Thursday, August 8, 2013

My good friend Tom...

...reminded me this morning that I haven't posted any excerpts from my childhood buddy's prison memoir, My Road Home, in a long time. (I went back and checked, and the last post was from almost exactly a year ago. I think I stopped because I thought -- erroneously, apparently -- that my friend was back in trouble.)

But with the news so slow lately, and with my current fascination with The Sopranos (I'm back to watching Season One now) and the new show Orange is the New Black (which is on my TV to-do list), it might be a good time to revisit My Road Home. Here's where I left off last August:

Wednesday July 11

This is the fourth straight day of 90 degree plus temperatures! Needless to say it's hot in here, which might explain the uptick of tension swirling around lately.

Around 8:30 this morning I witnessed my first fight in prison. What triggered it was so minor, but within these confines apparently that's all it takes. It was a simple matter of one inmate cutting in front of another when it was time for soap bars to be passed out. As soon as this guy cut in front, a cry rang out, "Hey man, what the fuck do you think you're doing." I knew trouble was not far behind. And wouldn't you know it, my lucky day, I found myself right smack in the middle of these two gigantic black inmates, with no escape. Call it a super-sized Oreo with just a tab of creme filling on the inside. Somehow I did manage to quickly sidestep the mayhem, because it didn't matter if you're involved or not, if the guards see you around this, you're guilty until proven innocent. Two quick punches were thrown, both of these dudes connecting, my guess is they've done this before. But before you knew what was happening, 3 Corrections Officers (CO's) were on the scene, breaking it up before anything further could spread. I bet this is just how riots start. Both guys were led away in cuffs, a trip to "the box" (a prison within a prison) was in their future.

One guy I've spoken to a few times since being here got the tap on the shoulder early this morning. Dean (serving 2-4 on a drug charge) is now on his way to one of the two processing centers run by NY State. He's off to Downstate CF, in Fishkill, NY. From what I understand this part of the journey lasts about 3 weeks. After that, you're bussed to your permanent "home." I keep waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder so I can get the hell out of here. Before Dean left he gave me his comb and nail-clipper. So for the first time in 19 days, since I was sentenced, I was able to run a comb through my hair. The mirrors in the bathrooms here are not real mirrors, but rather plastic ones, plastic reflecting glass. It's kind of like looking at yourself in one of those mirrors you find at the circus. Combing my hair and cutting my fingernails and toenails is the highlight of my day.

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