Once inside the shack, a mud room with a single hanging light bulb, we were forced to sit.
Then my possessions were taken from me.
Itemization, the first step in being successfully processed, had begun.
Power bank w/charging cable.
portable wifi hub.
My Wes Anderson belt.
Parker pen. (not sponsoring this post)
My Chinese Lacoste wallet. (Sponsoring this post)
7,000 CDF (roughly 5$)
A notebook with all my weird secrets.
Lip chap. (Seriously)
And my Night Fury Mini backpack.
What they didn’t know about was the African Nokia I was hiding above the hem in my famed Ethiopian dress pants.
What I didn’t know was that I was being watched by soldiers outside.
There were four armed guards in the room, plus their leader.
Let’s call him, Rapey Gary.
Because of the situation, I decided to stare at the guards.
Mine was a deep unyielding eye contact.
I refused to look away.
Once I made a guard uncomfortable he started talking to himself.
Once that happened, I counted it as a win.
One guard, the drunk one, even asked Rapey Gary to get me to stop.
Then he threatened to shoot me.
The items they confiscated were strewn out on the table and my money started to disappear.
Rapey Gary, was paying his men with it. “Get water, here’s 1000” “Get me smokes, here’s 1000”
And these dirty motherfuckers were thanking Rapey Gary.
This was all happening in front of me.
Like stealing from me was a joke.
The military police were stealing from a detained prisoner, without charge, then laughing about it.
I was seething.
“Where’s your other phone?” Celeste whispered to me
“I’m hiding it” I whispered back.
“Give it to Michelle” he said.
So I took my phone from my secret hiding place and slid it on the crusty floor.
It made a loud scratchy sound.
“Michelle, look down” I said panicked.
Instead of looking down, he looked confused.
A young man burst through the open door.
He saw me.
The place erupted in chaos.
The kid soilder, realizing the severity of his contribution to the situation said “I’m sorry” in sincere English to which I responded “fuck you“.
“What?” he whispered
“Fuuuck you” I said softly.
The room was hot.
Lots of guns.
Lots of emotion
It was in this moment that I fully realized the injustice of what was happening, to both me and my friends.
I took a deep breath and screamed as loud as I could, louder truthfully, than I ever have.
I kept screaming until my voice shaped the words “I’m a man! I’m a man! I’M A MAN!.”
I pounded my chest with pure instinct.
The guard with a devil tattoo on his chest began repeating my words back to me in strange mimicked english, an intonation vaguely similar to someone waking from a confused dream.
“I am a man I am a man.” He repeated.
I closed my eyes.
This isn’t going to go away, I conceded.
Very soon I was being pushed through tall grass and mud toward a long building.
A full harvest moon was high over head, it’s soft unwavering light punched its way into the dark grass giving me awareness.
For this, I was deeply grateful.
My interest in the full moon however, caused the guards to audibly panic.
Remember, I’m called Jesus Christ here.
Everything I do is regarded as mystic.
Once inside the structure I sat on the floor.
Head between them.
Content to rub my Alligator rope bracelet till morning.
It all started with “Muzungu!”
I didn’t respond.
I refused to raise my head.
The guard standing over me leaned down and squeezed my pocket, looking for money, like a Rat looks for garbage.
I sat still.
Then the other pocket.
Squeeze squeeze squeeze.
Then this fucking guy started grabbing my dick.
I lost my mind!
I shot up, causing him to stumble backwards.
In one motion I took off my shirt.
He stepped away while panic pawing at his rifle.
I pulled my pants down showing him and the other guards my giant cock.
Just a giant dick.
I pointed at the guard who felt me up.
I was shaking.
It was pure adrenaline, the kind I’ve never tasted, the kind I didn’t think was naturally possible.
Standing naked pointing at men with guns watching them run away from me, FALL OVER one another trying to get away from me, was my most powerful moment.
Perhaps it was the full moon in Pieces? Or that it was my half birthday? Or These very superstitious man babies thought I was going to rip into a werewolf!
Then Rapey Gary showed up, and started taking photos of me.
Cause y’know, he’s a raper.
I sat down and watched mosquitos circle the head of my dick.
This might have been a mistake, I thought.
They took my clothes and wouldn’t give them back.
For hours I was naked in a building with large windows but no screens, in the DRC.
The mosquitos terrorized me.
The guards took my Alligator bracelet and started preforming some sort of ritual on it.
They put two sticks over it making a cross, covered it with dirt and ash then took turns spitting on it.
But I chose to be completely naked in a military instillation in Congo, who gives a fuck what I think is weird?
Rapey Gary started yelling at me, I stood up and got in his face.
I think he was trying to assert dominance over me. His men were after all, hiding from me.
I think he wanted to remind them I was a prisoner.
His screaming went up an octave, when I challenged him.
He was rapidly moving his hands in my face, like pointing but with all four fingers.
We were close. Inches away. So I stepped toward him.
He stepped back and put his wild hand in my face.
I smiled and shook my head yes, I was going to get to hurt this man.
He’s going to hit me and I’m going to fucking eat him, I thought.
But he didn’t.
He calmed down.
Rapey Gary gave me back my clothes.
He wanted to shake my hand.
Did he respect my disobedience.
Soon I was fully clothed. Sitting in a chair, having my first ever cigarette with five of my greatest enemies.
The molester however, stayed away.
News of this strange event rippled outward, and in the morning I was moved to 14 région militaire, another jail.