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Day 35

Thursday, March 9, 2000

Well, I was partially correct on the punishment thing. I was right about being locked down for twenty days. That much is certain, but I was wrong about being locked in my bunk. Boy, was I wrong about that.

The morning started at 4:00 AM with oatmeal and my favorite mystery sausage. I was practically asleep having only two hours of sleep. (Yawn) At least we wouldn't be locked down today. After stomaching what I could of breakfast, I flushed out my mouth with milk. At least SOME of breakfast was good. I went promptly to sleep.

I awoke again at eight when everyone was getting up to enjoy not being locked down. Usually there's only a small few awake at 8:00 AM, but today, by five after, all three phones were being used, and four people were waiting in line. It was obvious nobody had used the phone the day before. By some miracle of civility, the group agreed to allow those with pressing legal matters go first. The rest was first come, first serve. One guy had to make five or six calls to his lawyer and different people. We waited until he was finished. At about 8:50 it was my turn.

as is customary with the phones, it was 9:00 when I finally got connected. I was calling my mom since my wife was at work, and although she's not particularly happy about my being in jail, it always makes me feel better talking to her. I can count on her to love me no matter what I've done. I guess moms are like that.
About the time the call started to ring through, the guard came in and said it was time for outside recreation. Now, you KNOW I love my mother, but if you know this journal, you also know I don't miss outside recreation. I spoke quickly with mom, telling her I had to go outside and run for a while, but I'd call back in an hour. She said she'd be gone on errands much of the day but would be back in the afternoon to receive my call. I told her I'd call her later and went outside.

Alf has quickly become my exercise partner. He and I walk and talk all through exercise. He's good conversation. Today we discussed the BS factor of being locked down for having a prayer circle. Then, somehow we got on the subject of one of our fellow inmates. This guy annoys almost everyone in the dorm because he's a pathological liar. Kind of like the old Saturday Night Live character Tommy Flanagan. We'll just call this guy Tommy.

Tommy is nineteen years old, taller than Alf and looks a little older, despite the fact Alf is 21. Tommy is in for a reason unknown to any of us. See, he's lied so many times we're not sure WHY he's her. He's got a red arm band, though, so he's in for some kind of felony. He tries constantly to be something that he's not. He's tall, skinny, as white as white can be, and has a short buzz hair cut. He has a little stubble on his chin, which is about all the beard he can grow. He tries to be such a bad ass. He talks like he's in a gang, but real gang bangers call him out and expose that he's full of it.

He tried to tell us that he's so bad, he did time at the Brushy Mountain State Penetentiary when he was sixteen. We KNEW that was a load of crap. Brushy Mountain is a maximum security prison. It's the place they put the maximum security prisoners who misbehave too much to be in a normal maxuimum security prison. There's absolutely no way in hell they'd put a sixteen year old in there. Plain and Simple. When discussing my academic endeavors for after I get out of jail, one of the guys asked if I was going for my Mastrs or PhD. Tommy spoke up saying he already HAD his masters and was going for "something better".
Raising an eyebrow, I asked him what hehad his Masters in. He replied, "Science". I told him he couldn't have a Masters in Science, that it had to be a specific field of study.

"Aw, dude, din't you KNOW I was fuckin' wit' you? I's too young to be havin' a damn Masters Degree."

Typical. Turns out the litte fucker dropped ot during seventh grade, or so he said. That could be a lie, too.

After recreation, the guard tld me I had been called for my visit to the jail library. I put in a request over a week ago. I browsed through the very limited selection and chose Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. I started the Sinclair book a year ago and never finished it. Maybe now I will. Having time to spare, I read a reference book about publishing things, whether it be an article, book, or whatever. After a brief reading, I'm considering trying to publish the journal after this is all said and done. We'll see. Worst case scenario, I'll end up with valuable experiences and a distinguished collection of rejection letters.

Upon returning from the library, the guard between my dorm and the work release dorm asked me why I was off work release. He's one of the guards who treats you with respect, like you're actually human or something. I told him about the journal and al the fus it created. He had heard about the situation and was unaware it was me. Then, his eyes lit up and he asked my name. After confirming his suspicions, he told me I was being moved.

Back to Roach Land.

There's a building as old as the one I started off in, you remember, the roach motel. It's just about a block away from it and its called HD2. I have no idea what that means, but it's also referred to as Blackwood.

Suddenly my stomach tightened as I felt that uneasy tension beginning to swell up inside meonce again. I easily recognise this feeling. It's the feeling of being screwed.

After asking around, I heard the place isn't as bad as where I started (CJC), but isn't as nice as where I am (CWC). I'll be in a cell with four other men behaving badly. The cell has a shower, toilet, sink, table and five bunks. We stay in there 23 hours a day and fight for the phone during the other hour. If we don't need a phone, we can exercise. I wanted to call my wife to let her know what was happening, but she was at work and I was unabl to call her there on a collect-only phone. Mark came to the rescue.

He called his wife and had her dial my wife's wrk number using their 3-way connection. I told her what was happening and she told me about how she was having trouble getting any results from my attorney's office. My main lawyer is out of town, the guy who actually appeared on my court date, whom I must say showed a gallant effort in ensuring my work release would go through, but alas, he was nowhere to be found today. My wife got very upset and I tried to calm her and change the subject by asking about my daughtere. It modestly worked. After my fifteen minutes was through, I told her I loved her and hung up, knowing it might be twenty days before I heard her voice again.

I sat and had lunch with Doc, Mark and Alf before packing my stuff and leaving for the Magical World of HD2. After a lovely van ride across town, I entered my new home. My pleasant van driver, a corporal with the Sheriff's Office, helped me out of the van and was good for friendly conversation on route. I was then greeted by a friendly female coporal with a broad smile. After showing her amazement at the harshness of my punishment, she walked me through the facility. She told me I wasn't allowed any commissary items in the hole, so she let me stuff myself trying to get rid of it all. I got rid of a Twix and a Mello Yello in no time.

After a thorough search of my property tub, another guard told me I could only have two books. So much for my visit to the library. I kept Sinclair's "The Jungle" and "The Leutenants". All my food was put in another property locker. I was taken through a big area that looked like prison as I've seen it on TV and the movies. A long, wide area two stories high with big sky lights at the top. A cat walk on the second floor runs the perimeter of the room. There ar cels on each level on each wall. Each cell has a big steel door with a one foot square plexiglas window.

Once I got inside, my eyes adjusted to the dark. THe room was approximately ???? by ????, and I could see two bunk beds and a regular bed against the cell to my left. I noticed there were people in three of them, leaving the regular bed and the middle top bunk available. I quietly made my way to the regular bed and tried to organise my bus tub in the dark. One of the others woke up and asked the time. I told him it was thre thirty in the afternoon. One by one they all woke up and began questioning me about why I was here. By the time I finished explaining the Jailbird Journal and how I came to be in "the hole" with them, they seemed to treat me like some kind of jailhouse hero. One of them told me his story so I could write about it. I very well may later on.

One guy asked, "Did the tell you you'd get 23 hours lock down and an hour a day to exercise?" I told him that yes, I had been told that. "It's BULLSHIT!" He went on to say he's been locked in this room for over six days. Once, they let him out into the big commons area for about ten minutes. The rest of the five he's been in here. This is something I'll have to look into.

After dinner with my new roommates, someone decided we'd play cards since there is now four people in the room. We played two hands of Spades before a guard came in and tok the cads. Damn. I was winning.

Conversation led to fitness, to which I commented I wasn't much for a workout. I did my pushups and a few pullups on the shower bar, surprised it held my weight. The pushups we did elevated style. We used the stools we sit on, and put one under each hand and one under our feet. This way we can go further down with each rep rather than being stopped by the floor. Doing normal pushups, for me, my belly touches the ground before my shoulders get close. These allow a better pushup and therefore a harder workout.

After a tiresome workout, I retired to bed, sore, but happy.

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