamp, nike air max, ralph lauren, nike trainers, nike huaraches, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, instyler, hollister clothing store, herve leger, celine handbags, north face jackets, mac cosmetics, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, nike roshe run, air max, insanity workout, nfl jerseys

6:41 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

hollister, michael kors outlet online, ugg, sac lancel, pandora charms, louis vuitton, timberland boots, coach outlet store online, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, ugg boots, pandora jewelry, ugg, converse, toms shoes, swarovski, ugg, oakley, converse shoes, vans, supra shoes, thomas sabo, louis vuitton uk, ralph lauren, sac louis vuitton, rolex watches, ray ban, wedding dresses, gucci, michael kors handbags, sac louis vuitton, air max, swarovski crystal, marc jacobs, doke gabbana, louboutin, michael kors outlet, iphone cases, karen millen, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture, abercrombie, links of london, montre homme

6:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home