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Day 32

Monday, March 6, 2000

Well, I had intended to write after I spoke with my wife, but considering that the phones in this place consistantly fail to work, I'll write now. See, first you wait in line, usually about an hour, then you get up to the phone. You pick up the handset and you hear a muffled ring. This is the phone you're on, trying to access an outside line. This usually takes 5 - 15 minutes. Once you get connected, it tells you: "To place a collect call, please dial a zero, then the number you're dialing." So I put in the number. "You will be connected as a local collect call. State your name, now." So I state my name. "Please wait as we connect your call." Then I hear it dial the number, it rings ONCE and hanges up. Saying, "I'm sorry, no ring back signal was detected. Please try your call again later." Then it beeps until you reset the receiver and it goes back to the ringing again. The whole process starts over again. As I write this, I've been sitting here with the phone to my ear for about 45 minutes. I have yet to speak to my wife.

The bitch of it is this, that ONE ring you hear actually rings the number you dialed. Every time I try, my wife knows it because she hears one ring, then it hangs up. It's unfuckin-believable.

I went outside this morning around 9:00 AM for exercise. I ran a while, then slowed to a walk and began walking alongside one of my fellow inmates. He's a young white guy, about 5'-5", skinny as a rail, maybe weighs 105. He's 21, but he looks 15, and I can't get it through my head how old he actually is. His hair is parted down the middle, short and dark brown, like Alfalfa without the sprig standing up in the back. He's got a broad smile and high cheek bones adding to his look of an innocent youngster. Some of the guys call him Jeff Gordan, but he doesn't look a damn thing like Jeff Gordon, except that he's white. I'll call him Alf.

So, Alf and I walked around and around and he told me how he came to be in this place. How he had smoked a blunt with some of his friends and the house was raided. The police found some crack, and nobody would confess, so all were charged. He ended doing a plea bargain and getting probation, but after missing probation one month, he was arrested and locked up in here. He hopes to get work release. Alfs the one who helped me fill out my commissary sheet the other day. Hopefully that stuff will come tomorrow. I'm OUT of soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.

On the homefront, my wife told me today that our eigght week old rolled over from her belly to her back by herself today. I was so proud. I wish I could've been there, but, oh well. She's now 9 pounds, 6 ounces, and can 'scoot' across a blanket in a couple of minutes. My wife says she's almost crawling, but not quite. Should be any time now, probably before I get out of here. (sigh)

Well, my reading list continues to grow, now more than ever since I don't work anymore. I finished Tom Clancey's Without Remorse. It was the first Clancey novel I've ever read, although I've seen the movie adaptations of Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Hunt for Red October.

It didn't take long for me to find something else to read. I thought I had ran out of reading material when I was on page 650 of the 750 page novel. Then I found two books lying about and was given three more. Now on deck I have Robin Cook's Acceptable Risk, Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, W.E.B. Griffin's The Lieutenants from the "Brotherhood of War" series, then two books by Michael Chriton, The Lost World and Rising Sun.

By now, wome of you may be wondering how I'm doing this web page if I lost my work release. That's a good question. Unfortunately, I can't answer that right now because I don't want THA MAN to try an' keep a brother down AGAIN. Otherwise I'd be glad to tell you. Most of you can figure it out. It takes a little longer to update the site, but the Jailbird Journal presses boldly on despite the efforts of The Man to stop me. You can also continue to correspond with me via e-mail at Here again, I won't say how, but I do still respond to e-mails. Hey! It ain't rocket science!

And finally, I'd like to say thanks to a few people for keeping my spirits high during this time. Including the scores of you who have sent me e-mail awaiting this journal's return. Special thanks to my boss John, for understanding, Ken for his support, Pat for her kind words, Drew for his kindred spirit, Lee for the transportation, David, Rob, Carey, and Reggie for keeping my spirits up, and Danny for, well, being Danny.
Special thanks to Al for his advise.
Extra special thanks to my mom and dad for understanding.
And finally, words cannot express how thankful I am to have a wife who has gone through so much self sacrafice with two little ones at home while I've been away. I can't begin to mention all the "above and beyonds" she has done during this time. She has time and again met up to every one of the vows we exchanged on our wedding day, and seeing how that contract is valid "til death do us part," I wouldn't blame her for wishing me dead.
Yet she doesn't.
Going to bed in this place is a little easier each night knowing that out there is a woman who has been through as much, if not MORE, difficulties as I have, and still loves me.

Thanks, sweetheart, God Bless, and good night.

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