Saturday, June 03, 2006

Teenage angst: Jordan gets busted, Nathan researches juvenile hall....

The phone rang. It was my teenage friend Nathan. "I am going to write you a letter," he said. "I want you to put it on your blog." Okay.

"Remember my brother Jordan?" How could I forget? He ran away from abusive parents, ran away from brat camps, stayed with my family for five months and than ran away from here too. But Jordan did have a budding career as an artist until he got busted for graffiti last week and is now back with his abusive parents, on house arrest.

"Well, he's coming to visit me next week." That doesn't sound good.

"Visit you where?"

"Here. At the group home." Oh dear. But hey, at least Nathan was out of juvenile hall.

Jordan is a runner. Nathan is a fighter. When things get too heavy, Jordan runs away. When the spit hits the fan, Nathan takes on the world. Nathan spent FIVE YEARS at brat camps. Jordan only spent two. And when they got out, neither one of them could function in society. Not a clue. Now Jordan is a recluse and Nathan is a JD.

"What was juvie like?" I asked Nathan. He wouldn't tell me. So I did some research. In California, the really tough cases go to the California Youth Authority. Nasty place. Avoid it like the plague unless you like gang signs and homemade tattoos.

But our county's juvenile hall is a different story completely. For many of the kids that go there, they are getting a good education, some rational parenting, three square meals a day and a real bed all their own for the first time in their life.

"So. Nathan. E-mail me."

"I can't. We aren't allowed. But I'll write you. And promise me you'll put my letter on your blog?"

"I promise."

Nathan's raw story? Breaking exclusively on my blog? Stay tuned! Wanna know all about teenage group homes in northern California? Nathan will give us the inside scoop.


Here are some previous episodes of the Jordan soap opera, in case you missed them:

"Calling the Cops on your Own Child"
"America’s Most Wanted: After Jordan disappeared, they called the police on ME!"

"Desperately seeking Jordan"

"Tracking Young Jordan through the Snows of Montana"

"Un-Crossing Jordan" and "Finding Jordan -- with a little help from the New York Times"

"At the Glock Mall: Shopping for Guns with Jordan's Brother Nathan"

"Brainwashing Teenagers is easy"

"Young Jordan is now homeless: Trying to survive Neverland"

"What Jordan and GWB have in common: Power and ulterior motives?"

"Joey, Rachel, Phoebe & Jordan: How to hide from the future & still be 'Friends'"