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prison Life

March 8, 2007

Q :: is it really like they show it in the movies?

A :: well, yes and no.

lots of guys in blue. most of them cockDiesel from slinging weights around on the yard. some immensely fat and named bubba or tugboat or tattoo. some squirrelly little bookworms and wormy little squirrels.

sometimes there is even rape.

though these days there are plenty of gays openly practicing their religion as it were, so rape is rarer and rarer. too many he-shes willing to bend over for a pack of m&ms to touch up their cheeks and eyes (yes, the gays will use m&ms like water colors in place of make up.

i picked up that trick from them and used the m&ms as actual water colors for my drawings while i was still in county lock up and didn’t have access to any real art supplies.

then there’s the bad food and cramped quarters. and forget privacy. none whatsoever.

there is also fear. usually it’s just a gut-level wariness that is always crawling round in your belly that sometimes has cause to storm to the fore in a wash of adrenaline soaked terror only to ebb away again and leave you with the taste of copper rotting in your mouth.

(odd thing that. i had heard that term used for the smell/taste of fear in detective novels. it is not just an affectation. it has to do with the chemical reaction in our bodies, but copper is indeed the smell/taste of fear)

but mostly it is the boredom. more than anything else, the boredom is what wears you down.

*mInD nUmBiNg sOuL cRuShInG bOrEdOm*

it’s bloody well everywhere.

and into the midst of this boredom will come the jaw jarring, high pitched chatter of youngsters trying to convince everyone just how hard they are; mumbled tales about how hard prison used to be from the old heads; and the constant invasive throb and hum of self-glorifying hip hop blaring through the air waves or creeping into your skull in a subliminal hum…

that is prison.

that is where you slowly come to realize that the decision to let a man live is sometimes harder come by than the decision to kill.

where memories blur into memories and time kindof stands still because you really aren’t making any memories that you want to hold onto while you are there. (i’ll save the culture shock of being released for another post).

day after day it is the same old thing, over and over and over.

not whining. just explaining.

we had cable tv. we could buy sneakers, clothes, televisions, personal stereos (walkmans). we had access to books, magazines, art supplies…lots of stuff.

cool hand luke it was not.

no, we had it easy. and we sure as hell every one of us all deserved to be there.

but given the choice right now i’d take a cardboard box in a cold alley over the *3 hots (meals) and a cot* promised in the prison brochure.

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