PO Box by Robert Ragan

By now you know me. Once again I was in trouble and made a mockery out of it. Out on bail for assault and drug possession, thank God I didn’t have that stolen pistol with me! With the serial numbers filed off, things could have been much worse.

I was fighting but the gun was stashed away at home, I didn’t want to shoot anyone. No, I just wanted to sell it for some dope.

No one breaks into a car in the wee hours of the morning thinking…”I’m gonna find a handgun and go blast someone.”

I ended up on supervised probation. 

When I went by the office to meet my probation officer, much to my surprise I ended up getting a female PO. A bad one, thick, with her red hair in curls. She had light blue eyes.

Instead of taking my punishment seriously, I’m in her office like, “Damn you’re fine.” 

Right away she wasn’t playing any games. Standing up at her desk, she says, “Watch your mouth or I’ll have you locked right back up.” 

Holding both palms up I say, “Sorry, I was just paying you a compliment.” 

Tossing her hair back proudly she says, “I’m married to a real man. I don’t need any criminal lowlife scumbags paying me compliments.”

Right away, she got to all the ways she was gonna make my life a living hell for a year. Not to mention the probation fees. First of all, Officer Danielle Dunn told me that she could pay me a random visit at any given time. 

“You mean a booty call,” I said. 

Snapping she says, “Keep it up loser. You don’t believe I will lock your ass back up do you?” 

In addition to random visits was the fact that I would be subject to random drug testing. It would be okay, I just couldn’t let the bitch catch me slipping. What did I do? Well, let’s just say I wasn’t expecting her to show up the very next day. 

Thank God I hadn’t smoked yet that day. The bowl was packed and stashed in a dresser drawer. 

She said, “I was just in the area and wanted to find out where you live.” 

Testing her again I’m like, “Damn baby, you brought the handcuffs and everything.” 

Without missing a beat, she said, “Yeah, but when I slap ‘em on you, you’re going straight to jail.”

The night before my first appointment I stayed up all night studying for the drug test. I was drinking two-liter bottles of water, online there was an article about passing drug screens with Sure-Jell and vinegar. Running out to the grocery store, I bought those items. 

Always one to take everything to the extremes, I didn’t follow directions. Instead of mixing the Sure-Jell with water, I poured a huge glass of straight vinegar and dumped two packets inside the glass. Too bad I didn’t have any booze or I would have thrown a big shot of liquor in there too. Trying to gulp this down, needless to say, wasn’t a very pleasant experience. Somehow in desperation, I managed to make it through it. 

Taking every step to pass this drug test I poured a capful of bleach from a gallon jug. Online it said to chase it with milk. I don’t drink white milk, so why not chase the capful of bleach with another round of vinegar and Sure-Jell. My piss would easily test clean. This combination didn’t settle well with my stomach, so I was up all night pissing, shitting, and drinking more water.

The next morning I was holding out a leak for my big test. By the time she called me into her office, I was about to piss all over myself. Danielle was wearing a nice pink blouse. Her hair, this time, straight and pulled back into a ponytail. 

Right away she said, “You look a little antsy, Mr. Jackson, you haven’t been taking anything to tamper with this test have you?” 

Of course, I denied it. Changing the subject I said, “You look nice today.” 

Surprisingly, this time she said, “Thank you.” 

In my head, I’m like, “Hell yeah!” 

Obviously, I knew there was no chance in hell this woman would have anything to do with me. Still, it was fun talking to my PO that way.

After I pissed, I’m standing there on pins and needles. Watching as she wore rubber gloves to stick a test strip in my urine. Wouldn’t you know the test came back inconclusive? 

She said, “I’m gonna wait a few minutes then test it again.”

Sitting there, I watch as a male PO leads someone down the hall in cuffs. With a fresh test strip, she picks up my cup of piss again. 

I wanted to tell her, “Just turn it up and drink it,” but thought better of it. 

This time she was frustrated. “Obviously, you’ve taken something to tamper with this test,” she said, “It came back inconclusive again.”

Looking at me as if I was on thin ice she says, “I’m gonna wait and test it one more time. If it comes back inconclusive again, I’m gonna count it as a positive and fail you.”

I ask her, “If it keeps coming back inconclusive then why not count it as negative?” 

Looking deep in my eyes, she gets this sly fox smile and says, “You think you’re slick don’t you?” 

Luck was on my side that day. As the third strip come back negative not inconclusive or positive, I wanted to stand there and celebrate like I just spiked a football in the endzone. Instead, I stayed quiet, thinking how studying all night and drinking my concoction paid off.

As she walked me out the door, a couple of male PO’s cut me off and warned me not to disrespect Officer Dunn anymore. “You treat her like a lady…scumbag,” one of them said.

All in all, she wasn’t that bad during our short time together. She never did drop back by my place, lucky for me because I wouldn’t put my hands on a woman in anger. But most days the smell of strong marijuana smoke would have hit her in the face as soon as she stepped through the door.

I guess she agreed that we both needed space. Hell, I skipped two appointments and the bitch didn’t call me, swing by, or anything.

Instead of studying the night before these visits, I was awake adding casualties to my skull’s graveyard of dead brain cells. When 8:00 am rolled around, instead of being at the office, I was home in only my socks and boxers smoking a blunt on the couch watching Sports Center. 

Almost a month had passed and Officer Dunn called right when I was getting high, Her voice was playful and upbeat, “Mr. Jackson, I haven’t heard from you in a while, I’m gonna need you to come by the office first thing in the morning for a drug screen.”

Feeling brave, ready to say to hell with it all, I told Officer Dunn like it was saying, “I will be down there in two weeks to turn myself in and do my suspended sentence,” before hanging up on her. 

I was a big shot to my buddies who heard me say it. I even bragged, “I told that bitch!” Once the laughter faded and things went quiet I said, “She may come out here right now and lock me up, let’s get the fuck out of here.” That’s how I went on the run for two weeks.

Couch surfing mainly staying with this chick. I was hustling hard to get some loot. Picture me outside your local GNC profiling customers for potential stoners. Cutting them off to make my pitch, “Hey you’ll pay like 50 to 60 bucks in there for a drink to pass a piss test.” Holding up a two-liter bottle, I’ve mixed bleach, vinegar, and 10 packets of Sure-Jell. “But you can get this for 20 bucks, guaranteed to at least come back inconclusive or your…well I can’t give you your money back.”

I could have stayed on the run for longer but I wanted to go ahead and get it behind me. A little six-month bid wouldn’t break me. I strutted in the probation office two minutes before they closed, smiling and wearing some sunglasses like I was hot shit. 

Officer Dunn stepped out angered and shouted, “I was just about to send someone after you.” 

Turning myself in, I had nothing to lose, so the plan was to spit all-out game to her, “Go ahead baby, let it out. I like it when you’re angry, you don’t know what you’re missing out on with me.” 

Sarcastically, she says, “Yeah, I’m sure I’d have a great life with a trashy man like you.” 

Again I tell her like it is, “Baby, I can’t promise you a great life, but go buy us a six-pack and I can promise you a good night.” I’m good to go, either way, I just wanted to get drunk. 

Officer Dunn placed me in handcuffs. “Damn baby, I always imagined putting them on you.”

She drove me in her car to the county jail. On the way, from the backseat, I told her, “Your husband can’t fuck you better than I would.”

Knowing she no longer had any power over me sexy Officer Dunn says, “Go ahead, I hope it makes you feel better to be so disgusting towards me. It shows how desperate you really are.”

For a moment she made me feel a foot tall. To fight it I said, “You know, I’d go down on you so good.”

By now she was ignoring me, so I stopped talking. During our first and last walk together up to the Sheriff’s Department I said, “I’m sorry for giving you such a hard time and saying all those nasty things to you, it’s just that you’re pretty, that’s all.”

Smiling she blushed, “It’s okay Mr. Jackson, I get it a lot.”

I wanted to say, “You get a lot of what, dick?” Instead, I let it pass.

Once she turned me over to the C.O’s, Officer Dunn said, “Good luck,” then walked away. 

I was another animal they couldn’t tame, so it was only right that I ended up back in the CAGE.

PO Box

By now you know me. Once again I was in trouble and made a mockery out of it. Out on bail for assault and drug possession, thank God I didn’t have that stolen pistol with me! With the serial numbers filed off, things could have been much worse.

I was fighting but the gun was stashed away at home, I didn’t want to shoot anyone. No, I just wanted to sell it for some dope.

No one breaks into a car in the wee hours of the morning thinking…”I’m gonna find a handgun and go blast someone.”

I ended up on supervised probation. 

When I went by the office to meet my probation officer, much to my surprise I ended up getting a female PO. A bad one, thick, with her red hair in curls. She had light blue eyes.

Instead of taking my punishment seriously, I’m in her office like, “Damn you’re fine.” 

Right away she wasn’t playing any games. Standing up at her desk, she says, “Watch your mouth or I’ll have you locked right back up.” 

Holding both palms up I say, “Sorry, I was just paying you a compliment.” 

Tossing her hair back proudly she says, “I’m married to a real man. I don’t need any criminal lowlife scumbags paying me compliments.”

Right away, she got to all the ways she was gonna make my life a living hell for a year. Not to mention the probation fees. First of all, Officer Danielle Dunn told me that she could pay me a random visit at any given time. 

“You mean a booty call,” I said. 

Snapping she says, “Keep it up loser. You don’t believe I will lock your ass back up do you?” 

In addition to random visits was the fact that I would be subject to random drug testing. It would be okay, I just couldn’t let the bitch catch me slipping. What did I do? Well, let’s just say I wasn’t expecting her to show up the very next day. 

Thank God I hadn’t smoked yet that day. The bowl was packed and stashed in a dresser drawer. 

She said, “I was just in the area and wanted to find out where you live.” 

Testing her again I’m like, “Damn baby, you brought the handcuffs and everything.” 

Without missing a beat, she said, “Yeah, but when I slap ‘em on you, you’re going straight to jail.”

The night before my first appointment I stayed up all night studying for the drug test. I was drinking two-liter bottles of water, online there was an article about passing drug screens with Sure-Jell and vinegar. Running out to the grocery store, I bought those items. 

Always one to take everything to the extremes, I didn’t follow directions. Instead of mixing the Sure-Jell with water, I poured a huge glass of straight vinegar and dumped two packets inside the glass. Too bad I didn’t have any booze or I would have thrown a big shot of liquor in there too. Trying to gulp this down, needless to say, wasn’t a very pleasant experience. Somehow in desperation, I managed to make it through it. 

Taking every step to pass this drug test I poured a capful of bleach from a gallon jug. Online it said to chase it with milk. I don’t drink white milk, so why not chase the capful of bleach with another round of vinegar and Sure-Jell. My piss would easily test clean. This combination didn’t settle well with my stomach, so I was up all night pissing, shitting, and drinking more water.

The next morning I was holding out a leak for my big test. By the time she called me into her office, I was about to piss all over myself. Danielle was wearing a nice pink blouse. Her hair, this time, straight and pulled back into a ponytail. 

Right away she said, “You look a little antsy, Mr. Jackson, you haven’t been taking anything to tamper with this test have you?” 

Of course, I denied it. Changing the subject I said, “You look nice today.” 

Surprisingly, this time she said, “Thank you.” 

In my head, I’m like, “Hell yeah!” 

Obviously, I knew there was no chance in hell this woman would have anything to do with me. Still, it was fun talking to my PO that way.

After I pissed, I’m standing there on pins and needles. Watching as she wore rubber gloves to stick a test strip in my urine. Wouldn’t you know the test came back inconclusive? 

She said, “I’m gonna wait a few minutes then test it again.”

Sitting there, I watch as a male PO leads someone down the hall in cuffs. With a fresh test strip, she picks up my cup of piss again. 

I wanted to tell her, “Just turn it up and drink it,” but thought better of it. 

This time she was frustrated. “Obviously, you’ve taken something to tamper with this test,” she said, “It came back inconclusive again.”

Looking at me as if I was on thin ice she says, “I’m gonna wait and test it one more time. If it comes back inconclusive again, I’m gonna count it as a positive and fail you.”

I ask her, “If it keeps coming back inconclusive then why not count it as negative?” 

Looking deep in my eyes, she gets this sly fox smile and says, “You think you’re slick don’t you?” 

Luck was on my side that day. As the third strip come back negative not inconclusive or positive, I wanted to stand there and celebrate like I just spiked a football in the endzone. Instead, I stayed quiet, thinking how studying all night and drinking my concoction paid off.

As she walked me out the door, a couple of male PO’s cut me off and warned me not to disrespect Officer Dunn anymore. “You treat her like a lady…scumbag,” one of them said.

All in all, she wasn’t that bad during our short time together. She never did drop back by my place, lucky for me because I wouldn’t put my hands on a woman in anger. But most days the smell of strong marijuana smoke would have hit her in the face as soon as she stepped through the door.

I guess she agreed that we both needed space. Hell, I skipped two appointments and the bitch didn’t call me, swing by, or anything.

Instead of studying the night before these visits, I was awake adding casualties to my skull’s graveyard of dead brain cells. When 8:00 am rolled around, instead of being at the office, I was home in only my socks and boxers smoking a blunt on the couch watching Sports Center. 

Almost a month had passed and Officer Dunn called right when I was getting high, Her voice was playful and upbeat, “Mr. Jackson, I haven’t heard from you in a while, I’m gonna need you to come by the office first thing in the morning for a drug screen.”

Feeling brave, ready to say to hell with it all, I told Officer Dunn like it was saying, “I will be down there in two weeks to turn myself in and do my suspended sentence,” before hanging up on her. 

I was a big shot to my buddies who heard me say it. I even bragged, “I told that bitch!” Once the laughter faded and things went quiet I said, “She may come out here right now and lock me up, let’s get the fuck out of here.” That’s how I went on the run for two weeks.

Couch surfing mainly staying with this chick. I was hustling hard to get some loot. Picture me outside your local GNC profiling customers for potential stoners. Cutting them off to make my pitch, “Hey you’ll pay like 50 to 60 bucks in there for a drink to pass a piss test.” Holding up a two-liter bottle, I’ve mixed bleach, vinegar, and 10 packets of Sure-Jell. “But you can get this for 20 bucks, guaranteed to at least come back inconclusive or your…well I can’t give you your money back.”

I could have stayed on the run for longer but I wanted to go ahead and get it behind me. A little six-month bid wouldn’t break me. I strutted in the probation office two minutes before they closed, smiling and wearing some sunglasses like I was hot shit. 

Officer Dunn stepped out angered and shouted, “I was just about to send someone after you.” 

Turning myself in, I had nothing to lose, so the plan was to spit all-out game to her, “Go ahead baby, let it out. I like it when you’re angry, you don’t know what you’re missing out on with me.” 

Sarcastically, she says, “Yeah, I’m sure I’d have a great life with a trashy man like you.” 

Again I tell her like it is, “Baby, I can’t promise you a great life, but go buy us a six-pack and I can promise you a good night.” I’m good to go, either way, I just wanted to get drunk. 

Officer Dunn placed me in handcuffs. “Damn baby, I always imagined putting them on you.”

She drove me in her car to the county jail. On the way, from the backseat, I told her, “Your husband can’t fuck you better than I would.”

Knowing she no longer had any power over me sexy Officer Dunn says, “Go ahead, I hope it makes you feel better to be so disgusting towards me. It shows how desperate you really are.”

For a moment she made me feel a foot tall. To fight it I said, “You know, I’d go down on you so good.”

By now she was ignoring me, so I stopped talking. During our first and last walk together up to the Sheriff’s Department I said, “I’m sorry for giving you such a hard time and saying all those nasty things to you, it’s just that you’re pretty, that’s all.”

Smiling she blushed, “It’s okay Mr. Jackson, I get it a lot.”

I wanted to say, “You get a lot of what, dick?” Instead, I let it pass.

Once she turned me over to the C.O’s, Officer Dunn said, “Good luck,” then walked away. 

I was another animal they couldn’t tame, so it was only right that I ended up back in the CAGE.

Robert Ragan, from Lillington NC, has fiction published at Vext magazine, Synchronized Chaos, Punk Noir Magazine, Yellow Mama Webzine, Close To The Bone, and Switchblade Magazine. He also has two story collections Mannequin Legs And Other Tales and It’s Only Art. Both published by Alien Buddha Press.