"Laundry, Upbringin’"

It used to be that we, in the prison system, had machines in our cell-blocks for washing clothes…we were able to buy detergent at the prison store. But, about six or seven years ago they started in different joints to pullin’ ’em out; Three Rivers was one of the last one’s to have ’em, I guess, ’cause when I got here they still had ’em. They have been gone now for about two years.

In leau of washing machines, we now put our clothes into a mess bag or string them on a belt and throw them into a big bend where they are carted off to the laundry and thrown into massive machines where they are washed with the clothing belonging to a hundred other men. Let me explain further.

Imagine if you can, that someone came around to your house, collected your dirty clothing, carried it off and then washed your clothes in the same machine with the clothes from everyone in your neighborhood! Yeah, imagine washing your clothes in the same water with someone else, or some one hundred other people, some, that you know for a fact are nasty beyond the definition of the word. That’s what we are subjected to. It’s digusting, really is.

Remember a while back when I told you about my daughter sending me extra money so that I could hire someone to cook for me? Well, I have decided to use some of that money to hire someone to wash my clothes by hand…okay, you got me. I used to be a hardcore convict and now I’m a diva!

”How do you come back from that?”

Warning: This story has profanity.

I want to apologize for my language in this piece. I am a man who prefers not to use profanity, but sometimes that blunt language is the best way to get a point across…this is one of those times.

A few weeks back I happened to be walkin’ the track in earshot of two youngsters who were talkin’ about dope, whores and bitches. Nope, bitches and whores ain’t the same thing. To these youngsters now-a-days, whores are…well, whores and bitches are women in general…yeah, these guys in that hip hop culture refer to women, all women, as bitches…hell, they call the Queen on the chess board “My Bitch” no, I ain’t kiddin’ about that.

Anyway, I heard this one youngster say, “My moms used to bring ’em to the crib and trick ’em outta money and dope!” At that point in their conversation I decided I couldn’t enjoy my walk when they were around, so I found somewhere to sit for a while…as far away from them as I could find. But, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get that kid and his words outta my mind, and before long I had this image of him, as child, sitting in his living room while his mother had sex with folks for dope…Next thing I knew I began to watch, from a distance, this pair of lost souls, kids who’s norm in life was to watch their mother suckin’ cock for dope money, and I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for ’em. I mean, my god, it’s no wonder that they’re in prison.

I suppose what I’m tryin’ to say is that them there kids didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of bein’ anything accept a convict. I mean, how do you come back from a messed up childhood like that? You don’t!

I appreciate the good lord bringin’ to my attention the fact that some folks just never really had a fair chance at a normal life. And I’m tryin’ real hard to not hate these men for the way they act, and believe me, it ain’t easy ’cause their some kinda ignorant…and I hate it when I hear ’em saying things like it’s “The Man’s Fault” for all their problems…but, I am tryin’ to look past all that…by askin the question one more time…”How the hell do you come back from that kinda upbringin’?”

Peace be with you, Mark

Three Rivers, 2-16-17