Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lessons; " I have been overwhelmed with drama."

Monday, September 17, 2012
Hello. I have been overwhelmed with drama, both inside and outside of prison. Hopefully all who are readingthis are enjoying some much needed cooler temperatures. I know I am.
Since there is no easy way to describe what the last 72 hours have been like, I will give you a daily breakdown.

Saturday Morning:
Everyone in the run woke up and began to get ready to go eat at the chow hall. We have a very specific window of time to make it out of the run and one guy, a botha named ‘Pop’, was too late and decided to throw a lock at the door, thereby shattering the window in it. Destroying property, or causing a ‘scene’ draws attention and that means the amount of officers triples. The attention is unwanted. There are guys (inmates) living in the dorms who have drugs, cell phones, weapons etc. When there are a lot of officers because of one person’s actions, it is not a good thing.  In any case, as soon as the glass was cleaned up, some brotha’s with influence, gave an order to assault Pop and steal his belongings. What they did not steal, they destroyed; his TV, CD Player etc.

I had to sit at my desk and pretend to be paying attention to the letter I was writing the entire time. Have you ever been in an area or situation and pretended that something in not going on – when it clearly is? I assure you, it is not easy, especially when physical violence is taking place. This is a situation I have been in many times and it gets no easier. Since coming to prison, I have seen rape, murder, and suicide. Over time, I will elaborate on those experiences, but the one I will comment on now:
In early 2006, I was in the “hole” or COV, as we call it. Some of us had cellies, and some of didn’t. Basically the cells are 6’x11’ boxes with a toilet and a sink. They are definitely barren and depressing. There were 2 white guys that lived next to me and one was older, I’d estimate in his late 40’s. I do not know what their relationship was like but one night, the younger of the two began beating up the older guy. We heard the screams of terror and fear go on and on until he was lifeless. It was the most horrendous experience so far because as I heard everything, my imagination was forced to fill in the rest. Hours later, the officers did their walk and found him. They wheeled him out in a gurney, and that was that.

But back to Saturday’s events; Pop was taken out and now his cubicle is empty. The lesson here for the new inmates is clear; Do NOT bring unwanted attention by the officers. If you do, you will be dealt with.
I spent the rest of the day sleeping. Over the years, I have taken to sleeping when I am on sensory overload. It is my way to disconnect and it allows me to ‘check out’ in a way. It works, but itcan be dangerous. Good sleep is something we cannot often times afford to do here.

Sunday Morning.
My step father, Kevin came to visit and it was a curious day. He is not in a good position and things are challenging now between my mother and him. Obviously I am biased when their issues come up, but I am a good listener. The problem is, I speak with my thinking voice. Sometimes, I tell people what they do not want to hear, because they know it is true.

There is nothing I want more for my mother than for her to be ‘ok’. I want her to be living in a city she wants to be live in, to have the home that she wants and to be able to retire at a decent age.
The lesson? If you want to be able to help the ones that you love the most, do not go to prison.

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