Never Forget.

It was no ordinary day.
I didn’t know that yet.
I didn’t realize it until much later.
I woke up, like I was told.
I brushed my teeth, like I was told.
I made my rack, like I was told.
I waited, like I was told.

It was no ordinary day.
“Throgmorton, pack it up. You have 10 minutes.”
5 minutes later an approximately 250 lb, 6’3″ correctional officer was standing over me, shouting “Why aren’t you ready, you fucking retard?”
I only hear him because he is shouting.
I am currently trying to figure out what shapes the viens in his arms are making.
I am wondering if those “vitamins” I see him take so often are “steroids”.
I force myself to follow his orders.
He has told me before he would “kill” me.
I have no way of knowing if he is telling me the truth.
I have no reason to doubt him, either.
I had, in those 3 weeks, witnessed more child abuse, than I had ever endured.
There were no rules.
I had no “rights”.
I was “under 18”.
The “State of Indiana” was my mother and my father.

It was no ordinary day.
My adoptive parents, “The State Of Indiana” had told me I would be moving today.
“North Central Juvenile Detention Facility”.
The “Gladiator Dome” as it was described by my adolescent peers.
I got naked, as I was told.
I let them touch me, as I was told.
I let them shackle my hands and then my legs, as I was told.
I let them fasten my hands to a chain around my stomach, as I was told.
I walked in line, as I was told.

It was no ordinary day.
We weren’t allowed to talk on the bus.
We weren’t allowed to talk once off the bus, either.
We weren’t allowed to talk.
I exited the big yellow vehicle and gazed around the premises.
So many new things.
So many familiar.
I walk in line, like I am told.
I sit down, like I am told.
I wait, like I am told.

It was no ordinary day.
I see commotion in it’s beginnings.
Something is wrong.
The employees of the “State” are acting differently.
Something has them distracted.
“There’s been an attack!” one officer shouts.
“Turn on the news!” from another.
On the screen, there was a building on fire.
Random clips of people running to and fro.
Then back to the building on fire.
Random clips.
Building on fire.
Something was very, very wrong.
Aside from my still being in restraints.

It was no ordinary day.
It was the day the world changed.
The was also day the world changed everything my 16 year old brain had known to be true about  words like “freedom”, “justice”, “law” and “order”.
Not because the building was on fire.
Not because the people were running.
Not because I sat there, in those shackles and handcuffs padlocked to a chain around my waist, for 3 and a half hours, while the officers watched the “news”.
Not even because the first word that escaped my mouth about the restraints was met with violence and humiliation.
I changed because I was told to.
I was told to do things “or else” for 2 years after that.
“Or else” was often enforced whether I did what I was told or not.

It was no ordinary day.
It was the day I realized that “violence of action” is the least favored tactic, but the most effective and…

I will never forget.

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