I’ve started working on the section about the Penitentiary on Blackwell’s Island (backstory: I’m writing a book about Blackwell’s Island for Algonquin Books). I find this great quote by Charles Dickens describing the stripes the men wore, and I wondered if the women wore stripes as well. But I couldn’t find a reference to what the women wore anywhere, not in decades of annual reports, or newspaper articles, etc. I also couldn’t find a single photograph of the female prisoners, although I found a couple of drawings, which kinda looked like the women’s dresses were striped, but it looked more like the technique they used to employ for shading.
Then I remember I have this great article by Emma Goldman, who spent a year in the Penitentiary. Surely she would think to include a detail like that! I’m looking around on my computer, but I don’t immediately find it. Where did I put it? And what was the title again?
Here’s the part that proves my brain no longer works. Recap: I’m specifically trying to find out if the women wore stripes. So, I suddenly remember the title of Goldman’s article. It’s, “My Year in Stripes.” But do I realize then that I now have my answer?? NO. I was just happy I remembered the title, and I read through the article, not realizing until I got to the line about what they wore that the answer was in the title. Idiot!
An arrest I recently walked by in the 14th Street subway station.
4 thoughts on “Proof My Brain No Longer Works”
I think your brain works just fine.
As for the arrest, I’m confused. Where are the cops? I can’t believe that any of the people I see there are cops, not even the orange shoelaces guy whose feet we can see.
NONE of them looked like cops. They all looked like they were around 18.
I would be scared to death to be arrested by people who don’t remotely look like cops. I would be thinking the whole time that terrible things were going to happen to me because they couldn’t be cops. If I had the wherewithal, I’d even resist arrest, thinking they weren’t cops. What kind of hell is that to put people through? (A rhetorical question – I wouldn’t think you had the answer!) Good grief.
Yeah. Anybody could say they were cops. I’m sure they showed their badges, but anybody could fake a badge. It’s scary to think of.