My New Year’s Day in Jail

On New Year’s Day 2014, before I’d had a chance to settle on my resolutions, I was thrown in jail.

The day began full of resolve: by noon I had gotten in an hour of research on my new book, a quick workout, and started the dinner we were serving to homeless youth that evening for my son’s volunteer project (quiche I’d picked up at the farmer’s market, Greek roasted potatoes, black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day, green salad with a lemon vinaigrette, rolls, and maybe a dessert I’d pick up somewhere in the afternoon). Shortly after noon I headed out in my morning disheveled state to pick up my son from a sleepover at a friend’s house. Tooling up Scott Boulevard on a sunny day with little traffic, I was thinking about the social dynamics of serving and sharing a meal with homeless kids. (Would their parents be there too? Would it be awkward to have another group of do-gooders dropping by? What is it like to have no real private space? Would this all be for them deep down humiliating or gratifying?). And then I spotted the cop perched alongside the road and I quickly looked at my odometer. I was going 57 in a 40-mile zone (!) Continue reading