Prologue: Caged

(February 19, 1969)


I was caged.

Then, I was driven.

Driven to Cherokee.

A hazy memory of riding caged in the back of a police car.

Two shadows in the front seat, the county sheriff and a female escort.

Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” buzzing from a tinny transistor radio.

Outside, the Iowa landscape bleak:

Cloudy and cold, condensation and frost riming the windows, piles of dirty snow dotting the countryside.

I, cargo.

Destination: Cherokee’s other place, the outline on the hill.

Shifting, crossing my legs…

Please, can we stop?

Hot and steamy inside.

Shivering, my teeth rattling.

Please…I have to go!

Hear something, George?

Naw, nothin’ important.


Cargo has no voice.

Madness has no voice.

Listen, crazy girl…

Two voices: We have come to take you away, ha, ha…

“I’m crazy, crazy…”

Fragments, crazy-quilt impressions, acid flashbacks…

I, crazy?

* * * * *

From I, Driven: a memoir of involuntary commitment ("Prologue")

© 2008-2010, by Jennifer Semple Siegel

Excerpt may not be used or copied without author’s permission.


Additional excerpts, out takes, and new essays


Most Recent Post


Monday, June 23, 2008

Excerpt: Cops


January 1969


I hear from Levi that Stoney might not come back, after all, at least any time soon.

Evidently, New York, cop wise, is super cool right now. L.A.’s too hot.

Levi’s right. When I get home from Cecil’s, two cops wait outside the pad.

“We’re looking for Stoney.”

“He’s not here.”

“May we look around your apartment?”

I might appear innocent, but I’m not stupid. “I don’t think so.”

The two cops look at each other meaningfully. “Well, you pass along to Mr. Stoney we’ve got our eye on him,” one says as he gives me his card. “If you got any information, give us a call.”

I drop the card into my coat without looking at it.

“If you cooperate, we’ll see what we can do for you.”

A threat.

“Nothing to tell.”

Please, God, please don’t let my voice doesn’t betray my terror.

“You think about it.”

After the cops leave, my knees turn to rubber. I’m lonely and sad without Stoney, and also scared shitless the cops’ll get a warrant and raid the pad. God knows what Stoney’s left stashed without my knowledge.

The cops’ll find it for sure, and I’ll get busted for possession, not Stoney.

How could he leave me in such a predicament?

More excerpts


Excerpt from I, Driven: memoir of a teen’s involuntary commitment (Part I: “Going to Cherokee,” Chapter Ten)

Text copyright 2008, Jennifer Semple Siegel

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated.

"Jennifer Juniper," Donovan Leitch, 1968 (YouTube)

Jefferson Airplane


Jefferson Airplane: "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love"

Jefferson Airplane performing live both "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. More