BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Squidgate Trial Part 5

“Sorry whatever your name is. Did my best.”



The jury was polled. We could tell there were a few who weren’t happy about the outcome, but had most likely caved on a technicality. As mentioned earlier, it was a question of those twelve seconds, though exactly why the conflicting order issue got sidelined, I don’t know.

We sat there crestfallen and waited for Adair to thank and dismiss the jury. Then came scheduling for the sentencing hearing. The judge wanted the second week in April as I recall, about a month away. Doug had a federal murder case to defend and tried to move it. Adair suggested leaving it there and seeing if Doug’s other case stuck to the schedule.

I went outside, put on my sunglasses and started preparing for whatever came next. I was unemployed and single. My partner had agreed to let me move out after taxes were due mid-April. I suppose I expected to reconcile at some point soon anyway, so didn’t exactly expect that to happen. The thought of moving to Port Huron to coordinate visitations for Caitlyn occurred to me, as well as visiting Pete as often as he could stand the sight of me.

As you might imagine, I became quite emotional. The worst case scenario had just come to pass it seemed. I was out front of the courthouse and waited to say goodbye.

Before Doug and Peter and the rest of the Canadian contingent walked out, Beaudry, Dupuis and the other male guard did. Beaudry and Dupuis were also wearing sunglasses. Were also in tears. Yes. Believe it or not. The third guard was not and seemed 100% bewildered by this.

Here’s where it gets confusing for me personally.

As they walked by, I said, “Guys…it’s okay. I have family who are cops…soldiers. Just doing your job. I understand. It’s not personal.”

Beaudry said, “Oh, no, it never is. You’re a friend of Peter Watts or something?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

There was a great deal of subtext there in the tone. We were both sad, I assure you, that it turned out the way it did. Among the other things I touched on, we had all turned the jury into the enemy for taking so long. Additionally, I think the truth, that this was a man’s life being controlled here over a border stop, finally sunk in with these kids (whatshisname with the mustache notwithstanding).

So. Was I faking it? Acting? Was I lying? Playing Beaudry?

Or was I serious?

To tell you the truth, I don’t know. It’s incredibly tempting to say that I knew exactly what I was doing, that it was planned or masterfully improvised.

Certainly I had been thinking that some kind of reconciliation might end the whole thing. But why now? All that was left was the sentence. There was talk of up to two years with a possibility of a third over a technicality.

I eventually ran into Doug, Peter and Caitlyn. We discussed the possibility of my coming back in April.

“I’m planning on possibly being in California next month. Being an American and no sense of geography, I have no idea how far that is.”

“About 2,000 miles,” Doug offered.

“2,000 miles…?”

It was after leaving them that I realized I was out of gas and that my checking account for which the debit card worked was low. Called the ex. The answer in a roundabout way was “f*** off.” I went back to the Come Sail Away Cafe to say goodbye to the ladies there and try to figure out how to transfer money from the account with some money for which the debit card did not work to the empty one for which it did.

There, the ladies let me use their laptop to take care of the banking business.

And they cried when I told them the verdict.

After that was done, I was off. Stopped off at Stratford to see the theater. Then back to the road, Brooklyn, living with someone who wishes me dead, and taxes (note the two certainties there).

And it was a dark drive back to New York. You can read about it in the border crossing entries, how the guard at Buffalo was so disgusted when he asked why I had been there and the outcome that he simply aborted the entry search and let me go.

And there was the stop at the roadside diner where a truck driver about three times my size was so frightened of me he babbled on about Ted Bundy and Vlad Tsepesh to some other stranger in the diner. His hands shook and his brow beaded with sweat (maybe he was using coke or speed to stay awake on a long drive).

There were still some letters to write as well. Back to NY to think about them.

Of course I wound up being kicked out well before I could do my taxes. It was an imperative by the ex who could not put into words apart from, “You have no idea how relieved I am that you are leaving.” And I was off to Minneapolis.

Still thinking I had colon cancer of some sort.

April. I can make it to April.

To be continued…


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