Q: This one and only holiday season you will spend in the can,
if I were in Lompoc, it’s highly possible now through New Years
would be the most difficult stretch—after that, just X off the days.
So much to be grateful for: loving family waiting for your release, enuf $$
if live off the reverse mortgage, better fitness including spiritual than when
Easy for me to say—what’s it like in reality?
Proud of you, love.
A: Shitty reality is that there are weekdays, which are pretty much
the same and weekend days that are only very slightly different
‘cause there’s no work and the lights get turned on later in the morning.
Weekends are easier since no work—conversely, it’s depressing and boring,
so I’ve got to devise safe ways to occupy myself, not get shivved on the john;
we have counts at 10AM, 4PM, 10PM; the pill line is 7AM and 8PM.
All days suck, but are relieved by reading, trying to get the course
I teach together and the CNN morning tape that I sometimes get—
there are few pleasures, mostly disappointment piled on disappointment.
Like the food, the ubiquitous attitudes of the cops, the daily frustrations
since the rules vary from each guard to another and are completely variable
depending on how their bowel movements were or some such bullcrap.
The electricity goes out 3-4 times per month, the ice machine even more.
The commissary, TVs and library (all inmate things that ease the time)
are connected on the same circuit, so there’s no reason for them to fix it
—especially with our sleeping quarters and chapel on a separate generator.
The authorities steal this place blind but then spend nothing on convicts
with cancer and paranoid psychoses and a lot of other lovely conditions.
I was told by the “eye doctor” 6-7 months ago that I should be getting
a new pair of glasses with stronger lenses; I believe it will arrive the week
after I leave, almost a full year following my first and only appointment.
Ex-doc Dhali, whose license got pulled, listens to her stethoscope through
three layers of clothing in a crowded noisy room, said she’d not be seeing me
again—even though nobody examined a heel spur which causes hobbling.
Can’t hear from my left ear with liquid in it (behind the ear drum?); ‘roids
since the second week I arrived and those problems are chocolate fudge cake
compared to many here who are in great pain physically or mentally.
I’ll never ever give ‘em the satisfaction of my not coping with their ridiculous,
anti-intuitive mindless bullshit. So I am doin’ well with personal confirmation
by e/mail, calls + visits I’m OK, they ain’t getting to me. Happy Turkey Day!
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
Photo credit: Getty Images