The Moment It All Changes four-part, first-hand account of what happens when one decision affect you for the rest of your life. Catch up with part one!
“If you don’t piss in this cup, Iâ€™ll keep you here for seven years.”
Iâ€™d seen enough “CSI” to know that this was a form of entrapment since I knew my test results would show positive for marijuana use, but I also knew that they had found a marijuana seed in my pocket. If the airport police wanted to hold me on charges, they easily could. I wasn’t sure what to say to the man standing in front of me, but when you’ve been sitting in a holding cell forever with no idea where you are, living on bread and water and little sleep, the idea of staying there for another seven years was enough for me to consider peeing all over this man’s white robes R. Kelly-style if that’s what he wanted.
Instead, I just filled up the cup for him and returned to the holding cell. I still couldn’t believe that I was in Dubai somewhere stuck inside a tiny cell that had a hole in the ground for a toilet. I had no idea how long I had been there, I had been brought in by the same officers who had detained me at the airport, and they hadn’t been very forthcoming about my situation. A few hours later a different guard came in and took me to another office where a senior officer awaited me. He sat me down and read over the report from the airport. Smiling the whole time, he told me that the amount of contraband I was carrying was such a small amount that there was no need to be worried. He asked me what I was doing in Dubai and what my profession was. When I explained I was a DJ who was from America, he said not to worry and that I would be returned home as soon as possible. With that he called in the other officer and gave him some orders in Arabic. The new guard took me out of the office and downstairs into a waiting van. My plane ticket wasn’t even scheduled until the next night but I didn’t care, I figured I’d wait in the airport for a week rather then spend another second in that dirty cell.
The driver of the van reassured me that I’d be on the way home soon, we just had ‘to make one more stop and then your journey will be finished.’
We drove through the night on the highway finally arriving at the airport again. I was taken into the same tiny office where I was given back my luggage. I sat there by myself for some time wondering when they would give me my ticket and passport. I could see the airport terminal from where I was and, after the last few days, it felt like a miracle.
After about an hour another officer entered and told me to follow him with my bags. I asked him where my ticket and passport were, and he assured me that they would be given back to me. Like the van driver, he assured me that after one more stop we would return to the airport so that I could depart. I thought to myself, ‘We are already here’ but I wasnâ€™t going to argue with him after the ordeal Iâ€™d been through.
The van drove through the airport past more terminals and gateways until we arrived at a small building surrounded by a fence. The driver pulled in and told me to take my bags with me inside. I was led into another small office where another guard was seated at yet another desk. He asked me to sit down and asked my name and case.
“Do you have any valuables or cell phone? I will need those if you do,” he said.
“What do you mean? Where is my passport and ticket? The man who drove me here said I was to be taken home?” I asked.
“I don’t know anything about that, I’m here to take you to jail,” he said.
You ever have a feeling that you’ve been living a bad dream for three days straight? This was that moment.
“What are you talking about? They told me it was a such small amount that it was no problem!” I said.
“No no no, here in Dubai, small amount? Biiiig problem,” he said, stretching the last words out as a smile spread across his face.
“What do you mean? It was two seeds? So small?” I asked.
“No problem my friend don’t worry you are no drug dealer! Drug Dealers, they go to jail for ten maybe twenty years. You just DJ, you smoke a little right?” he asked.
â€œYes I just smoke, it was just two seeds!â€
â€œYes, yes you just drug user. No problem my friend, drug user get sentence of four years. No problem at all my friend,” he said.
Check for pt. 3 next week …
Benhameen is one of DC/MD/VAâ€™s best known DJs, creator of pleasedonstare.com, new Brooklyn, NY resident and all around really nice (and nice looking!) guy. Heâ€™s also a perfect example of when bad things happen to good people. Keep with him as he tells the story of his Dubai ordeal, redemption and whatâ€™s next. Remember ladies, never judge a book by itâ€™s coverâ€¦