.... He’d said the same thing to three others that night, each of them coming into jail for the first time. I recognized the emotion behind it—he was trying to convince them that he wasn’t just part of the system, that he was a human being in a hollow place. I used to work in such a place; I used to talk the same kind of bullshit.
.... I wasn’t sure how to feel about this. I felt gratitude; I also saw it as just one more way they get you on their side, get you dependent on them.
.... When you’re in a place like this you walk, sit, eat, answer questions or silently wait according to their schedule, the schedule of the institution, and a friendly individual will get you hooked on the smallest taste of human decency so that you start to think of that particular cop—the cop who lets you keep your clothes on, the cop who flips you a book of matches—as my cop. You watch him move behind the desk with the others; you feel a small sense of panic when he drifts out of sight. His face is the face of Daddy, Uncle, God; the other guards, acolytes of the institution, are bland, unfriendly blobs. ...
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