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Day 6

Wednesday, Febuary 9, 2000

4:00, breakfast. Some things never change. I had my bologna and grits and went back to bed. I was in a big room with 25 bunk beds, 50 total. There were a few vacancies. Oddly enough, unlike the other jail, after breakfast everyone was up and moving around. Showers, dressing, etc.

This was the bunk dorm of the road crews. they had to get ready to leave. I however, went back to sleep. A couple hours later I woke up to see the sun beginning to come in the big square windows on two walls of the room. these windows have iron gates over them, woven in 2" suares, so from a distance, the roughly 3' square windows didn't appear to be covered. the light shines through beautifully. There were only four of us here, and Mo was the only one I knew from the other place.

I gut up and went into the shower. This bathroom more closely resembled a nice gym lockerroom than a jail bathroom. It had block walls painted tan with bright flourecent lighting. Urinals, toilets and sinks were made of porcelan, not stainless steel. There was a huge community shower made of clean colorful tiles with normal shower heads and faucets. Best of all, CLEAN! CLEAN!! CLEAN!!!

I quickly got naked. I was adjusting the temperature of the water when the guard walked in. He told me it was still lock down until 8:00 AM, and I was to remain in my bunk until then. No problem. I dressed and got back in bed. Before everyone else had left for work, one guy had told me I'd get bored and would want to borrow his deck of cards to pass the time. That was appreciated. For the first time in YEARS, I played solitaire without a computer. For those of you who don't remember, it's a bitch to move a whole stack of cards from one side to another by hand. Drag and drop is much easier.

Later I confirmed my work release and was moved to a different dorm with the other men in the work release program. On the way, I stopped by laundry and exchanged my orange jumpsuit for two pair of hunter green scrubs, like a doctor wears to surgery. Very nice.

In the afternoon, around 4:00, we were all taken out for exercise. It was about 58° F, and felt great. As I joked with another inmate, "It's a beautiful day to be alive and removed from society!" One of the guys shooting hoops complained about the shoes they make us wear, which I referred to as "Air Jailbirds." Everyone seemed to think that was pretty funny.

Dinner was better than usual. Maybe because of the surroundings. No bars. Anywhere. Normal metal doors with large glass windows were locked with metal magnetic lock plates. There's a large bank of windows allowing view into the commons area, where we dine at round tables in comfortable plastic chairs with backs and arms. Beyond that room, you see through another wall of glass into the hallway wherean elevated pod allows the security officers a vantage point to see into four of these areas at once. A very nice setup, if I do say so myself. It reminds me more of a military barracks or a community college than a jail, and it definately boosts morale, making us feel like real people instead of prisoners.

After dinner, I called home. My wife reminded me it had been five days since I last smoked, and that I shouldn't go back to it after I get out on work release. I think I will try to remain a non-smoker. My tastebuds are starting to come back, which sucks, because I really don't want to be able to taste the food. Regardless, I've tried unsuccessfully several times to quit smoking. Maybe this time it'll work.

I played some dominoes and won several games. Damn, I'm good at jail games. After the game was over, the pencil used to keep score was left on the table. I snagged it and on the back of the jail rules and regulations sheets, I began to write these entries. I got through the middle of Sunday before calling it a night.


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