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.


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Monday, July 7, 2008

Excerpt (Chapter 2): Weed and Seeds

(December 1968)
Still waiting for Stoney, but it’s early yet. I just got up–I slept 14 hours straight. So tired...I just crashed in the middle of writing a letter to Jeff.

I’m going to cut back the dope–wish Stoney would too. He can be difficult, especially when he’s high. He’s careless with his dope, leaving it all over the apartment. The other day, when I picked up a newspaper, weed and seeds fell all over the floor, and I had to pick it all up by hand. What if the cops come? We’d never flush that shit down fast enough.

God, I’m so worried about him–he’s bringing back a lot of acid, hiding it in his coat lining. I think the heat is onto him–it’s only a matter of time before the cops nail him. We might both end up in jail, and that would really freak my grandparents out.


© 2008, by Jennifer Semple Siegel

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


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