Thursday, March 17, 2005

eddy zheng's hearing

this isn’t LA Law or Law and Order or the Rainmaker, this is just a courtroom, musky and brown, three rows of benches, the slow hum of a fan, the grey sky flirting through a window, and men handcuffed to each other, draped in dusty red outfits, each with a different set of wrinkles on their face, one looks like my high school math teacher, with a moustache that swings across his lip and hair that doesn’t seem to grow, but rather trips out of his scalp, falling lazily to the side; another has shy eyes and short hair and a nose that sticks gently out. the man i came to see sits next to him. i can’t breathe for a second when we make eye-contact – it’s strange to face an imprisoned man, slightly stranger to also see that he is asian, the slow curl of his frown looking like mine.

we stand in the back, we’re around 50 heads strong in number, all there to support eddy and his deportation case. the wait is unnerving – i watch quietly as the judge sentences several defendants to be deported back to Mexico. they are non-US citizens, and they are to be deported after serving their sentence for a felony. you can almost see them gutted as the judge sentences to be taken away within 24 hours – they waive their rights to a fair trial, to an attorney… what’s left seems to be a skin standing where a man/woman/youth/mother/father/son used to be, light, and ready to be taken with the wind.

and this is me, as always, trying to make things sound like a poem. but it’s isn’t – it’s just a stamp on a paper and a move on to the next person, another man, perhaps my age, my height, my eyes, but perhaps not, who might fight for his right to stay in the country, or might not. and i don’t know, i don't know.

eddy zheng’s case will continue for several weeks. i will update more as i get updates.