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my first cell Mate

March 16, 2007

my first cell mate was a guy named mike.

if kelsey grammer (of frasier fame) and tim robbins (shawshank redemption) had a pudgy grey-haired love child with an extremely week chin it would look like this guy.

so in the movies / tv its all :: what are you in for?

in real life its :: what did they say you did? but it is a rarely asked question.

in fact it is damn near never asked. most folk know. especially if you did something really bad. word manages to get around.

but no one ever asks.

prison/jailhouse ettiquette says :: wait until he brings it up himself.

this rule is followed religiously.

my cellie* is a talkative sort. worse, he feels he has been wrongfully imprisoned, so there is no way you are not going to hear the whole story.

let me digress a little here to give you a better handle of this guy’s mentality (emphasis on mental).

upon entering any jail, an inmate is first put into a holding tank or cell and *processed*

part of the process of processing is determining the likelihood that this nefarious individual will try to off himself on your watch.

of course, while incarcerated, the only correct answer to any suicide related question is an emphatic *no*

actually, when they ran that gamut with me it provided some much needed entertainment for when they stuck me back in the holding cell i for another eight hours.

it gave me something to think about.

look for a future post entitled ::

*21 ways to kill yourself in an empty cell*

so when they asked mike (i am just calling him mike for his own protection. his real name was michael), being the literalist that he was, he admitted that yes, on occasion, he had contemplated suicide.

so before i met him he spent two days in a padded room in a paper suit with no shoes.

he was itching to tell his story.

i was wishing they had put him in another cell.

when he admitted he was in for rape i really wished he had been put in another cell.

in all fairness, i told him he would be better off not going into detail.

in an attempt to reassure me (and to vent over how much he had been *wronged* by the system) he quickly told me it was his wife who cried rape.

i relaxed incrimentally. not because i do not believe a man can rape his wife, but in the hopes that the story would play out like a clear-cut he said/she said with plenty of room for doubt.

mike, however, did believe sex was a husband’s due. he did believe a man could not technically, legally (i won’t pretend this man had thoughts of morality) rape his wife.

that’s about when he mentioned the duct tape and removed all hope that there might be some doubt left in my mind at the end of his tale.

see he and his wife were seperated. she was moving on with her life. he was thinking if they just had sex she would *relent and return* as it were.

i listened for another ten minutes through gritted teeth.

five minutes after that i propped him up by the door in the day room** and dumped his belongings in his lap.

the guards never even asked who beat him senseless.

just took him out when they found him there.

i met the guy again several years later on another spread. he still bore evidence of the scars i’d inflicted.

i found i wasn’t so proud of what i had done. but i couldn’t really bring myself to feel any real remorse, either.

upon seeing me, (it was a smallish spread) he demanded to be locked in solitary and transferred.

both requests were denied. he was placed in population, though he did not end up in my (90 man) dorm.

i didn’t mess with him again, and over the next month he raised enough of a stink that they finally moved him off that camp. i never asked where.

the funny thing was, i had been at that particular camp for nearly 3 years and no one there had so much as heard a peep or a cross word out of me. i didn’t back down, but i didn’t start sh*t either (we were all too close to going home to start anything).

so, they couldn’t credit mike’s odd behavior towards me.


a golden reputation is an amazing thing.

if you ever manage to acquire one, cherish it, nurture it, maintain it for as long as you can.

you would be amazed at what you can get away with when no one thinks you would ever do such a thing.

:: :: ::

definitions ::

*(cellie is to cellmate as roomie is to roommate)

**(day room :: the main room where all the inmates in a block eat, watch tv, etc…that is to say i did not prop him up on the door to our two man cell, but by the main door that leads out into the main hallway on that floor).

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