Chapter 31: In Which I Officially Become A Delinquent

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All I can say is enjoy this chapter—I certainly enjoyed writing it!

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1 December 1960

I tapped the pen against my nose. Prison held a lack of entertainment, and I had ended up reverting to the ancient tradition of writing. There were a million things happening right now. I decided to make a bullet list rather than write an elaborate description. I had always liked to fill in those little cards that said name, date, address, making up little characters with imaginary lives. John liked to to things of this sort—I remember that we had gone into a little antique shop that had you put in a card for communication, and on the space for name he had written "Mr. Blowjob."

Well, I thought, shaking my head at the memory, trying to get rid of the particular lilt of his laugh, I'm certainly in a much less definite position that I was that day.

Paul and Pete set fire to condom, Koschmider gets angry and we end up getting deported from Germany. Currently sitting outside in the waiting room, waiting to use the phone. We each get one phone call. I get to go first since I'm a lady.

I smiled and smoothed out my jade dress. It had gotten somewhat wrinkled in the night while I had slept—I was not going to strip in the cell—but it somehow made it shine brighter, perhaps in the midst of all the gray.

I thought a little, and then, I'm going to decide to call John.

The person on the phone finally walked away—an elderly man with a limp—and I neared the phone. The man made me think of John—again—John didn't like the disabled. No, that was the wrong way to put it. The disabled made him uncomfortable, vulnerable. "They remind me that we're all going to die one day," he had said, the words coming out of his mouth like bullets before he hastily changed the subject and made an unrelated joke, but his grip on my hand had tightened. I remembered the time I got sick when I first arrived in Hamburg and his seemingly hostile reaction, and his apology in the form of a melodic tune.

I mean, who else can I call? What's the use of calling George? I know nobody in Germany, or in the world, really. I am an alien. Let Paul or Pete have the important call—let them tell their family or something. I stopped writing and stuffed the little card in my pocketbook. The entry had been more of a laborious story than I had intended it to be.

I walked to the little phone booth and dialed the Top Ten, letting it ring for a while before a drawling male voice said, "Winston Churchill speaking."

"John!"

"Y/n! Are ye calling from Mars? Is that where the lot of you went gallivanting off to last night?"

"Try prison. Davidwache police station."

Silence.

"Yeah," I said conversationally into the silence. "Paul and Pete decided to set a condom on fire and Koschmider got angry and reported them to the police. Also, it's sunny today."

"Fuck him," John said into the phone. "First Geo and now this?"

I giggled on my end, leaning against the counter and winding the coil around my finger, feeling like one of those fifties posters advertising phones, except the ads weren't usually illustrated with a sign that said Davidwache police station in the background. "Y'know, Lennon, I imagined you saying that the whole ride here, and when we were being interviewed, and when they were searching us. Fuck him, fuck him, fuck him..."

He let out a laugh. "Oh, y/n, you're so, so, bad. Whatever happened to Ms. Posh that I met back in Chiswick?"

"Chiswick isn't so posh!" I said defensively. "You are from Mendips—right? More middle class than the others, as I recall." I heard a slight rustle on the other end. "Ha. You know I have you there, Lennon."

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