"Books and Diapers, New Cellie, Boss Man and A Dog’s Weeder"

Recently a couple of people here at Three Rivers have been busted for dope. Most recently was this guy whose wife was smuggling dope in to him…in their babies diaper! Yeah! She’d put the dope in the babies diaper and then hand the kid over to its father and he’d fish the dope out and then hand the kid back to its mother. Anyway, they (inmate.com, the rumor mill) says they’d been watching him for awhile and finally sprung the trap, per se.

The part of this story that’s hardest to understand, is that the guy involved in this only had nineteen days left before going home – 19 days!!! Now, he’s facing more time, his wife is presumably facing jail time and someone else has their kids. Man, how do you justify even thinking like that? What is it about dope and money that would justify risking, not only your wife’s freedom, but the lives of your children, too? Like I said, I just don’t understand it.

The other guy was a prison convert to Islam. He was having hardcover books sent in with dope, somehow, in the book covers. But, like the first guy, he was caught – don’t know how, don’t want to know how, best I can figure is, one of his buddies is a snitch…hell, half the yard are snitches, these guys are so caught up in their gang and homeboy crap that they don’t even realize that the people they can’t trust the most, is, each other. Anyway, good riddance.

Somewhere along the way, I remember hearing about how severe the Muslims are in their punishment of drug offenders…guess he didn’t get the memo. Anyway, their are a couple of radicalized Muslims here, and I know that they are not on that kind of time. My bet is, he won’t be a Muslim on this yard, if he comes back out.

After the book deal I just spoke of, staff came out with a memo stating that we could no longer receive hardcover books, without prior approval, which of course makes it difficult to accomplish. Now this affects me more than most, because I collect art books and most of them are hardcover.

In the visiting room, we are allowed to hug our visitor one time when they arrive and one time when they leave, that’s all. It used to be that families could interact, sit together, walk around and be at ease, one with the other. Now however, we have to sit apart from each other on separate rows. In fact the other day, one of the guards, working the visitation room, came over and made me scoot my chair back even further from my daughter, said we were too close – we weren’t! And as much as I wanted to say something, I didn’t. What they don’t understand is that some folks, like me and my people, don’t talk loud, so I’m constantly having to lean over to hear what my children are saying to me. That’s my side of things. Truth is, I’d like to be able to hold my daughters hand, to touch her hair, to just be a little closer to her presence…but some people abuse those rights, so guys like me, have to pay the price. That’s the way it is in the joint, the guys who are the problem, like “diaper boy” who’ll never ever have visitation rights again, has ruined things for the good guys. It ain’t enough that he’s being punished for his actions, we, the rest of us are paying the price for it too…when it comes to the Federal Prison System, there is no personal accountability…rather than deal with the people who are the problem, it is always easier to take something away from everyone else. Lets put that into perspective: You have three kids, one of those kids breaks a window…you saw him do it, so you know which one is responsible, but rather than hold him accountable, you spank all three children…that’s how the Feds deal with a problem…they’d rather take something away, than to actually hold somebody accountable…hell, they might hurt somebodies feelings! Word to the wise. One of these days your going to run out of things to take…you’re almost there now…then what are you going to do?

New Cellie

Well, last week I got a new cellie…I was hoping that I could go solo for awhile – man I miss solitude.

When I was in the Penitentiary in Colorado I went eight years without a cellie – man I miss solitude, oh already said that, must be true. They tell me that in the old joint in Marion Illinois that, in the old building, the one that used to be the lockdown unit, the cells are all single bunked – that being because they are so small and all. That’s the good. The bad about Marion is that they have a sex-offender program there, which means if you’re there, you’d be around those kinds of people…I’m such a loner that I would not have a problem with that. The other negative is, that I’d be further away from my family, but the reality is, that I ain’t seen my wife in over ten years and my kids are very busy with there own lives…and I’m thinking that maybe me being so close to them, an hour and a half, that I’m becoming a burden. Last thing I want is for them to feel obligated to come and visit…it’s not their fault I’m in prison, its mine. Anyway, my son-in-law Thomas, once when I broached the this subject, told me that his advice to my kids, who were not happy about this conversation, that it was “I” who had to do this time, and that I should do it wherever was the best for me. He’s right of course – I’m thinking about it…I’d give anything to have some space to write and do my work, studies, meditation, praying and such. That is the true punishment for guys like me – you’re seldom alone – and its always noisy…guys like me are out of place here; one of the guys, a Muslim Brother just walked by and said “A place where chaos is spelled with a K, and knowledge isn’t speller at all” thats a quote from a book he’s at present reading about a guy describing the prison environment…one of my books! Thought it very appropriate and even synchronistic to this.

Boss Man

A couple of weeks ago, we got a new white guy in my cell-block, he likes to jog. So, on his first day he asked me about the yard and then went out to enjoy the fresh air and do a little jogging. When he came back he in he begins to tell me this story about how he was alone and enjoying his run when he turned one of the corners and saw a cat lying fully stretched out in the middle of the track. That was strange sight for him who, like me, had not seen cats in the other spot he had been at. Anyway, he says that as he was approaching he kept thinking he, the cat, would jump up and run, or at least move for fear of being stepped on…he kept watching, and watching, mesmerized until he was right up on top of him, realizing, this cat ain’t moving! So at the last moment he kinda jumped sideways to avoid stepping on him. Amazed at the nerve of this cat he stopped and petted him for awhile, then went back to jogging, knowing of course that on the next time around he needed to run AROUND him on the grass; our track is very narrow. I smiled as he told me the story and then replied, “Yeah, that’s Boss Man. He runs shit around here.”

A Dogs Weeder

There’s a guy here who has red hair, decent guy, I guess, but he wants to be tough, so he, when he’s around his co-workers, not us, tells these stories, insinuating that he’s in the mix of running things…we of course hear the stories and being that they, and he, are harmless, he’s totally, 100% defenseless, let them go. But, we, most of us like him…and because we hear about his bragging, kinda pick on him…not physically, but we, pick on him like, you know, like pulling a gals pigtail in school. I AIN”T SAYIN’ IT’S RIGHT…and I HARDLY ever do it myself, but he kinda deserves it too, for being a “nut-hanger” ( a guy who hangs around the gang members, but doesn’t patch up) and acting like he’s something he ain’t.

So, the other day some of us fellas were hanging around and he walks by and I cracked on him and said out loud, “Red on the head, like a dogs weeder!” something kids used to say on the playground…NO! I didn’t say it was right! I don’t know why I said it! I just did, ok. Like I was saying…when I said it, everybody busted out laughing…and now ever time somebody sees him, they say, “Red on the head, like a dog’s weeder!”

It actually got to the point where, even though I personally don’t care for him, I felt sorry for him. Since I started the crap, I had to clean it up, per se – so I asked the fellas to lighten up. Yeah, I know. You’d think a guy my age would be a little more mature than that…I guess that the prison yard and the school yard, ain’t that far apart…maybe you need to think about that.

Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading my stuff.

Three Rivers, 10-14-17