Dream of: 23 October 1996 "A Friend In Jail"

I had come to a large building constructed of dark dull-red bricks, a building which looked like an old school house from the outside. I had descended immediately to the basement, to an area which had been partitioned into separate dormitory-style rooms and a large living area. It was now late afternoon, and I had already been here earlier in the day to visit someone who was staying here: Salvador Ibarra.

I knew that at the back of the living area was also a jail, and that Salvador was now in the jail, having been taken to the jail right before my eyes when I had been visiting him in the morning. I had now returned to try to have Salvador released on bond.

The place seemed empty except for one woman sitting in the reception area. She was a tall slender woman with dark hair. She was dressed in black and was probably in her mid 30s. I stepped up to her and began explaining why I was here. I told her I was a lawyer, and I was here to see about having Salvador Ibarra released on bond. I asked her if Salvador could be brought out to the living room, and she replied that he couldn't.

I continued talking and she listened to me, but she didn't seem particularly interested. She seemed more interested in letting me know who she was, and I quickly learned that she was also a lawyer, and that she apparently only helped out occasionally at this place. I had the feeling that she felt that since she and I were both lawyers, we shared in some common knowledge of the world of lawyers and that we could communicate on that level. I, however, since I now practiced little law, didn't have this same feeling, and indeed I felt outside the world of lawyers. However, I knew exactly why I was here, and I intended to do my best to accomplish the task at hand.

I had to stumble around quite a bit at first. I thought perhaps the woman had the authority to grant a bond. I explained to her that I had been here earlier in the day when Salvador had been arrested. I also explained that Salvador had been staying at this place for three weeks before today, and that he had been free to come and go. I also explained that after the arrest this morning, I had talked to another woman who had been in charge at that time, about the possibility of bond, but that no bond had yet been granted. I also explained that Salvador was a good risk for a bond, that he hadn't been accused of any violent crime, and that he had no record whatsoever of being a danger to anyone.

The woman wanted to know more about the offense with which Salvador was charged. Particularly, she wanted to know where it had occurred. I wasn't quite clear on the nature of the offense myself, but I told her it had occurred in El Salvador. She looked around for a moment, then pulled out a scarf which apparently had a map of Central America on it. She opened the scarf up to a section and showed it to me, but I quickly saw that she had opened it to a section of southern Mexico in the region of Chiapas. I had her unfold the scarf further until I could see El Salvador.

I looked closely at the map of El Salvador, trying to locate the place for which I was searching, but as I looked, I wasn't even thinking about El Salvador – I was thinking about Iran. My mind had become jumbled, and I was looking for the place in Iran where I had been in jail for eight months in 1978-1979. I tried to see the names of cities on the map, tried to relate them to the names of cities in Iran near where I had been incarcerated.

Finally I pointed to an area east of San Salvador and I told the woman that that was the area for which we were looking. Although I didn't actually recognize any of the place names, I knew that was the general area which I was trying to point out to her.

When I had finished showing her the place on the map, the woman finally informed me that she had no authority to grant bonds, that I must go see a judge on one of the upper floors to obtain a bond. That suddenly made perfect sense to me, and I asked the woman which judge I should see. She pulled out a purse and began digging through it, apparently looking for the name. At the same time she asked me if I had taken part the previous week in some kind of special program to get people out of jail. Of course I had no idea of what she was talking about. She mentioned that she had had a client who had been in jail for staying late at school. That seemed somewhat confusing to me, and I thought maybe she meant her client had been in jail for coming late to school. Whatever the reason, it seemed like a rather petty matter for an attorney to be involved with. At any rate, she told me she had been able to have her client released.

She finally came up with the name of a judge and asked me if I knew him. I replied that I didn't recognize the name. She then gave me the name of a second judge, a "judge Kensington." I thought the name sounded familiar, and I told her I thought I would go see him.

On the wall of the room was a mirror, and before I turned to go, I looked into it. I wasn't dressed very lawyerly, but what I was wearing was acceptable. I did have on a shirt and tie and a jacket, but I also appeared to have on some other garments, perhaps a sweater and maybe even a second jacket, along with a beige trench coat. It was too much, but it didn't look that bad. However one item of clothing didn't seem quite appropriate: in my hand I was carrying what appeared to be a cloth orangish-yellow pilot's cap, the kind that would fit snugly over the entire head except for the face. I must have taken it off when I had come into the building. Obviously this wouldn't be something I would want to put back on if I were going to see a judge.

Ready to leave, I turned again to the woman, and referring to judge Kensington, I asked, "Do you know what room he's in?" She quickly replied, "439 I think." I assumed that meant that the judge was on the fourth floor, and I turned to leave.

As I headed out I began to think of what I would say to the judge. I would explain that I didn't normally practice law anymore, and therefore I was a bit unsure of my footing in this matter. I also thought about what I would say if he asked me to be personally responsible for Salvador's bond. I thought I would be unable to agree to that, and I wouldn't be able to tell the judge that I thought there was a good chance that Salvador might leave the country, and that I didn't want to be stuck with paying the bond.

I also thought the judge might ask me how I had met Salvador, and I tried to remember that. At first I thought Carolina had introduced us, but then I realized it had been just the opposite, that Salvador had introduced Carolina to me. Thinking further, I now remembered how I had first met Salvador, at a place in Dallas called Proyecto Adelante, a place involved in obtaining political asylum for people from Central America. I had gone there with the intention of volunteering my services to help someone obtain asylum, and Salvador had approached me and asked me to help him. I had then successfully prosecuted his political asylum case for him. It was a long time ago, but I remembered it clearly.

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