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Day 2

Saturday, Febuary 5, 2000

Sometime after midnight, it was gettin REALLY crowded in there. there were no open bunks, and I crowded in with five others in a cell designed for two. There was this older guy with a middle eastern accent who looked like Ghandi without glasses, so we all called him Mo, which was short for his last name which was something like Moaerguaefviubaevbqefvbaicnsenf or something equally unpronouncable. Mo had been resting on two bed pads. After they called for about 15 people to go upstairs, Mo offered me his extra pad. Also in my cell was a young kid, tall and skinny, that everyone called "Slim Shady", after a rap song by Eminem. (I'm not a very affluent in rap music, but this one I know...)

About 1:00 AM, another wave of inmates went up making floorspace in some of the cells. I got in one with a young black guy and an older white guy with a half cocked far away look in his eye. I'll call him Montana for reasons I'll explain later. Guardswere talking about how the small holding cells in the intake area were busting at the seams with drunks and drug addicts, and how they needed to move some of them into this area to make room for the rest of the drunks and drug addicts on their way to the jail. I was astonished. The place had just moved enough to bring the totals down to roughly double capasity, and now they wanted to add more again? DAMN!!

I laid Mo's mat on the cell floor and tried to sleep as they turned out the light. In the darkness, I made out several roaches running this way and that. Just what I needed. As I lay down to sleep, my first night in jail, I'm beside a stinky ass mountain man, my head's next to a God-awful foul-smelling stainless steel toilet, I'm on a paper thin mat (and glad I have it), and there's roaches running all over the place in the dark. So I tightly closed my eyes and went to sleep.

I guess it was about fifteen minutes later that my two cellmates were hitting me telling me to stop snoring. I wanted to tell Montana to roll over and stop stinking, but I felt that would be rather insensitive, so I just rolled on my side and went back to sleep.

Fourty five minutes later I awoke again as they took another group of fifteen upstairs. I waited in anticipation for my name, but alas, no call was made. So while all gates were open, I found an empty cell and promptly jumped in the top bunk, high and away from the roaches and toilet, where I could snore my heart's content. Two more people came into the cell, one took the lower bunk, the other the floor. The first was was a short guy with several piercings and baggy clothes. His toboggan was pulled down to his eyebrow rings, and he looked like a punk teenager. The other guy who came to occupy the floor looked mid to late twenties, and acted as if he were on crack or something. He had obviously done time before, and didn't seem to give a shit. About anything. When they turned off the lights, he started kicking the walls and making orgasm yells as if he were being raped. then he started yelling "C.O.! C.O!! Get him OFF ME!! C.O.!!!", which someone later explained to me that C.O. stands for Corrections Officer.

The guards came and threatened to put the unknown screamer in isolation, which made him giggle and fall asleep. The problem I had with him wasn't the noise, but the effect his wall kicking had on the other residents of the cell. the instant he started kicking the metal walls, roaches ran from every possible crevice in all directions. More roaches than I had ever seen in my LIFE. Somehow, I fell back asleep.

Another hour passed and they called my name. It was 3:00 AM when the took me upstairs, told me to strip naked, turn around, open my mouth wide, say ahhh, let down my hair, shake it out, lift up my testicles, squat down, and cough. Boy howdy, the fun things I do on a Saturday night. They ordered me into the shower. I got in the shower got wet, got a towel, and left.Freezing to death, I walked down the hall naked to a counter where they gave me a plastic tub.

Inside this tub were all my personal belongings for the next 55 days. One towel, one washcloth, a roll of toilet paper, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, a comb, a pillowcase, two pair of socks, two each of boxers and t-shirts, two sheets, one blanket, a pair of orange slippers, a pair of shower flip-flops, and my very own bright orange jumpsuit. I went to a little stall where I dried off and dressed as quickly as possible. Cold and still kind of wet, they placed me in a dark cell. I could barely make out my surroundings. There were eight bunks, stacked two and two, and I spotted the only available one, on top just to the left of the cell door.

I quickly made the bed and hopped in and in minutes I was asleep. A few hours later, a dark figure stood beside my bunk, reaching up and shaking my leg. "Hey Man! HEY!" he said,"Roll over on your side. You killin' us wit' yo snorin', dog!" There were chuckles from the others in the cell. I complied. I rolled onto my side and fell asleep, somewhat afraid I would get beaten in my sleep with a sock full of soap for snoring."

An hour later, they turned on the lights. 4:00 AM. A guard yelled,"Chow time!" We all got out of bed and walked toward the still closed cell door. In my cell were seven guys, some I knew, some I didn't. there was an 18 year-old white kid, the Steve Urkel look alike, the hair braider, the Harley dude, a BIG black guy named Jerome, a smaller black guy named Greg, and a young black guy called Mookie.

Breakfast. One small cold waffle and some syrup, some white substance bearing a small resemblance to grits, and a piece of bologna. I loaded the grit stuff with two pats of butter, salt and pepper. It still sucked. I broke up the bologna and tried to disguise the taste. It worked somewhat. I shovled grits in with each bite of bologna and managed to eat it all. the waffle and syrup were OK, and the milk and coffee ewre, well, milk and coffee. After I ate I went back to sleep.

Lunch came and went, as did supper. I didn't talk to anyone. I just kept my mouth shut and tried to mind my own business. I figured that would be the best way to get by. I watched a little TV and went to bed. I tried not to snore, but of course I have no control over that.


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