| home | archives | links | dog blog | movies | by genre | jukebox | search |

« June 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

July 31, 2009

Only for you would I let my life stay the same, only for you
Bobby Fuller

Twisted Mind Show by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Twisted Mind Show" by Titusboy
I have a pretty strong ego. The Canadian prison is designed to quickly and ruthlessly proclaim you to be a worthless piece of flotsam unfit for society and beneath contempt. That goes for the innocentWitchcraft 70 and the guilty alike.
That doesn't work on me. I can't ever absorb as anything other than its a lie that anyone is better than me. I also encourage everyone else to feel that no one in the world is any better than they are. Instead it makes me think that the bastards in government who created and perpetuated this system are pretty pathetic individuals on a level with pedophiles and the cops and guards they hire as beneath contempt as any eunuch with a truncheon should be. (There are female eunuchs too . . . I think I dated a few.)
There are things that humble me, that make me feel small and insignificant. Walking without my puppy does that. Its a constant reminder of vulnerability. It feels like there's nothing in this life that can slake justified rage.
Today I walked to the store. I was slogging back with my bundles. My backpack on, crushing my shoulder badly. I was certain that the pain would be worse if I tried to move it or readjust it. The iPod was playing The Ronettes "Walking in the Rain". I paid attention to my heart. The heat feels unbearable to me. And then it started to rain. But the rain was hot. Not just warm but hot water, hot as a shower.
Steam roiled on the asphalt and made choking hot chemical clouds that the rush of cars pushed into my face. This was a pretty significant indictment even I couldn't ignore. It took me thirty minutes to walk home, less than two miles. the thermometer said it was already pushing 90. It wasn't 9 AM yet.
I consoled myself by putting my things away and thinking there's a chance my puppy and I will be sludge by Peter Lovacs
Click images for desktop size: "Sludge" by Peter Lovacs
together in a couple of weeks. I don't want to get my hopes up too high. There's only so much dashing I have in me and only so much dashing of hopes I can absorb. Still a lot of planning to do.

On Wednesday I completed all the interviews to get into the Access program. They sent me down to cardiology on the spot. Just drew some blood. They wanted to inject some die into my blood but saw that I was on metformin for the diabetes and went another way.
I spoke to the cardiologist on the phone. He started to get on me because I hadn't seen a cardiologist since the heart attack. I told him I was in in a Canadian prison for two weeks and the doctors there didn't think it was necessary.
He got angry and said that the "worst hack who ever got a medical degree wouldn't do that. That's scandalous. Were they trying to kill you?"
I shrugged at the phone but couldn't think of anything to add to that. I don't know if he understood my silence but he changed his schedule around to see me ASAP. ASAP meant in only one week. HeWerewolf left me with the orders: If I have any heart pain or discomfort I'm to go to emergency immediately and have them beep him.
I liked his anger and intensity.
I kept trying to explain to anyone who seemed to be in charge of anything that I was more worried about seeing an orthopedist than a cardiologist. My shoulder hurts worse than my heart (at least my beating heart).
Morgan Freeman
Click images for desktop size: "Morgan Freeman"
Someone finally told me they'd send me a letter with an appointment. I only got the cardiologist so quickly because I'd been neglecting things . . .
Thursday I saw my GP. Things look better. My blood work sort of confirmed some things. My overall cholesterol is 76. The bad cholesterol that I was supposed to work on getting down below 50 (which I thought was impossible) is at 40. The good cholesterol is still too low at 28 but its not too much of an issue since my overall cholesterol is so low.
I asked about the physical stresses of coaching and if I'd be able to go back to it. She then asked if I was the coach with the black therapy dog. It turns out my doctor's husband is a wrestling coach at one of the conference high schools and my puppy being on the side lines during the big game against us was the thrill of that season. Then she told me about how all the nurses, who I was convinced hated me and my puppy, were in deep mourning when we left.
I figure we had to go away for them to realize that the two of us weren't so bad.
She told me some of the stories about my puppy and I. I was surprised that they were pretty much The Road from New Jersey by G Studio
Click images for desktop size: "Road from New Jersey" G Studios
true and didn't have the need to get defensive about any of them.
One positive is that she'll talk to her husband about me coaching at his school . . . for pay. I have mixed feeling about that. I don't like the idea of taking money for working with kids but I need a job.
There's also the worry about whether I can physically withstand a season. Like I can see me running down the sidelines throwing my hands up over my head signaling a touch down jerking up in agony as my shoulder decided to rebel and the pain and embarrassment giving me a heart attack . . .
She thought that there were still things I could do with kids. She said that kids all loved me and talk about me and my puppy. (She didn't say in which order they talked about us which I thought was pretty diplomatic.)
Then the friend who's letting me stay at my house went on vacation. So I'm now house sitting for two4D Man weeks. Not really but it sounds better than leeching.
He's another one who's excited about the possibility of my puppy coming to me. He'll be instrumental in getting her back her if my complex plan unfolds . . . I don't have a plan. I just like to think I do.

I'm down to retail stores for job apps. I was going to even apply to Pizza Hut!! They require all employees have a driver's lisence and "Reliable Transportation (Not Public)". They claim its because you might have to make a bank deposit or an emergency delivery . . . but I figure the reality is they don't want anyone late claiming the bus broke down.
For every job I apply for I seem to get 5 spam emails and 3 scam phone calls, all offering me employment. One phone call said I could make thousands a month just by blogging . . .

July 28, 2009

Going to get home if it takes the rest of my life
Don Kershner

Rachel Weisz as Snow White
Click images for desktop size: "Rachel Weisx as Snow White" by Disney Parks Inc
Since I've been back here I've seen a goldfinch, a green singing finch, a hummingbird and a cardinal fight.Trapped (Who Can Kill A Child)
The cardinal fight wasn't of much interest. They don't peck at each other. It seems that cardinals fight by puffing themselves and flapping their wings at each other until one goes so hard that he falls to the ground . . . and that's the end of it. He's okay. He just hops along the ground a couple feet and then flies away, a broken loser in cardinal terms.
This makes for some interesting "natural selection." I rather like that the dominant cardinal isn't the toughest. The dominant bird is the one who can goad his opponent into making a mistake while avoiding mistakes himself.
I've also seen a bright yellow bird. I think its someone's canary that has broken out of jail. I can't be certain. It stays much further away from me than the wild birds do. That makes me think that its had close contact with human beings.
Seeing the canary reminded me of the flock of Blue and Gold Hyacinth Macaws that used to buzz Griffith Park. The flock looked magnificent, about 25 pet birds that had escaped, been abandoned or whatever fate could befall a 3 or 4 thousand dollar pet. They'd escaped and lived and learned to live together.
Some people would speculate that the LA environment wasn't good for such tropical animals and that the Macaws were probably malnourished and ratty, lousy with lice.
They were too wary of humanity to get close so I never heard it confirmed. I just thought they looked alien and beautiful when they sweep over the sky screaming at each other and rejoicing in being free at last.
I thought about that flock of birds when I watched what I am sure is a canary as it barrel rolled over the roof.

Pizzicato Wail by Laura Racero
Click images for desktop size: "Pizzacato Wail" by Laura Racero
My arm is killing me. I mean that in the literal sense. Sleep is a luxury. It takes me twenty minutes to contort my body into a position where the pain abates and then ten minutes for my body to realize that this is as comfortable as its going to get. I sleep for 90 minutes then my rebellious body shifts to make some other part comfortable and I get awakened with a screaming burning electricity that is the exact opposite of being awakened with a loving caress.
Pain is an interesting trainer. I've discovered I can ignore years of reflex just to avoid the twinge of the pain. One of the worst attacks my shoulder made on me was when a fly landed on it and I shrugged. The shoulder threw me to the floor and I lie there contemplating wood grain and pain for twenty minutes.
Now if anything lands on my shoulder there's no twitch, no reflex reaction at all. I stay still even if being bitten until I can reach over with my left hand and gently brush whatever it is away.
I don't know if this makes me more human or more animal. Self preservation is probably theThe Undying Monster greatest instinct. I'm too thick to decide if its a more animal or human trait. I guess if you could get paid for it that's what separates the species. How much is self preservation by the hour.
I keep stretching and exercising. It pays off. Today, for the first time in months, I was able to wash my left arm pit with my right hand. Not well. But I could reach it.
Everything else I'm doing pretty well on being left handed. If I forget its always there to remind me.
Click images for desktop size: "Seal"
I had a job interview today. A pretty blah interview. I had a sixteen dollar pair of pants I bought from the outlet store. Nice, light, black cotton. I pulled one of the countless tags off it and stupidly used my right hand to do it. I was nearly late getting out of the house. The pain was time shattering.
Self preservation by the hour unless your in a hurry is very human, I think.
I went and saw this group that arranges "Specialist Medicine" for the poor today. There's more concern, at least at this stage, about whether I have 12 grand hidden away, 12 grand that could be used to pay the cardiologist or the orthopedist. I sort of understand the desire to weed out the scammers.
What I don't understand is how a cardiologist can value his time at One Thousand Dollars a visit. The same for an orthopedist. They donate the time so they can take a tax deduction.
They've already figured I'll need 12 cardiology appointments and at least 6 orthopedist visits. How did these guys get so valuable. is it the old, "there so afraid of dying/pain the suckers will pay anything!" ruse? Its pretty hard for me to accept that their training is so refined that their time is worth upwards of $6,000 an hour. I've been billed pretty much that so I know they're not shy about Pretty Pi
Click images for desktop size: "Pretty Pi" by Unknown
writing down the numbers.
I still think I deserve a discount.
The frozen shoulder is caused by diabetes. The diabetes was caused by a nasty chemo they tried. The second one. Diabetes is a known side effect. We even discussed it. Of course the options presented to me were diabetes or dying. I said, "Well, its just an injection a day, right?"
"Not even that. There's pills that will see you through for years and years."
Of course years later another doctor tells me that diabetes is a degenerative disease. It only gets worse. Eventually I'll need to go on injectable insulin.
That didn't seem so bad. It was still of in the future. I had to change doctors. The shoulder started to act up and they knew it was time to go on insulin. The frozen shoulder was the indicator that the diabetes had gotten out of control and had to be handled with insulin.
Problem is the frozen shoulder has no known cure and will last one year to eighteen months.
Now they put me on the insulin and less than 30 days later I had the heart attack. There are several reason for the heart attack but it appears on of the main ones is me going on insulin . . . Yow.Vertigo
So the chemo led to diabetes which lead to a frozen shoulder which indicated time for insulin which lead to a heart attack.
You have to ask yourself if it was all worth it. Living this sort of pale memory of life while I watch my body being twisted and distorted by disease. I remember Cronenberg's "The Fly" with Seth Brundle cataloging the fallen bits of his humanity in his medicine cabinet.
You start to wonder if it was all worth it.
I think it was because so far I've seen a goldfinch, a green singing finch and a cardinal fight.
I miss my puppy.
I miss my friend.
I'm staying with a friend but worried about being broke and jobless. But that goldfinch sat on the railing two feet away from me and looked at me while I think it was deciding whether or not I was edible. The green singing finch hoped on my shoe. Feel pretty lucky.

July 24, 2009

I get around
Brian Wilson

mc by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: "mc" by Richard Mohler
Another bad night.
My careful construction of pillows and positioning failed me. I was awakened 4 times with sharp They Drive by Night pains. Did manage to sleep well until then though so I feel pretty well rested.
Miss my puppy.
Last night I had to dip into my work clothes fund (or interview clothing fund) to buy a new keyboard. I wouldn't buy a new Apple keyboard. Don't have $50.00 to spare. And as this is the third keyboard to just go bad it seems futile.
David Bowie
Click images for desktop size: "David Bowie"
The keyboard was working absolutely fine but then abruptly the space key and six keys stop functioning. I have a thesaurus so I could do without the letter keys but copy and pasting spaces was pretty time consuming.
I got a Logitech board for $15.00. It works okay. It is cheap and the Apple keyboard certainly looks and feels better and the Apple has all those hardware function keys (volume, eject, screen brightness). But for 15 bucks I figure this one will last and do just fine until I start working.
Yesterday was also tough as my friend spent most of the day at the doctors and then at the hospital getting tests. She's going to be okay but right now she has three separate viral infections. Viral meningitis, which is nasty but not as nasty as bacterial meningitis, a kidney infection and a general infection. Rah.
They gave her something. Hope she'll be okay.
Being separated by imaginary borders heightens the worry and the frustration.
I'm still looking for work. Still applying for at least three jobs a day.
I'm worried now.
People have been on me for bum rapping Canada. I'm not. I've traveled enough and lived in enough foreign countries to draw a line between the people and its government. Even in the most Mist's Edge by Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: "Mist's Edge" by Luis Royo
entrenched democracy the government seldom coincides with its people. Its worse in a capitalistic society but it is usually pretty evident.
Most foreigners bum rap America as being too litigious. They don't understand that it is those massive payouts you read about that shape and form our society.
Like in India Union Carbide negligently murdered thousands of innocents with a poison cloud. Its still in court over there decades later. Union Carbide is still appealing and fighting the size of the payout. I gather the damages to the surviving family members who were victims of the slow painful death Union Carbide inflicted on them want so much money it would eat up nearly a week of Union Carbides normal net profits. That's NET profits.
In the USA the damages would have bankrupted the corporation and then the lawyers would have gone after the corporate officers and bankrupted them.
And I think that's a good thing. Corporate America doesn't fear prison. They fear losing money. Corporate America was poisoning dogs and cats for a long time. They figured it was worth it.The Killer that Stalked New York
They saved so much money by putting a known poison into dog and cat food that they figured they'd still turn a profit based on how many animals would likely die. The law suits wouldn't be large enough to offset the tremendous savings.
They continued to poison animals for months until judges started to hit them with stiffer and stiffer penalties and allowed the pain and suffering of the pets owners to enter into the settlements. That's when it finally stopped.
But America has an entire history trying too fight for and to find a balance between freedom and justice. It is only in the last 30 years when America bowed to corporate domination that our laws have gotten screwy. I mean the old, "Better 1,000 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man suffer," sounds cool. It is cool but we can't seem to deal with that anymore. Still its so ingrained that the conservatives haven't been able to totally dismantle the structure.
Even in France, where the fight for liberty runs deep, if you are arrested you are presumed guilty. Your task is to prove you're innocent not for the prosecutor to prove your guilt.
In the U.K. they revoked the right to silence. Being confused, dazed or lost isn't sufficient. Not answering a cop's (a COP'S) question will be held against you.
In Canada you do not have the right to speak to an attorney before questioning. They state that you have a right to one phone call. You don't. You can ask the cop to call a lawyer for you and he may or may not choose to do so.
You can sue the cop for refusing to make the call. It will cost you about $25,000.00 and if you win you'll get a written apology . . . and that's it.
The quality of cops has been declining world wide. Mainly because of the quality of the men who want to be cops. See, fewer and fewer want to be police officers, protecting the innocent, helping Hie Sanno Festival
Click images for desktop size: "Hie Sanno Festival" by Unknown
the helpless sort of men. Most of them want to act out some control fantasy, carry guns and shoot people and get away with it. The UK and Canada are both giving more and more types of cops guns. They didn't need guns for hundreds of years but now they do. Well, they really don't but they want them and they have unions.
So I'm not really bum rapping Canada so much as I'm noticing that any society that attempts to run essential services at a profit will eventually work most to appear it is following the letter of the law while intentionally ignoring the intent of the law.
Any country that does not prize the rights of children and the rights of the individual over all other rights is out of necessity going to become a cruel heartless torturing nation.
And I still miss my puppy. I still hope my friend is okay.

July 23, 2009

Did you really think love was worth dying for; its just trouble
John Entwistle

Irises by Sakai Doitsu
Click images for desktop size: "Irises" by Sakai Doitsu
Its amazing how still the air is. Not a hint of breeze. Smoke from the cigarettes goes straight up, tendrils without a wisp of character. The trees are silent, nothing moves. It feels like death might Spellbound feel.
I haven't written anything the past few days. Nothing has happened that I need to remember.
I miss my puppy terribly. That's not going to change. It feels like she's been stolen from me, which isn't actually the case but it feels that way. It feels like a lot of what I am has been stolen from me. Its only my sadness that makes me feel this way.
When I run into someone I know they're fist question is, "How's your puppy?" That proves they actually know me. Several people I don't know have come up to me and asked after her. Some have tried to identify me as my puppy's "father". Then they ask where she is and how she is.
The adults will often tell me a story about how my puppy helped their child through a traumatic illness. Some tell me how my puppy helped them through their child's illness. They always tell me how beautiful and smart and devoted my puppy is.
They've built a dinosaur trail here. Its just an established path in the forest and they've hidden something like 20 fiberglass dinosaurs on the path for kids to discover and play on. It opens tomorrow. I got a formal invitation to take the inaugural walk with my puppy and some kids from the hospital. It would be fun for all.
Its possibly just as well we can't do it. My puppy would have enjoyed the walk but the kid have an image of her sometimes . . . especially around the dinosaurs. I fear they would have been disappointed in how she reacted to the big adventure, but possibly not.
I continue to be desperate for a job. Nearly broke. I going as intense as I can. Just churning away.
I had two interviews yesterday. One was a waste. It was a group interview . . . there were five of us. Three were high school girls. The job was weekend cashier at a chain drug store.
Howard Schatz
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Howard Schatz
On the second I at least got a nice free lunch. I had wild mushroom ravioli. It was okay. This was a meeting with my old boss. It was nice enough and a pleasant couple of hours. Except on the work front they hired two people within the last two months.
Its not too nice having to hope for some one else's failure to have a chance at success. Way too Hollywood.
There's one unexpected result of using the internet for my job search. Not only d I get some pretty virulent spam offering me all sorts of scam type jobs I also get phone calls.
On Tuesday I applied on-line to a chain book store where I used to know some people. The on-line job app is their preference, I did all the tedious work.
I haven't heard from them but I got three phone calls. I'm on a pay-as-you-go mobile. The first few minutes of each conversation is with me trying to figure out who these people are. What job I applied for that they're calling me about. It takes a while to figure out that they saw my resume andStraitjacket want to offer me a fantastic opportunity . . .
One call was from a company that needed to verify my employment history. I asked which employer they were working for. They couldn't/wouldn't tell me. I decided not to cooperate with them. I said I'd gotten too many spams and scams to risk giving out my personal details to a stranger.
I hope that wasn't a mistake. The concern is just a reflection of how stressed I am.
I had to talk to this foundation after. They're the ones who will provide access to a volunteer cardiologist and orthopedist. It was an interesting phone interview. Te gist of it was to figure out if I was actually wealthy and scamming to get free health care. I did discover that all the jobs I'm applying for, well, the wages would still keep me below the national poverty level and keep me eligible for the program. Pretty solid mixed feelings about that.
Click images for desktop size: "Hiding Turtle" by Unknown
I haven't had any real issues with my heart. Even with the sadness and the worry. No pain. I seem to just be aware of it.
The arm and shoulder on the other hand are a terrible nuisance. The pain stays at intolerable levels.
Yesterday I was in the bathroom when I heard the phone ring. I scrambled to answer it and rammed the bad shoulder into the door jam. I was mewling . . . it was electric fire blinding.
I didn't get to the phone in time. It took twenty minutes to recover. The arm was weak and useless. A new wrinkle has been the numbness of the pinky and ring fingers.
I was able to see who called and call back. Good thing. It was a job I'm seriously interested in. Interview Tuesday.
I'm sleeping better. I've discovered that I can build a sort of cast made of pillows around the arm and shoulder and that with some adjusting I can sleep almost pain free. This has served me the last two night so I'm sleeping nearly 5 hours a night!

July 19, 2009

Now all I've got is sorrow and pain
Joey Ramone

Emily by Jugeminias
Click images for desktop size: "Emily" by Jugeminias
Missing my puppy badly.
I slept better last night. Discovered a plan that semi-worked. Involved a lot of propping with pillowsRabid and proper splaying. I slept for 3 hours straight through.
But dreamt of my puppy. On nights like this she'd tell me puppy jokes, watch over me and recommend a good snack. Being a doctor dog she'd know when to nuzzle me, when to play with me, take me outside, when to have me pet her.
I miss my puppy. Trying hard to not let my desperation for her turn into obsession.
Obsession almost always means you miss the obvious solutions in life.
I'm hoping that tomorrow starts to yield some results to my mad flurry of resume rending job searching. Its time for interviews and time for hoping.
I went to this store, Ross. They have plenty f cheap slacks. They sell Dockers for like eight bucks. I figure dockers are okay for some interviews. I begrudge spending the eight bucks.
I bought some used books yesterday. The trip was to drop off job apps. I got four books for nine dollars. Three of them will be interesting but hardly vital, the find was David Drake's "Killer".
"Killer," is a book I was thinking about months ago. Its a science fiction tale about a vicious killing machine monster that gets loose on earth. What makes this story compelling is that the earth its gone to war with is ancient Rome! And the monsters hunter is a former gladiator!
I'm into the first one hundred pages. The story drags a bit more than I remembered but its still fascinating. There's some effort made to show the life of free Romans. The history lesson is integrated well into the plot so it hardly feels like you're learning anything at all! Good stuff.

July 5, 2009

We woke the next morning with heavy growing hearts. A border, an imaginary line meant we had to Enhanced Canadian Wilderness By James Davidson
Click images for desktop size: "Enhanced Canadian Wilderness" by James Davidson
go our own ways.
The Days Inn provided a free breakfast. We decided to save some money and eat it. The breakfast was poor but could fill you up.
The worst part was a tray full of eggs cooked someway that they're all perfectly round. They are also nearly indestructible. Even though heaped on the plate none of their yolks showed any hint of breaking. I was afraid of them. They did not seem like food but more like the Japanese plastic sculptures of food the restaurants display.
To while away the time until checkout we walked and talked. We thought of strategies, of hopes and of plans. All bright optimistic stuff to avoid thinking of my departure time.
When we checked out we went looking for a bookstore, so I could get something to read on the long bus ride.
We went to Borders. My friend found a couple of cook books and a gluten free magazine she'd never before seen. I couldn't find anything. The prices for he titles were too high for my remote interest inThe Return of the Vampire them.
We then found a spectacular looking used book store but it was closed on the Sunday. We looked through the windows and regretted the day.
It seemed a nice place to sit and talk and attempt to say goodbye.
Divine Right
Click images for desktop size: "Divine Right" by Marvel
We had lunch at this Irish style pub. I had a quesadilla . . . it was not good but better than I feared.
Following a last second "I need another bungi cord" panic we went to the bus station. We sat and waited. Talked.
There were two US Immigrations cop hanging around. Border Patrol this far from a border? My bus pulled in but we weren't allowed to board. The Border Patrol had to go in and harass the passengers. They pulled an Indian guy off the bus and were huge jerks. They made him get his luggage and they inspected everything in an incredibly arrogant fashion.
I got on the bus. My friend was in tears. I flashed all the ASL I knew at her. I don't know if she knew what I was saying. I kept flashing ASL even as the bus pulled out. When we got to the other side of the bus station my friend was out there. She waved. I waved back and watched her walk to her car. I wanted to tell her there's no sense in crying. No one was dead yet.
So two days out of prison, nearly 4 weeks from a heart attack and here I was on the dreaded Frank Melech
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Mellech
Greyhound. No chance to recover. No chance to breathe.
I had 16 hours to think about things.
I started thinking about the racist cop who started this ugly turn. I don't like cops. Its their insanity and their presumption I don't like. After they've been at it long enough they start to think that everyone is guilty and its only a matter of time till they have you under the lights burying their saps in your kidneys.
This Scott McVicar wasn't even unique. I'd noticed that the area cops were almost all of a freaky breed. They remind me of nothing more than the cops in "A Clockwork Orange". "Just jobs for two who are of job working age!"
They're thugs too cowardly to run with the gangs and the worst of them who find the gangs to tame for the sadistic hatred they carry in their souls.
The sick part is that they no longer make the cops wear uniforms, not consistent uniforms. They let them fuss and futz with their uniforms to the point that there is no longer any relief when you see aSan Quentin cop. McVicar wore no name tag - ever. He even obscured his badge. He fitted and tugged his uniform and wore so much extra unofficial gear he looked more like a manga character than a cop. He wasn't alone. The end result is they look like a manga inspired gang that gets to carry guns and openly hate.
I've never seen any police force in the world that allowed its cops to customize their uniforms to such an extent that the officers couldn't be readily identified. Not even in Africa around the equator. They want the police to be readily identified in an effort to stop trouble except in Canada where the by-word is to let the thugs keep the thugs in their place and who cares what they look like.
Suddenly squad car cops are allowed to do investigations. And a cop so stupid and ignorant he thinks everything he sees on the internet is true. And based on that I was thrown in prison. I was never fingerprinted, photographed nor DNA tested. They have no idea if I was even the guy in the story. But on the whim of a racist cop who thinks in sci-fi fantasy cop terms I was arrested and thrown in prison by K.W. (Ken) McMurtrie, an immigration cop who tried to glamorize his role by Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: "Frankenstein" by Universal
pretending that I was a dangerous arch fiend so he could justify his budget. Then when his speculative case fell apart he lied and tied to justify his heinous acts. He doesn't care about people. Just about his superiors reaming him about going over budget.
In my friends neighborhood there was a mini scandal. Some 25 year old kid walked up to an old man and punched the old man until he was dead. No one could understand it.
Now I do know what happened. He'd just been released from Maplehurst.
You can't take a young violent man, throw him in a ell, abuse and debase him through a constant, clearly administratively approved series of verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Reduce his self esteem to less than zero and then give him nothing but time. No encouragement, no chance to improve himself, just encourage his violence, set him up to commit institutionally approved violence against other inmates.
Are the people who set up this system illiterate? Haven't they bothered to read or even be aware of Shiver of the Vampire the last 60 years of penal work and reform.
MAXSEX (Maximum Security) is harsh. I've visited prisoners in MAXSEC in Europe and the USA. I was treated with respect. So were the prisoners. The sort of behavior exhibited by the guards at Maplehurst would not have been tolerated at any of those prisons if only because the type of prisoners in MAXSEC would think nothing of killing a guard ho was insulting and belittling and threatening, but also because everyone knows very few MAXSEC prisoners get life sentences. Most of them will be out on the street. In a true MAXSEC prisoners case every effort is made to attempt to rehabilitate him to avoid just spitting killers back onto the street. They succeed quite often. More than 70%.
The prisoners at Maplehurst are NOT MAXSEC! Shoplifters are not MAXSEC. They do not promote a danger to others around them. Guys on two year sentences for being drunk and disorderly are not MAXSEC.
Maplehurst makes no attempt at education or rehabilitation. They punish. The punish the innocent and the guilty equally. But what else they are doing is training killers. You could even produce an argument proving it is intentional.
It was in the 1930's that it was shown that the treatment of prisoners especially in modes such as practiced at Maplehurst increased a prisoners propensity to violence and that propensity stayed with the prisoner long after his incarceration had ended. Repeat offenders increased and the repeat offenses were noted for their escalating physical violence.
Click images for desktop size: "Forest" by Unknown
The punishment administered at hell holes like Maplehurst punishes society far more than it punishes the prisoner.
We got nearer my stop. The bus was over crowded and it was making my shoulder crazy.
I knew instead of thinking of the injustice of the recent past I needed to start thinking about the future or I'd be in trouble.
All I could think about was my puppy.
But she's not here.
Maybe she never will be again.
I refuse to accept that I deserve anymore punishment. I rebel.

July 17, 2009

Oh Lord Ka chang ka chang
Don And Dewey

Ecuador by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Ecuador" by Titusboy
Nights are becoming grim exercises in pain and tangled dancing. Sleeping in 45 minute spurts. Waking up gasping. Sometimes can maneuver to a slightly painless position but the rest of my bodyNude on the Moon is so uncomfortable it doesn't last long, just until I drift off.
Second week here and the biggest memory is the pain . . . and no job.
I thought about applying to Pizza Hut, the YUM Corporation . . . decided things weren't quite that bleak after all.
I got my food stamps card today. That brightened up the weather some. Went right out and bought 100 bucks worth of healthy food. Enough to last a few weeks at least. Food and a dry place to connect to the internet and all things seem possible.
I kept thinking about my puppy and how much I miss her. No closer now to a way to get her the near 1,000 miles. She's a warrior. She'll survive. So will I. But sometimes it just nice to be happy.
Happy seems further than a thousand miles. Happy seems to be just a memory.
Good news os that my puppy's mom is doing okay. I don't think she's in remission from her cancer yet but she's not facing an imminent end. That a good cause to rejoice.

July 3 and July 4, 2009

I waited for my friend to get to Rainbow Bridge. Walking around Niagara Falls it seemed just like another tourist trap. Glitz surrounded by invisible poverty. As I walked I realized how weakened the prison had made me. I sat and waited and listened.
One thing that surprised me is that the guards hadn't stolen my iPod and ear buds. I think its because I had to dump my iSkins Duo case. The only case I had to replace it was this thick black plastic thing that made it impossible to read the screen. I think they looked at it and thought it was Dr Wirtham's Comix
Click images for desktop size: "Dr Wirtham's Comix" by Unknown
a knock off or anything not an iPod. Or maybe it was just too old for them.
I listened to my prison theme song: The Martinets "Hallowed Ground". I was glad it was actually on the iPod at all. The song disappointed me. It was great enough but I realized I'd pretty well rearranged the song and my version was better. At least better when referring to an unnatural hell hole.
I listened to the track three times and made notes as to the changes I'd made. It is a great tune.
There was about an hour until the earliest my friend would arrive so I stood at the Niagara Falls Center where I had a clear view of the border crossing. I watched the cars come across until I noticed some of the guards watching me watch them. I didn't want ti inadvertently bring any undue attention to my friend so I figured out a place where she would cross and we would meet.
My friend was able to reactivate my mobile so I set up a location and sent her a text. The location was on the main exit of the crossing, about three blocks straight down. There was a fire plug Night of the Demon keeping a section of the street clear and a bench in front of the fire plug. I sat and sort of collapsed inside of myself. A few tourists walked past. I was interested that so many of the tourists were Asiatic Indians. I also remembered that about 90% of the fast food joints I'd seen were Indian food - stupidly expensive too. ($9 for a chicken vindaloo!)
I waited and kept my eyes open as best I could. Then she was there.
I was elated. Actually understood what the word meant for the first time. E-lated.
I got in the car with her and almost completely collapsed. Five hours ago a bald man with no power other than nastiness, a man who's bald head and wrinkles made him look exactly like a six foot 3 penis with glasses had dumped me in a place I'd never been before with no shoelaces, belt or money, and then via only her kindness I was safe and with someone I loved.
We drove for maybe 10 minutes, heading no place but south. I said I was shattered and needed to find a hotel. We ended up via some wrong turns in Towawunda, a town we discovered was less than Dangerous Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Dangerous Girl" by Unknown
10 miles from Niagara Falls. We were on a quiet road and saw the Anchor Hotel. It was a good choice.
The motel was on a large private lake. The house where the office was had the most spectacular yard and view I'd seen in ages. The room 124, was clean, old fashioned but modern enough.
We drove into town and I ate at one of the chain restaurants I normally dislike. The food was bland but better than what I'd had. I ate only half of it. The rest I took home and ate during the night.
My friend told me of her day. She'd gotten to Maplehurst about 1:00 PM, about the time that I was pulling into the Prison Shopping Mall, or maybe that should be the Shopping Mall Prison. She gave the guard fifty bucks cash to put into my prison canteen fund. He took it and ordered her to sit and wait for visiting hours. Then the guard discovered he couldn't find me. I was there but couldn't be found.Pickup On South Street
My friend called the social worker. Their up to date records showed I was still there. They said I had to be because it would be illegal for Immigration to remove me with no notice. A bit later she noticed that the records had been updated. I had been released into society . . . or maybe I'd been transferred to a Detention Center. No. I had been given my unconditional release and should be home now.
My friend asked for her money back from the guard. He told her no. It was my money in my account now. She pointed out I wasn't Merle Haggard
Click images for desktop size: "Merle Haggard"
there. Pretty reasonable, I think. He said no, that she'd have to wait till four and take it up with someone else . . .
Meanwhile she was near panic as she now had no idea where I was. She went home and found my messages on the voice mail and . . .
I felt bad because the prison had abused her near as much as it had me. I've visited prisoners in jails and prisons all over the world. I'd never experienced anything as purely evil and plain nasty as the Canadian system. I'll try and go into details about that tomorrow.
We went back to the Anchor and enjoyed being together the way we used to.
My friend finally fell asleep. I tried to sleep but couldn't. I was exhausted but exhilarated, exhilarated but lost. I went through my stuff and figured out what the prison guards had stolen. Two things really irked me. They'd stolen my new razor! I thought that was incredibly low and personal, like stealing my underwear!
Also annoying was that I'd had about 45 Tylenol 3 - the ones with codeine. Pain pills for my shoulder. They'd left me six! I really don't know why they'd left the six. Some bent prison guard logic I'm pleased to not grasp.
De la Haut by Alexandra Petracchi
Click images for desktop size: "De la Haut" by Alexandra Petracchi
At dawn I took a shower and walked around the lake. I felt tired but I liked looking at stuff, liked walking more than 6 steps before I had to turn around.
I went and looked at this restaurant we'd passed in the night. It was where we'd decided to have breakfast.
I walked down the highway and started to get passed by a lot of bikers. The highway was part of some historic scenic trail. It did look pretty. Some Japanese biker stopped in front of me and said, "Good morning American Human!"
We chatted for a brief moment. I just enjoyed being with someone so overjoyed with life that he needed to talk to anyone, even a stranger, to let them know how great the world really was.
When I went back we packed up and went to the roadside restaurant. It was very good and set our mood to light and frothy. We hit the road after a lot of jerking back and forth.
Somehow we decided to head to Erie, Pennsylvania. Totally capricious choice. We both knew the name. ALthough I only knew it because of that old folk song.Price of Sin
At Eerie we checked into the Days Inn, Room 426 as it was the first place we'd seen. We lugged everything in and then went out to explore. Erie was a blasted town. Far too many closed down banks to be comfortable.
We went looking to get hair cuts and ended up at the cheap mall. Very scary place. Somehow we got directions to the "nice" mall and trekked over.
At the mall I got a bad hair cut, my friend got a slightly better trim. We looked around and got bored with everything except each other.
We went back to the hotel and got information on bus tickets. Then we went out to explore a bit. We were going to go see a Double A baseball game. The Erie stadium looked cool, a charming band box of a site. Except the team was on the road!
We decided to go down to the pier and see the touristy style stuff. Everyone was exited about the fireworks coming that evening. They had two boats that were going to sit out in the harbor during the show but they were already booked.
We went and had dinner at the "Smuggler's Wharf". It was okay. I liked what I had even though it was too rich and made me queasy (blackened salmon). While we were talking I told my friend that I was upset about my description. Now at the prison they'd never taken my fingerprints, DNA or even a photo but they had described me as having brown and gray hair!
I said, "Me! Gray hair!" and slapped my chest. That made my shoulder wrench in agony. We were eating al fresco so I could get up and walk about while it recovered. It was closing in on dusk so we Jack And The Beanstalk by Maxfield Parrish
Click image: "Jack and the Beanstalk" by Maxfied Parrish
decided to watch the fireworks show.
There were maybe a hundred little boats in the harbor and a few thousand people crowding around. I felt claustrophobic so we moved further away. It was a good choice. When the fireworks started we were now in a perfect position to see them at their best. There was a guy in a boat and he was playing his Fourth of July Mix Tape. This odd amalgamation of pop, classical and rock. He'd been working on it for years I'd guess. It fit the show pretty well.
The fireworks were vapid. My mother loved fireworks shows. My only memory of them was how smokey they were and how much I preferred seeing the smoke trails to the show.
It was pretty underwhelming. We saw enough and left early to avoid the growing crowd. Sadness was creeping in. Tomorrow we'd have to part.

July 16, 2009

I can't wait to see the man they think can take my place

Fireworks by Clarence Holbrook Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Fireworks" by Clarence Holbrook Carter
I've been reading about people who are addicted to amputation. One fellow went so far as to pack his leg in dry ice destroying it to the point of it requiring his desired amputation.The Chimp
'The way my arm and right shoulder are behaving I suddenly have empathy for what I originally regarded as bizarre as Cronenberg's "Crash" fixation.
It has become the center of my life. I have to twist and squirm in bed to try and find a position where the shoulder hurts less enough to permit sleep, of course I move and wake up with riveting pain and start the procedure all over again.
The arm is now my major obsession. Its the second worst pain I can ever recall in my life. The leader is still the second chemo therapy. At least the shoulder isn't making me go bald!
I made it worse last night, sitting on skype with my friend for 3 hours. That has to be monitored a bit better. I got a call today from the Food Stamp people. I've all cool and will receive 200 a month through December. I have to report any changes in my life, like mainly finding a job. Depending on the wages I might still be eligible for benefits.

July 3, 2009

As usual I was up before dawn. I watched the flock of birds foraging for food in the grasses. I'm not sure what sort of birds they are. They remind me most of a bird I nursed back to health years ago; a cedar winged wax bill. I liked that bird and I like watching these guys so I think of them as cedar winged wax bills. That might even be what they are.
The sun had not made an appearance yet when my cell was opened and I was told to clear my stuff out right now. Immigration was coming for me; or "Get your s___ spic. They're throwing your stinking a__ out of here."
My first impulse was a small rush of panic. I thought I was to get more notice. I wondered if they'd Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Cape Cod Morning" by Edward Hopper
called my friend and let her know what was happening.
I was marched downstairs to discharge and thrown into another cell. I sat in this cell for a couple of hours. The place was as dark and dank as admitting had been. A bit better lit perhaps but still no way to know what time it was. I'm guessing it was between 8 and 9 AM when they finally marched me over to an open changing room. A guard flung a blue bag of stuff he'd been dragging on the floor at me. It was the clothes I'd entered wearing. Still no shoe laces and no belt. They were musty but welcome.
I toyed with the idea of swiping the stupid bright orange T-Shirt but decided it wasn't worth the pay off. None of this bright orange clothing made any mention of Maplehurst Correctional Center. I'd be ashamed of it too.
Wearing most of my own clothes I was marched back to the cell. I was starting to feel both the lack of any water, breakfast and most importantly my meds. I yelled at a lieutenant about my meds. HeThe Longest Day glared at me like I was a chimpanzee masturbating at the zoo.
About 15 minutes later I got his response. I was taken out of my cell and placed in a line with five other hispanics. None of them spoke English. I got yelled at to stop talking but I figured what were they going to do, "throw me out faster!"
Jane Fonda
Click images for desktop size: "jane Fonda"
All six of us were hand cuffed with hand cuffs that had only one link in between the cuffs. A thick leather belt was slapped around our waists and cinched. The handcuffs were snapped into a link on the belt. Manacles with about two feet of chain between our ankles were snapped on our legs. A chain was run from the leg manacles to the clip on the belt. The six of us were then chained together with about two feet of chain between each of us.
We were to be transported to the detention center in Toronto . . . Clearly we were very dangerous. I could tell the fellow next to me was dead set on getting a job. The other four looked like workers too. Canadian guards are terrified of people who might at any second start working, hence the insane inhumane precautions.
The only other person I'd ever seen this elaborately trussed up was Richard Ramierez, the Night Stalker, the serial killer who confessed to six random slaughters. Logically we were as dangerous as he was.
Click images for desktop size: "Game Graphic" by Unknown
One of the guards made a joke, "Beaners on a rope." The guards all chuckled. I don't get the refinements of bigoted guard humour.
We trudged along the concrete discharge area. We went about twenty feet when I was uncuffed from the line and told to stand in a cell. I was disappointed. I figured I was being moved to a detention center, out of prison prior to be returned to the USA. Now I figured that they'd made a mistake. The call had come down, "Get all the beaners ready for transport," and the sub human guards just assumed since I had a hispanic surname that I was part of the group. Either that or I personally was so dangerous that they needed to truss me up to move me to a new cell about 10 feet from my old one.
I waited some more. The guards all stood around smoking. Someone dumped the rest of my belongings into a plastic bag. I was given receipts to sign. The guard covered everything except the signature line and told me to sign. I asked what I was signing. He threatened to club me if I didn'tMark of the Vampire shut up. I signed Donald Duck, which is how I sign anything I don't want to sign and duress and physical threats are the alternatives.
After another hour or so two squat little rent-a-cops showed up. I knew they were for me. RENT-A-COPS!
We went through the elaborate trussing procedure again, all the chains. I had to carry all my belongings in their transparent garbage bag while I hobbled along. Suddenly an old guard, a big guy who stank of stale beer and corruption shoved me from behind. He drove my head into a wall then ripped off my shoes.
Ostensibly he was pretending to check my toes for weapons . . . because I might have made one in my hours in his discharge cell. It was a move to humiliate and to hurt me. He was trying to break my toes. I fell when he jerked my foot out. His hand got tangled in the hobble chain. I admit I'm sorry he didn't break a finger or something. He started to try and kick me while I was down but I think he wasn't dead certain the rent-a-cops would back him up.
The two squat guys led me to a van. It was designed for six passengers. It was caged. I was chained to my seat. I said, "Isn't this a bit overkill? I mean I'm going to the USA!"
"Just procedure," they said in perfect unison.
I enjoyed the ride. I nearly gave them cardiac arrest when I saw a sign for "Wayne Gretzky's Out of the Dragoons
Click images for desktop size: "Out of the Dragoons" by M McKetchum
Winery". I blurted out "He's got a winery!?!"
The driver nearly lost control of the van. I expected them to draw their guns.
I just enjoyed the sights until we hit Niagara Falls. Then I had a moment of panic. For some reason they pulled into a seedy rundown shopping center. They pulled around the back and turned down an alley. I thought this is where they kill me. I managed to shrug off the seat chain. I didn't plan to just sit and let them shoot me. I was convinced that no one knew where I was (which was accurate) and murder certainly seemed well within the agenda of the Canadian government.
They stopped at a narrow gate, just about 4 inches wider than the van. There wasn't another person or even a window in sight. I figured I'd twist and kick. I hoped the chain would add some weight and damage.
One rent-a-cop got out and opened the gate. He went and stood behind the van as the driver pulled into this tiny space. I relaxed a bit, but only a little. A door opened and the driver fussed moving theMini-Skirt Mob van back and forth till the van door and the building door lined up, otherwise there was no way to get me out of the thing.
I didn't feel foolish, just relieved that this wasn't an assassination attempt. They marched me into the shopping mall. They had two semi-cells in the place. Both occupied.
I was put in cell 2 with this Jordanian looking guy. The boss rent-a-cop came by and asked me what I wanted for lunch. He was going to the deli next door. I got coffee and a turkey sandwich.
They took off the handcuff and the belt but left on the manacles. My cell mate showed me how to roll my socks so the manacles didn't keep clanging on my ankle bone.
When the rent-a-cop bought in our lunch I saw a clock finally. It was 1:20.
We ate. We talked about nothing. Mainly we waited. My cell mate was being deported as being a suspected terrorist. He had to return to America even though he only had a green card there.
We waited.
Then we waited. Then this bald guy, about 6' 3" and a smallish girl came in and scooped up our stuff. I still had not been able to touch any of my belongings. I just kept getting to look at the clear plastic garbage bag and wonder.
The bald guy came in and put these strange 1 piece handcuffs on us. They were like regular handcuffs but held together with a thick piece of black plastic. The plastic was rigid. I played with them and couldn't figure out what the different design was intended to accomplish.
We were then marched into a car. I kept demanding to know if they had called my friend as they had agreed and were legally obligated to do.
High Heels by Dolgachov
Click images for desktop size: "High Heels" by Dolgachov
They never called. The same way they never gave me my 48 hours notice. A government of criminals.
The bald guy and the lady drove us to Rainbow Bridge. They spent the entire drive complaining about their jobs . . .
We drove over Niagara Falls. I wasn't very impressed.
I figure thy blamed us.
When we got to the border it got odd again. The bald guy flung my garbage bag of goods onto the ground HARD, like he was trying to break stuff. While he took off all the chains he was rabbiting on to the US Border patrol about how dangerous I was and how he hoped they were locking me up for life!
The border guard said, "He's walking right out the gate. What's your problem anyway."
The US Border Guard tried to disengage from the Canadian Immigration Bald Guy. The bald guy kept following him. Two cops led the Jordanian guy into the building. I went and picked up my stuff. I looked into the bag. It was a mess. I wondered what the prison guards had swiped.The Mummy
There was no one there. The lying bastards had done it. Dumped me in the USA so that no one knew where I was, no money, no property. Funny thing was they'd not served me with any deportation papers. They gave me back my passport but it wasn't stamped.
The US guard came out. The bald guy scowled at me like he wanted to say something but since I wasn't handcuffed and he couldn't count on back-up he decided to shut up. The US guard said, "look, you don't have to talk to me. You can just leave. We're not holding you and have no interest in you but what did you do to piss off the Canadians! I have no idea why you're here! I mean why they dropped you here. I've never seen anything like this and I'm telling you those guys hate you!"
We talked for a while. He couldn't figure it out. He just knew that he'd never seen a deportation that looked like this. It was more like I'd been run out of the country then legally removed. He had no papers from them, which was normal. They were saying some pretty terrible things about me. He was surprised I wasn't 6 foot 7 and covered in gore. Usually they'd have tons of paper accompanying me. This guy only had mouth.
I said so long and went to a nearby park. I found my bag. Instead of 45 bucks they'd left me a twenty . . . I guess I should have been grateful. Later I found a bag of Canadian change. That's worthless.
I opened the bag and managed to find my shoe strings, my belt and my watch. It felt silly putting these things on in a public place but I didn't have much other choice.
I saw a Bank of America and decided to go there to try and change the Canadian 20 to US funds. they refused to do it but the teller told me there was a gas station about a half mile away that would change it. I walked over there. He gave me 16 bucks for the 20 and sold me a 10 dollar Crushed
Click images for desktop size: "Crushed" by NFL FIlms
phone card. I still had my mobile but it had been deactivated.
I called my friend. She wasn't there. I left a message with the pay phone number.
After a while I felt uncomfortable standing in the gas station parking lot so I walked back to the park. I realized that the plastic garbage bag was starting to tear. I carried it as gingerly as possible to the park. Somehow I managed to get almost everything into my back and a small plastic satchel. I had to throw away a few things.
One thing I found was the deck of cards Hosia had given me. The cards were well used, worn and as limp as paper towels. He gave them to me so I could throw them away in the USA. He didn't ant them buried in Canada. Later I'd throw them into the Falls. I waited to see if I was going to get arrested for littering.
I called my friend again and left a new pay phone number. This pay phone was close enough to aNaughty New Orleans shaded bench for me to wait.
After about an hour she called. I was glad.
She'd been at Maplehurst Prison when I called. She'd put money in my canteen account because they told her I was still there! My friend spoke to a social worker and the official records showed that I had been "released back into society". Which I guess is a nice way of saying illegally dumped. For most of the day they had no idea where I was and no clue what had happened.
The prison refused to refund my friend the money she'd given for the canteen fund. See, at this prison you couldn't earn money so everything had to come from outside. They even charged 12 bucks for a haircut! I wanted to get some stuff for some of the inmates who'd been kind and helpful. The stuff on the canteen list was pretty horrible and they charged full price for everything like a buck fifty for a candy bar or a bag of chips. This was one prison determined to run at a profit for everybody but the inmates.
My friend said she'd come for me. It was a massive relief. With my stuff all packed I figured I looked like a guy who'd lost all his money at one of the casinos and had then got thrown out of his hotel. I hoped that would stop the cops from busting me for vagrancy in the two hours or so it would take my friend to get there.
I had six bucks and about 3 hours to kill. I saw that hot dogs were going for 5 bucks so I figured the turkey sandwich was going to have to last.

July 15, 2009

Because days come and go my feelings for you last forever
Papa Roach

Bright Girl by Racine
Click images for desktop size: "Bright Girl" by Racine
Frustrating day today.
Discovered really can't trust the internet. I checked online to get the address of the closestLas Vegas Hillbillies unemployment office. I'm not entitled to benefits but you have to be registered in order to use their job bank, including the online job bank. You have to be registered in order to access all the info to apply.
I went to the address online. The building was deserted but there was a sign in the glass door saying moved to:
That address was like a mile or so away so I decided to walk there. It was by the railroad tracks. The tracks on one side and the address they'd given me was a vacant lot. Not just one but there were no buildings between 900 and 1400!
So I've accomplished nothing.
I walked back to the library. First sign of a failing economy I think is that the library has purchased no new books! It was sad. At least the library was cool and smelled nice.
I went to catch the bus home. There was no bus. They've changed the route without telling anyone. Online and the bus stop said I was right but the driver of a different bus said no. So I took a touristy ride around a small town.
I actually liked it.
I slept marginally better last night but my arm is still killing me. Its sapping my strength. Today trotting to the bus my shoulder tried to rip my soul apart. Its felt weak and flaccid except for when it convulses and hurts.
I need this addressed quickly.
I also realized I've had no cardio incidents since leaving prison. I had some discomfort today that I was afraid would lead to a hassle but it passed. I forgot to carry the nitro pills with me. They might have let the whole thing be an unmemorable event.
Its hard for me to remember the nitro pills. I have a huge urge to take one out, put it on a concrete curb and then smash it with a hammer. If it didn't explode or at least flash and pop I would be so Biblis
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Biblis
terribly disappointed it wouldn't be worth the risk.
The only semi-good news was that I've been approved for $200 worth of food stamps. That will make a big difference in my life. There's a snag that probably isn't. I was approved pending some documents that they wanted. What's a hassle is I already dropped off the documents!
Finally I spoke to my old land lady last night. It was a good talk. She's going to help me try and figure out how to get my puppy here with me. Everyone here loves my puppy. I think that is only right.
She's going to look for national dog transport things, volunteers driving the dogs a couple hundred miles to pass on to another driver etc.
I tried Amtrak and that was impossible. No connection to here. Which seemed odd to me. But if The Land Unknown they're not willing to do it . . . I tried the Pet Airlines that flies dogs in the main cabin and not as cargo and it would be $250 from Chicago to Washington DC. DC is about 6 hours from here. $250 is just too much money at present.
The Pet Ambulance service only flies medical emergencies. I appreciate that and think no less of the organization. I hope they don't think less of me for asking them about getting my puppy to me.

July 2, 2009

I went to do my blood sugar test and came back to my cell to find it emptied. They'd moved my cell mate out. I thought little of it until the guard came and offered me an explanation.
It was the explanation that put me on edge. I wasn't too sure what was up now.
I wasn't scheduled for yard or a shower so I spent my time in the cell re-reading a bad Dean Koontz novella. I didn't like it. was amazed at how derivative it was and how weak it played out. Reading it Big Red Chair by Blurburger
Click images for desktop size: "Big Red Chair" by Blurburger
again as there was nothing else to do.
The day just passed. Then they rattled open the cell and said I had a visitor.
I felt charged by this. I wondered if this was the danger. Since the Immigration cops had taken the evil route of visiting me as a "visitor" I found it hard to look forward to that call. I hoped it was my friend but I kept felt I was getting set up for something.
They marched me down to the visiting room. There was no one else there. I was put in a room and told to wait.
From the visiting rooms you can see the general entrance. I watched a lot of government lawyer types file through. I thought that this might be my 48 hours notice.
Still no one came to see me.
I watched about 2 dozen people come through a thick glass door. As usual my sense of decency wasKing of the Rocket Men appalled at the way the guards treated even the innocent. I could not hear but it was apparent that the insults and nastiness were so much a part of a guard's life that they didn't no how to behave normally or with people who were guilty of nothing.
Miles Davis
Click images for desktop size: "Miles Davis"
Worse than cops the guard's cruel misuse of power and aura of sheer nastiness prohibited most of them of having any hint of how to cope with human beings. If they weren't such a despicable group it would be easy to feel sorry for them. "Pity the screw. No trial but still a lifetime sentence to prison."
After about 30 minutes I saw my friend come through the glass door. I was pleased.
She told me about Tuesday. She denied almost everything that the prosecutor had reported she had said. I believed my friend. I knew the Immigration people now as professional liars who were only looking for a result. Typical government workers.
She said she had been here yesterday but had to wait for six hours before they refused to let her see me. I believed her because it was a holiday. I marveled at the pig lack of sensitivity that they wouldn't have even let me or anyone else know that someone had come calling. Their bone thick skulls could not consider humanity or decency.
We compared notes about my pending "deportation". We'd both been told the same thing - 48 hours notice, plenty of time to bring me my clothes and money etc. Then the time was up.
It was sad seeing her go but it raised my spirits. I needed them raised because once again I underestimated the cowardly fear and the lack of compunction that only a bad government can deliver.
I forgot my own advice: Never trust a government.

July 14, 2009

Prayer ain't going to kill that bear, we got to run for it
Wet Willie

Alone in the World
Click images for desktop size: "Alone in the World" by Unknown
Feeling worn down today. Been sort of off the past three days. Sick, flu like off.
I think it has to do with my body re-adapting to the meds that the prison medical care, (the finest Hostel Part 2 available according to some idiots with agendas). My illness corresponds pretty exactly with the side effects of one of the heart attack drugs.
Good news is that Reina, my puppy's mom, is doing some better. Her gums are pink and she's livelier. The results of her blood test should come out today. I keep worried and hoping.
I'm worried also about getting my puppy home to me. Less than a thousand miles away but I'm bewildered. I miss her and it causes me pain. I hope she's different and not stressing.
I'm still job hunting. The only positive note so far is that my old boss wants to meet with me next week. One can only hope is the thing.
There were no new ads in the paper today or on any of the job sites I keep checking. I don't want this to let me down.

I've gotten a few emails wondering if I approve of the way the Canadian prison system runs. I guess because I'm just trying to relate facts and avoid editorial opinion it could lead people to wonder. Also that I find the facts so abhorrent that I presume anyone else would too.
The system I experienced is insane. For people with mental illness to be housed with convicts and people on remand is wrong. A civilized society would not accept it.
The MAXSEC (maximum security) system might have a purpose but to use it on shop lifters and immigration detainees is insane, cruel and vicious. Agin, no civilized society would tolerate it.
To use that onerous system for people on remand, people who are not guilty of anything is sick and beyond unfortunate.
To take a violent young man and to dump him in this system for 18 months and deprive him of a Ava Gardner
Click images for desktop size: "Ava Gardner"
chance to educate himself is sick and dangerous.
This mid twenties offender is on the dole, broke and bored he seeks release in drugs and alcohol. He gets violent and causes great distress. Now putting him in a place run by a corrupt authority and the guards are corrupt in my experience, an authority that derides, dehumanizes and insults at every opportunity is merely creating monsters that will reenter the fringes of society and reek and experienced hate filled havoc on society in general. THe havoc will be fueled in ignorant violence, the education given in a Maplehurst is to hone and improve the violence, to make it more devastating, permanent and overwhelming.
What rational being would expect different.
I've worked with young people who were already so marked by the system. They were hate filled, rage fueled and already written off. The game I teach and that I love taught these young men self respect, self worth. It gave them a place in society and once having a place they wanted to improveIt Came From Outer Space themselves and in improving themselves they sought and did improve society as a whole. They became politicians, professors, cops, firemen and happy working stiffs.
If the violent offender on the dole is taught a trade that he can excel at, where he can earn money to improve his life so he can afford to meet and associate with people who have similar goals to his; to be happy.
Letting an inmate read lets heir minds open to possibilities that might never have occurred to them. Allowing them to use their time to benefit themselves rather than to use the time pursuing violence and cultivating and nurturing the hatred that must well inside of them . . .
The best way to stomp out crime is education and hope. The best way to worsen and promote crime is via unjust punishment and the reduction of humanity.
Who doesn't know this? Who hasn't seen this proved out time and time again?
July 1, 2009

Today was Canada day.
We were expecting lock down. On many holidays or even just very nice days enough guards would call in "sick" that the warders would decide they had insufficient staff and order a lock down.The Human Jungle
Its amazing how much even an hour out of your cell can be missed.
To everyone's relief there wasn't a lock down. I was relieved as well as I expected my friend to visit so we could have our 20 minutes to discuss what had happened yesterday at my kangaroo court hearing.
I got yard. There was this guy I didn't know who kept eyeing me. I always spent the first 10 minutes of yard running wind sprints and every time I reached the wall and turned around I saw him staring at me.
Benny Goodman
Click images for desktop size: "Benny Goodman"
Hosia, the Yardie, came over and warned me that the fellow checking me out was shanked. A shank is just a home made knife. They make a big deal about not permitting shanks at Maplehurst. We get toothbrushes with one inch handles, rubber spoons.
A shank is just a hunk of something that a hunk of metal can be tied to. There's plenty of concrete walls to use as whetstones to sharpen the hunk of metal into a stabbing weapon. If your patient enough it can become a slashing weapon as well, but that's harder to make.
With all their dehumanizing fussiness there's plenty of stuff around to make a shank.
When I finished running this guy came up o me and started to run at me. He lunged. I was lucky enough to turn aside. He fell and broke his wrist. His shank skittered on the concrete and I kicked it into the grated storm sewer.
While they were helping the guy out of the yard the rest of us were checking out the sewer. It was thick with cigarette butts and roaches (marijuana butts). When I'd come back late from getting my insulin shot most of the guards were unaware that any prisoners were roaming about. More than once I caught a couple of guards out in the yard passing a joint back and forth.
Artargatis by Mortalitas
Click images for desktop size: "Artagatis" by Mortalitas
Yard got extended a tiny bit because of the fellow's accident. We enjoyed that.
Back in my cell I tried to wait calmly. I really hoped my friend would show up and we could talk and plan and think about where to go with all this.
She never came.
Later I found out that she'd been downstairs waiting to visit. They kept her waiting for six hours before they could figure out that there were too many holiday visitors to get everyone in. knowing the guilty or the innocent makes you guilty in the limited guard mind. They treat visitors only slightly better than they treat prisoners.
I didn't know. I could only feel abandoned.
Even my muskrat didn't show up on his daily rounds. I worried for him.
That night when I did my blood sugars they were 6.8. The nurse proclaimed that was perfect. I was surly enough to say that I hadn't eaten in two days so that number was exceedingly high.
The nurse shuffled and said, I'm writing in perfect anyway."

July 13, 2009

Good golly Miss Molly's going to be there too
Peter Case

Steel Cowards
Click images for desktop size: "Steel and Brass Cowards" by Unknown
Not a good day yesterday.
Reina, my puppy's mom, dam, has cancer. She looked to be doing well with her chemo but thisGirls, Guns And Gangsters weekend she took a bad turn. Sunday she seemed better.
Today Reina will get a blood work up. Last time she had too many white cells and too man immature red cells. Hoping for the best for her. She gave my puppy all of her best traits. It would be sad and near devastating to have her leave.
It made me terribly sad and thinking I'll never see my puppy again.
I had to go to hospital. Two nitro pills and you got to go. They did an EKG. They believe my heart has worsened. With all its been through how could it not.
The arm is getting worse and worse. The pain more biting and the use of it almost nonexistent. Its not going to help n my job hunt, that's for sure.
I've not been able to sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch before it starts to bite me. It is annoying.
I filled out a lot of on-line job apps. It was tedious and repetitive. Much simpler to attach a resume, I think. No job looked golden but I have to try. And now its pouring rain.

June 30, 2009

It was a rough morning.
Late last night I was told I had a visitor. I was stoked thinking my friend had shown up to tell me everything was in place and that the lawyer figured I was going to walk home.
When I got to the visiting room I was not put in one of the little glass walled rooms. I was in a Women In Blue by Evegney
Click images for desktop size: "Women of Blue" by Evegney
narrow corridor surrounded by three menacing guards.
A woman in an expensive looking peasant blouse and jeans came in waving a sheet of paper. She demanded I sign.
I asked, "What is it?"
She said, "Just sign it or you'll be sitting here for a year at least."
"Who are you?"
"I'm from immigration," she said, "this is an agreement for you to waive your right to a hearing. Just sign it."
The guards stated to chime in, with a solid jab in my ribs one yelled at me, "Sign the f___ing thing. I got better things to do."
"I need legal advice here. I want to consult a lawyer,: I said.
A poke in the stomach accompanied, "I got your f___ing lawyer a__hole."
It was apparent why this meeting was disguised as a "visit" and why it was happening in this tiny area. I figured that they'd finally gotten the police report back and were trying to save face.
"Look, what's the big deal. I've got the Detention Hearing tomorrow. Lets see what happens there.The General What's the difference if I sign it now or tomorrow. I mean, why would I waive my rights anyway?"
"Cause you ain't got no rights motherf___er. Your ass belongs to us," one of the guards explained.
The woman said, "This is a one time take it or leave it offer. We could fix it so you spend the rest of your life here."
"Without lawyer to advise me I'll have to pass. Look what's to stop Johnny Cash
Click images for desktop size: "Johnny Cash"
you guys from coming in the middle of the night and just dumping me over the border without my money or my property. Where's my assurances? I'll wait for the Hearing."
One of the guards made as if to really wallop me but he backed off. I was lead back to my cell with a lot of barking at my heels. I didn't listen to it. I was too wrapped up in thinking about why I was constantly denied legal advice, whether I'd made the right decision, and mainly, why hadn't my friend shown up to tell me what was in place.
I barely slept. The pain in my heart and in my arm kept me awake enough to fret. I listened to the screaming man and wondered if his incomprehensible shouting would ever fall into a lulling rhythm.
The next morning I was wrapped in uncool anxiety. Aside from the tension of my waiting the guards had enough of the screaming man. I watched six of them strap on their loaded gloves (black leather filled with powdered lead to make an invisible black jack-one mistakenly grabbed me by the shoulder once while wearing his. The pressure and weight compensated mightily for any lack of Al Moore
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Al Moore
There was no news then the guards filed out. Then there came the stretcher and the old guy was finally quiet.
I got to take a shower. I noticed that the hemorrhaging on my leg ha cleared up. It wasn't gone but it wasn't violently black any more. For the most part the leg looked normal.
I wasn't allowed to shave. No razors. I worried about my appearance in front of the hearing.
Then there was just more waiting.
And more waiting.
Finally the guard came and told me my hearing was happening now. I was steeled. I thought , "Hope for the best but expect less." I think Fritz Perl wrote that or maybe it was Milton Berle.
I hoped to walk into the hearing room/linch room and find my friend and a razor sharp attorney. I braced myself for no lawyer but my friend being there to give evidence and the real scenario I played in my head was me walking in there alone.Great St Louis Robbery
It wasn't a cynical thought process. It was merely reality.
I walked into the room and was surprised that there were two women there I'd never seen before. I assumed I'd keep the same prosecutor and judge. There was no one else there.
I was glad I'd played all three scenarios through in my head. The judge started the proceedings by turning on the tape recorder.
I said that I wasn't quite prepared. I'd been expecting a lawyer as well as a witness who would give evidence proving that the core evidence presented by the prosecutor was in fact false.
The judge looked flustered. The prosecutor said that there was no lawyer present for me. She said that my friend had appeared (she laboriously looked for her name in a sheaf of papers and still mispronounced her pretty simple name.)
I asked why my friend wasn't here to give her evidence and to offer bail to the court. Yeah, I was being very eloquent, using up my many hours of watching Jack McCoy.
"I spoke to your friend for nearly 30 minutes. She confirmed all that we have presented. Including her original call to the police and the fact she has had several conversations with Officer McVicar Alice 19th by Usagi
Click images for desktop size: "Alice 19th" by Usagi
since that incident. She did offer to post a nominal bail," the prosecutor said rapidly.
"How was my friend? Did she look alright? You didn't leave her upset did you?"
Flustered the prosecutor said, "no. She was perfectly fine!"
"Well, I maintain that my friends evidence is being either misinterpreted or being incorrectly presented. It seems shocking that she would not be allowed to be here to present the evidence herself."
"She confirmed everything!" the prosecutor interrupted.
"If she confirms all the facts of your case it seems you'd want her here to do the confirmation,"
I got thrown for a little bit of a loop when the prosecutor delineated the charges for deportation. It was no longer as being an unfit character. It was for being "Allowed to leave".
I didn't quite grasp this and no one was going to explain it to me. Quickly I was able to figure out that the first time I entered Canada my Drivers License picture was smeared. They sent me back to get other ID. That was it.
I pointed out that I'd been back in Canada several times. At least twice for Immigration demands toHard Women visit Canadian doctors and the ilk.
I have to admit it was clever of them, if more than a bit nasty to change horses in mid-stream like that. How could anyone prepare for charges that they didn't know existed.
Then there was a strange gaff. She claimed that I had signed the waiver. When I insisted I had not in the face of much pressure from physical intimidation she backed off slightly.
I then went into my argument about my health. I quoted Bob Moriarity, the recentness of my heart attack, the improper dispensation of my life giving medicines and the total inappropriateness of this local for "Allowed to leave" transgressions. I then pointed out the questionable actions of the prosecutor to send away a witness and offering up only here say evidence. I said my witness could also address the "Allowed to leave" charges as well as the original charges.
I ended by saying that due to my health and its continuing degradation due to the insufficient care available at a MAXSEC prison I should be granted bail. That I had never been shown to have violated any bail conditions and that it was my fervent hope to be able to return to the USA.
Before the judge could give her decision we were told we had to break for lunch . . .
I was lead back to my cell. There was a fight or something going on in block 8. All the UCF wannabee guards were chuffed and shouting they weren't going to miss this one as they ran off to get into the fracas.
In my cell I evaluated.
I was glad my friend showed up. Chagrined by the "evidence" the prosecutor had presented as being from her. I decided the prosecutor was likely lying. I tried to read the judge. I decided that even Alice 7 by Vlad Studios
Click images for desktop size: "Alice 7" by Vlad Studios
though I'd presented a strong case she was going to search for reasons to disallow the bail. She never looked at me when I spoke but always looked at the prosecutor. She also had the freakiest ass I'd ever seen on a human being. It was like someone stuck a pillow in her pants. Her rear end extended four inches beyond her hips on each side.
After a tedious two hour wait we went back to the lunch room. As I figured the judge decided I should remain in jail. Some of her statements were alarming. She concluded that the health care in Maplehurst was the finest available!! Then she concluded that, and I will never understand this, that a cash bail was insufficient for me. That my friend did not have enough influence over me to insure I would show up for hearings. And that she believed that toHigh Plains Drifter avoid deportation I would flee into Canada . . . RAH!
After the prosecutor allowed me to sign my one chance only waiver. She insured me that I would get a minimum of 48 hours notice before they would remove me and that my friend, as my common law wife would receive the same notice so she could bring me clothing and money.
Never trust the government. Any government. They are all liars. You always need a good lawyer. You have to trust someone even when its someone it looks like you shouldn't. I've always believed that but I never imagined how right I could be.
I waited for my friend to show up that evening so I could tell her what happened. She never did.

July 12, 2009

Aflame with smiling faces
Kenneth Patchen

What Are Friends For
Click images for desktop size: "What Are Friends For" by Unknown
It was a warm night and perfectly still. No brief respite here. Add in the constant griping from my rebellious shoulder and it was obvious I wasn't going to sleep well.Fearless
I'd wake up fully alert and then try to keep myself lying down. Laying there on twisted sheets I entered a strange sort of dream state. Not really dreams and not really memories; flashing visuals and dissonant chords mixed with words and expressions, some of them alien and unintelligible. Then I would twist and the shoulder would throb or stab. I'd come fully alert and see it was still all darkness outside. I felt like crying even though there's nothing to weep about.
Its a long night. The day doesn't look to make it right.
I miss my puppy.
Each morning I take nine pills. In the evening I take five. In prison they never gave me more than four. I don't know what they were leaving out. No call for them to be leaving any of them out. I had all my medical records with me.
Several times I had to point out that they had cut my metformin (for diabetes) in half. Sometimes they'd correct it.
At least one they gave me the wrong meds completely. Those meds hurt me.
Finally they decided the best way forward to stop all my complaining was to crush the pills up. I was handed a small paper cup full of powder. It tasted bitter and vile. The texture hurt my feelings. My tongue was not smart enough to know if I was getting the right stuff.
Today I plan to spend on the job hunt. Already started to adjust and fine tune my resume. The boss from my old job comes back from vacation this week. Maybe something there. It would be easiest. I wouldn't have to wear a tie to the interview.

June 28 - June 29, 2009

In the morning I was dismayed to discover that there was no Sunday Chapel. No Chapel at all. I Vistorian Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Victorian Girl" by Unknown
hadn't had a bout of religious frenzy. I was just looking forward to a hour out of the cell. I guess the prison decided that Chapel was too big a risk, too potentially dangerous. Not for the reasons religion is usually dangerous but because letting too many men congregate.
It also continues to reflect the insane inhumanity of this place. The routine we were on would be considered harsh punishment in almost any other prison system in the world. In other words we lived in conditions that exceeded the incarceration of Nelson Mandella, Alexander Scholenitzen. Our time was spent the way prisoners who knifed prisoners, started riots or attacked guards spent theirs.
Watched a new inmate come in. He doesn't belong here. He bears the marks of long time craziness: unwashed, unkempt hair, gaunt to the point of starvation. He also yelled, almost non stop all day and all night. Why he was in prison and not in a mental health facility bothered me greatly. I feared how the guards would treat him.
Surprisingly we got yard this morning. There was a new guy in the yard. Gray haired and ratherThe Fly distinguished looking. At least as distinguished looking as you could get wearing prison orange overalls and blue Chinese slip on sneakers.. As the guards let people in they talked to each inmate. I wasn't part of it. I walked with Hosia and Billy and another new guy; Gus.
Gus was in for 15 days. He was on his fourth conviction for shop Frank Sinatra
Click images for desktop size: "Frank Sinatra"
lifting. His specialty was wide screen TV's. He'd go to the department stores, rip off the electronic tags and just walk out with one. They were worth about 300 each on the street. He'd gotten busted this time walking out with 2 52" Sonys in a shopping cart.
Again I was bewildered trying to figure out how shop lifting rated a MAXSEC (maximum security) prison. I also couldn't relate to a fourth time conviction pulling 2 weeks time when I was threatened for 25 years for a non-extant crime and Montego was into his 5th month for immigration detention.
We talked about what the guards were rabbiting on to the inmates about. It seems the distinguished looking guy was a "diddler". I had to ask for a definition of the term.
It appears that the guards had "read his file". The guy was there on remand for having sex with a 14 year old. The guards told the inmates that they'd turn off the cameras and that anyone who would take care of the old guy wouldn't face punishment or report.
The West Lives On
Click images for desktop size: "The West Lives On" by Unknown
I had opinions on this. I let them know that believing the guards was stupid. We all knew them to be notorious liars and thieves. The fact that they were spreading this story was proof enough of that. Doing the guards dirty chores was stupid. Anything that got up the guards' nose was fine with me. The guy was on remand and not a convict. If he was charged with statutory rape it still hadn't been proven. Finally statutory rape was nasty but not the equivalent of being a predatory pedophile. Finally I thought anyone would be an idiot who believed the guards story about the cameras being off and no report or punishment.
In an atmosphere created to incite violence, and with the deft homoerotic charge that hung over everything there I was shocked at the guards cheap attempt to set it off. What bugged me the most was that I looked at the old guy with an air of contempt now. I wouldn't have minded taking a swing at him myself. He was an easy target. Old, feeble and with all the rage inside me over my unfair situation it would have been nice to have a physical release that would garner me heroic approval.
I'm lucky I hadn't sunk that far. I took pride in not sinking as low as a guard, especially one who so Eighteen and Anxious easily betrayed his trust.
None of the guys I was with beat him. I understand he didn't get through much longer though. Only rumor and the fact we went on lockdown the next day.
I never got friendly with any guards. They all came off as being contemptible to me. I'd over hear snatches of conversations. For the most part they were as sick and sadistic underneath as they appeared on the surface. For the most part their general ambition was to become UFC fighters!
I noticed that most of them worked out. None with a program. For some reason when left to our own devices guys will almost always chose to work only on our upper bodies. Once we get the big gun arms we seem to be happy.
The guards all had big upper bodies and skinny legs and hips.
There were a few cards who I suspected of using steroids. None of the guards moved with any athleticism or grace. They did not move like fighters. they did walk around with body building mags. I don't think they understood the difference between training for body building and training to fight or for any other sport.
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Wayshak
I had no visitor Sunday.
Monday I hoped my friend who should up just to confirm that everything was in place for the Detention Hearing tomorrow. Like Al Pacino in "The Godfather" I was afraid of walking in there with "only my d___ in my hands."
He didn't come. She wouldn't have been admitted anyway. Something happened and we were put on lockdown. Lockdown is just that. All the inmates are confined to their cells no exceptions until the guards decide otherwise.
Its an aggravating time. Suddenly its real easy to miss the 20 minutes of relative freedom.
I spent the time fretting. Wondering if I'd been ignored or doomed to my own devices tomorrow.
I also read one of the worst books I'd ever imagined. here's no library at Maplehurst but the Salvation Army dropped off three books. Someone slipped me one. It was Alex Kava's "Perfect Evil".Freaks Kava is female.
She constructed an unbelievably bad story that spawned a few sequels. The male lead is ridiculous. He was the sheriff but was also the starting Quarterback for some of Tom Osborne's National title football teams! After playing football he went and got a law degree at Harvard. With all of that he is presented as stupid, cowardly and indecisive!! The football and Harvard education are just jewelry to make his sexy to the babes.
As inept as I found the entire book I was shocked that huge sections of it were devoted to graphic descriptions of pedophile sex with altar boys.
Somehow it seemed strange to bring that kind of junk into this place.
Still I had nothing else to do but fret. I read it through the rest of the day and the night while I hoped for a good decision at the hearing tomorrow.

July 11, 2009

The angels scream in discontent
Chris Bailey

The Green Wood Deep by Phil McDarby
Click images for desktop size: "The Green Wood Deep" by Phil McDarby
I've been approved for food stamps. Forty bucks a week will make a big difference.
I've gotten all the preliminary stuff done, now I just need to find work. A job.Dead Pit
I don't know how hard that's going to be. The friend I'm staying with has a tenant. He's worked at the same joint for 5 years and they've started to cut back his hours. The only ads I've seen that look worthwhile are all for part time work.
Maybe I can get two or three part time jobs. That might be interesting.
I went to the Farmers Market this morning. I liked it. There had to be at least 50 different dogs there. I was happy to see them and happier at the way they made me smile. It made me sad that my puppy isn't following me around. My puppy always makes me smile and feel content.
The rest of the time is in doing my exercises and praying my shoulder stops hurting.

June 25, June 26 2009

For some reason Maplehurst doesn't permit clocks. Doing time wondering what time it is.
They do it because its MAXSEC (maximum security). They can't have prisoners syncing watches or setting up appointments with outsiders.
It wouldn't be that big a deal, I guess, but the guards are always yelling at you. Like, "Ch____, you know you get meds at 4:00! Why the f___ aren't you ready and waiting!"
When you do catch a hint of the time it becomes a precious thing. When I got dragged to do my insulin injection (always with two guards) there was a blood pressure machine with a digital clock on its face. When I returned I'd always pass out the time to the block. It gave us all a place to judge the sun, to judge the world and to see that time wasn't really standing still and we weren't suffocating forever in the stifling steel boxes.
Coming back from the insulin injections also let me get a good glance at the guards computer Tomahawk's Cabin by The Real 7
Click images for desktop size: "Tomahawk's Cabin" by The Real 7
monitor. There was never a time that I saw something interesting. The guards were always web surfing. Some of the content, like the S&M porn sites raised an eye brow, but I realized I shouldn't have expected to see anything much different. Some of the guards invested in portable DVD players. There movie choices were of a similar ilk.
No one seemed to care hat they did. I'd awaken with pain and look out my cell and see the guard passed well out with a lieutenant (white shirt) passed out in another chair.
On Thursday I met another Immigration prisoner on yard. He was from Montego Bay, Jamaica. He been there almost 5 months.
He was an over stayer (not leaving the country when his visa expired). They'd caught him because his boss turned him in. Its an old ploy. Jerks hire illegal immigrants, underpay them and then don't pay them at all. When the illegals complain the boss calls immigration and turns them in. Saves money.
Montego Bay had a Canadian wife and child. He hadn't seen them as he lived in Hamilton, about anThe Desperate Hours hour drive away. They had no car and there was nothing like public transportation to the prison.
Prisoners aren't much good at listening to others. They've got their own problems. They also don't need to be reminded about how much the prison sucks. They tend to talk a lot when they get a chance.
In ten minutes Montego told me all I needed to know about the Detention Hearing I had. I didn't realize that the prosector and the "Judge" work as a team. While you can't claim that this would Ursalla Andress
Click images for desktop size: "Ursella Andress"
necessitate a certain amount of bias from the judges it certainly makes you view the process a bit askance.
I also wasn't dead certain about Montego's claim that the hearings were geared to finding reasons to hold you and not to give you a fair hearing. He had plenty of personal examples. They all seemed valid. It goes against my belief system to believe that a process was designed to be corrupt. I came to discover his assessment is not only accurate but too fair.
Montego was a little guy. On his first week inside he'd insulted a guard. The next day a prisoner broke his jaw. He still had some wires in place.
I was granted phone privileges. I had no one to call. You can only make collect calls, not even phone card calls. Collect or nothing.
I set our phone up to not accept collect calls.
I wanted to be out of the cell so I sat on the phone and dialed our house and listened to the recording. Then I discovered that I had K.W. (Ken) McMurtrie's phone card in my pocket. I called him collect. On the third attempt he accepted the charge. He said he had to get permission to accept a charged call. His budget was so small.
I asked him while I was still in a MAXSEC prison. I told him he had plenty of time to hear from Time Goes By So Slowly by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Time Goes By So Slowly" by Titusboy
Interpol. He wouldn't get specific . He just said he was sorry, he had no places available to move me. Then he tried out his new excuse; Maplehurst was the only place that had medical facilities. Yes, that's the ticket.
He then complained about my friend calling him. She was angry at me being in a prison. (I was pretty glad to hear that.)
I asked him about my Detention Hearing coming on the 30th. He said my friend should just show up and state that she was willing to pay my fair to return me to America. He explained that would really help him out a lot.
Then the guard came by and hung up the phone. My time was up.
I spent the rest of the day trying to intuit when visiting hours would end and wondering if my friend would show up.
On Friday I got the notice of my hearing. The hearing that was the past Wednesday . . . It was faxed on the 23rd.Doom
There was a sheaf of papers explaining my rights at the hearing. It included a huge section on bail. This excited me. A chance to get out of hell would excite anyone.
I asked Billy, my cell mate, to take my friends number and to give it to his mom so that Billy's mom could call her and tell her it was vital she come and visit me that afternoon. Billy said sure.
I got yard again for some reason and met Hosia; the reason. A big Yardie. He was the guy who broke Montego's jaw. We got to talking. We knew a lot of people in common. Including some Rastas. I like and respect Rasta. They are holy men. Not giving them that is foolish and more small minded than even most bigots. I think Hosia decided to not break my jaw. I was glad for that.
My friend showed up that evening. I was all gushy.
The phone didn't work. She had to go out and tell them to turn it on.
I laid out the details of the hearing as it was laid out in the info packet. She agreed to help and then, after about 10 minutes the phone shut down. Of course the guard didn't care about the short time: Visit over.
Nice way to feel buoyed and deflated at the same time.
Back in my cell I had best chest pain but I managed to keep myself calm until it went away.
My muskrat was back. I watched him forage for food until it was too dark to see.

July 10, 2009

I'll be your lover but I can't be your friend
Robert Gordon

Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Steve Argyll
Yesterday went pretty well. I figured about $140 for the doctor and the drugs and ended up spending $142.
The new doctor is okay. Pretty impressive for a first visit for sure. The medical database is great.The Coconuts She had my entire medical history readily available and we spent a small amount of time updating it, bringing it current with the heart attack and the move to insulin.
Some of my drugs aren't covered by the municipal plan. Too expensive for long term usage. But she got me on a program that will pay for two of them for a year.
She then ordered an x-ray of my shoulder for me to see an orthopedist. She wants to confirm its a frozen shoulder and make sure there's no arthritis or rotator cuff tearing. At least, the doc said, the orthopedist can get me on a pain management program.
The shoulder is getting worse. Much worse.
Then I had to get two more blood tests. Both follow-ups to see if my heart is healing properly and to see how well the meds are doing.
They did the test that measures your average glucose levels for the past 3 months. I was high but not insanely so.
All of that cost me 20 bucks!
She has also put me in for a cardio class and specialist and a diabetes specialist. I should qualify. If I do I think I can say I'll be on the healthiest program imaginable.
After picking up the rest of my drugs I was feeling pretty good. I'd only spent $110 and it would have been tres wicked to end up under budget. I still had to get my beta blocker. The tip I got was to go to Costco. Get the generic for about 4 bucks. Costco charged me $32 and I was angry about it. Being angry did me no good at all.
I was greeted by two people. The first fellow looked at me and near attacked me. "Aren't you the man with the pretty black dog?"
When I said yes he grabbed my hand. "My daughter loves your dog. She met it at the hospital!"
House of Spiderman
Click images for desktop size: "Spiderman" by Marvel Comics
I asked if his daughter was alright and he assured me she was doing great. He also told me that she kept the Polaroid of herself and my puppy taped on her bedroom mirror.
About ten minutes later I heard someone yelling, "Coach! Coach!" I didn't look up until the guy was right on top of me. "It is you! I knew it. I'm so glad your back our line needs you coach!"
We talked football and kids for a while then his name was called to go pick up his meds.

June 24, 2009

MAXSEC (maximum security) prisons are usually designed to house the most dangerous criminals;Child Dancing with Chrysanthumums by Katsukawa Shunsho Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, the various mafias' hit men, robbers who think nothing of shoot outs with the cops or SWAT. Sociopaths who present a real and obvious threat to anyone near them.
Most of the MAXSEC rules and procedures are set up primarily to protect the guards. MAXSEC attracts mainly the most brutal and sadistic of the crop. Their attitude and sociopathic tendencies ensure they need protection. Maplehurst does not permit the guards to wear name tags. They protect their identities fearful of retaliation of Carole Lombard
Click images for desktop size: "Carole Lombard"
released prisoners.
Maplehurst Correctional Center's implementation of maximum security was brutal and excessive. It was not designed to rehabilitate, educate or reform. Its is designed to punish and to punish in a nasty cruel fashion. Most of what Maplehurst practices is illegal in the US and Europe. Only the most 3rd world countries or countries that are constantly being denounced for human rights violations permit these torturous practices.
Maplehurst permits no TV, no movie night, no prisoner interaction in the form of games or conversation periods. They have no library. They have no work for inmates. They have no education available for inmates. You do time.
Every other day you are permitted a warm shower. Once a week you are permitted to shave. This is a common practice in POW camps. It reduces the feeling of physical well being and forces the total degradation of a prisoner.
Every other day you are permitted 20 minutes of "yard". Yard at Maplehurst is a 30 foot by 30 foot concrete pit. It has twenty foot concrete block walls. Half of the ceiling is open but covered with Shanghai at Night
Click images for desktop size: "Shanghai at Night" by Unknown
thick wire fencing. No balls, weight equipment or anything else is provided. You can either walk or run around in circles or you can try and find an occasional patch of sunlight. We all need vitamin D.
You are permitted 10 to 20 minutes a day on the phone (at the guard's discretion).
The rest of the time you are on lock down, locked in the cell for at least 23 hours a day.
Meals come at 7:30, 11:30 and 3:30. The food is loathsome. Most of it could not be considered suitable for human consumption. The diet is excessively high in sodium. Lacks fresh vegetables. It is unsuitable for a diabetic or a cardiac patient.
I was getting the diabetic meal. (There are a surprising amount of diabetics in this prison) The diabetic meal goes contrary to everything I was taught. Over cooked boiled canned vegetables. Several times I was given sugar with my coffee. High sugar content cereals. Bread and other hyperglycemic foods.Count Yorga, Vampire
The only eating utensil allowed is a soft rubber spoon. The spoons are kept under lock and key and counted both before and after the meal. The fear is that they'll be used to make a "shank", or home made knife.
You are also given a styrofoam cup. This cup has to last you for at least one week. You will not be given a replacement.
There's no good reason for this other than being incredibly cheap. You would think that the cost savings on cups would be offset by the health expense from keeping something like that around to grow germs.
There is no smoking allowed. Thus insuring a good portion of the population is crabby and irritable while suffering through nicotine withdrawal. This also makes for an easy earner for the guards. They charged five bucks for two cigarettes and two matches or five and five for ten bucks.
I kept wondering why I was in a place like this. I still do.
On Wednesday the guard came and told me I was going to Medical. I had no idea why and thought it Summer Breathe by Akhareshe
Click images for desktop size: "Summer Breathe" by Akhareshe
was to test me for something.
He marched me down there and I asked why I was in a convict wing instead of a remand or detention wing. He chilled me when he said that almost everybody in Maplehurst is on remand. (Remand means you've not been convicted of a crime, only charged with one. Its likely you're innocent.)
We got to the medical wing. I was pushed into a room with two strange looking old people. They were sitting around a green picnic table with unfinished wooden seats. Andrew Gant sat at the head of the table in the "honored" position.
He was an odd duck. He had to be at least 80. I'm not good at identifying wigs as a rule but he had to be wearing a jet black wig or else his scalp has an odd cant. His black horn rimmed Buddy Holly glasses and odd non-fashionable clothes made me leery of him. This was a man who was determined to ignore reality and impose his own will upon the world.
But it was the woman who was terrifying. She had eyes like a harpy. Her auburn hair was blunt cutCasino Royale and shoulder length. It was so brightly colored it would have looked peculiar on her 20 years earlier. But it was her skin that horrified me. It was savagely wrinkled, deep and ran from her bangs to the collar of her shirt. I could only think of Boris Karloff in "The Mummy". My mind rebelled at the idea of a person having this see through parchment skin.
To top it off she had no smile lines. All of her deepest inset wrinkles were of the angry and hateful kind.
Gant announced that he was the administrator of this hearing. I asked hearing for what. The mummy woman said my detention hearing and remarked acidly that I'd been notified.
Nat King Cole
Click images for desktop size: "Nat King Cole"
I said this was the first I had heard of it. Mummy woman said, "You were notified!"
They proceeded to ask me if I wanted to have an attorney present. I said that yes, I would and also a representative of the American Consulate. They told me I should have arranged for that myself and that they were proceeding with the hearing in any event.
The woman rattled off her salient facts which were basically a rehash of the newspaper article. I asked if they had a copy of the police report. They assured me they had. I could see they had the newspaper article so I asked to see the police report. She looked through her papers and said, "You already know what's in it. There's no reason for you to see it."
I pointed out that there were several wrong statements in her declarations. I said some of them are even perjurious. She said, "Oh, we should take your word for that."
I said, "Perhaps, but it should at least be investigated don't you think?"
"We'll stand by our facts."
Suddenly Bob Moriarity burst into the room. He was loaded with papers. He apologized for interrupting but he had just been notified of the hearing. He presented evidence that Maplehurst Prison was injuring my health. He pointed out I had a person willing to post bail and a place to go to The Deer Hunter
Click images for desktop size: "The Deer Hunter" by Unknown
and that I wanted to return to the US.
The Mummy Woman said, "We already know all this."
Moriarity said, "No. You don't," and dumped the papers on her.
Gant looking very tired said that I was to be held in prison one more week and that there would be another hearing on June 30. He told me I should have been better prepared. I told him it would have been courteous and fair to have at least given me a pen and paper so I could take notes. Mummy Woman scowled at me.
I was taken back to my cell. As we walked the song, my new theme song I guess started to plaay in my head - The Martinets, "Hallowed Ground". (Its on the jukebox at the top of this page).
I got back to my cell and I met my new cell mate; Billy.
Billy was about 6' 1" and 210. About 28 and fit. He had a strange haircut. Cropped short but with a line cut in around the whole skull so it gave the impression of "Open Here".
I had a terrible moment. I suddenly felt helpless. All I could think of was that I have no right arm. ICry Baby Killer can't block any punches. My whole life much of my personality was forged on being nonviolent. Nonviolent but totally believing that I was the meanest beast in any jungle. For the first time I felt vulnerable. It was not a good feeling. It was like I suddenly had to become aware that I was now someone else, someone so much less than what I used to be.
My next thought was that this is a pretty stupid time to be having this sort of frisson. So I said, "Howzit."
Billy told me he was in for assault. His third conviction for assault.
As he explained it he'd gotten drunk and for no reason attacked two construction workers. Put them in hospital.
He got 18 months this time. I was a bit chagrinned as it somehow didn't seem right. Eighteen months is not Maximum Security time.
Billy couldn't clarify much about that. He just knew that Maplehurst was the wore prison in the country. He'd done four months and couldn't believe how he was treated.
We talked some about politics, prison politics. About the guard vs the inmate.
While we talked I kept wondering if my friend was going to visit. I hoped so. I didn't want to hope too big but I still hoped.
I noticed that the guards were looking in the cell at us more often than usual. I was saddened that they kept looking disappointed.

July 9, 2009

You don't know what those pink peggers mean to me
Eddie Cochran

Click images for desktop size: "The Snail" by Unknown
Yesterday was pretty wasted.
Started with me missing the first bus. This was always the norm. And it is always 100 yards in frontThe Big Noise of me. I might be capable of running a 9.5 100 yards in street clothes but I've done it a couple of times in the past and still had the bus pull away while I was pounding on the door. So I took the doctor;y advice thing and just waited for the next one.
I went to apply for food stamps. Forty bucks a week would make a difference between surviving and not. It gets adjusted for income when I start working. Probably down to $20 a week. I could use it.
Anyway I looked up the address on the internet. It was downtown. I took the bus and was surprised that the fair hadn't gone up in two years. Cool.
Walked to the office and was told that this was the wrong office the one I wanted was about two miles away. So I walked there.
At the correct office I was told that YES, they do food stamp apps there every day of the week except Wednesday . . . and Saturday and Sunday.
Tomorrow will be filled with doctors and medications so I plan to go on Friday.
I picked up another newspaper and there were no new job ads.
I got home drenched in sweat. No problems though. I was surprised I fell asleep for a good 90 minutes. That's odd for me to do.
I've been sleeping in two hour spurts, then the pain in my shoulder wakes me. Today I noticed a new twist to the shoulder pain. If I tweak it to the point of bad pain the arm becomes weak and useless. I can't even lift it off of my leg. It then takes about twenty minutes for strength and feeling to come back.

June 23, 2009

Click images for desktop size: "Siren" by Unknown
It was dawn and I was watching the flock of birds groom the grass looking for what food I couldn't imagine. I just enjoyed watching them search and move.
The nurse came in. They did a blood glucose test. It was the first time. I wondered if the social worker, Bob Moriarity, had said something.
The blood sugars were not too bad. High, especially considering that the prison food was rotten and inedible. They gave me an orange. When I peeled it it was black inside.
As the nurse left a guard came into my cell. "Get your s___ together. You're moving. Hurry it up f___head. We don't got all day!"
We walked the corridors. Each corridor ended in a circular room. In the middle of the circle was a control tower. From the tower they would open every door at the end, beginning or in the middle of the corridor.
It was too byzantine a course for me to keep track of where I was heading. I could keep theThe Blue Dahlia compass points in my head but not the orientation.
Finally we came to the "range", the "cell block". I was put into cell number 2.
The range was a cavern. A twenty foot ceiling and about 1,000 unused square feet. There's four one piece picnic table style things made of steel. At the end of them is the cell block. Sixteen cells in two floors. Opposite the cells are three cheap black metal desks grouped together. That's the guard station. The desks are sloppy, dirty. There's a PC with an expensive monitor sitting on the last Snoop
Click images for desktop size: "Snoop"
The cell had an eight foot ceiling. It was eight paces long and three and a half paces wide. In the far left corner was a solid steel bunk bed. It was bolted to the wall.
The bottom bunk was flush to the floor. It had a two inch thick blue tick mattress. The upper bunk had an industrial green colored plastic coated foam mattress. A not too clean sheet and stained blanket were on the upper bunk.
Opposite the bunks was a "table. It was a single sheet of steel anchored to the wall. Both the bunk and table were roughly painted dark green. Both paint jobs were marred and badly smeared.
The walls were a bilious yellow green while the steel door and door frames and hangings were a revolting pink.
The floor was bare concrete, cracked and slanted. Bolted to the floor was a tin can that was meant to act as a stool. It was not well positioned for using the table but close enough to assume that was the intent. I was surprised there was only one stool. I was to find it was just another of the tactics used to foment dissension and inmate violence.
In the narrow wall opposite the door there was a window; 6 inches wide and about 4 feet tall. It was bisected by an iron bar. From it I could see about 10 feet of grass, then a five foot asphalt path, Serenity by Nikander
Click images for desktop size: "Serenity" by Nikander
then grass and the 20 foot chain link fence, topped with razor wire. The fence was strung with thick cable. I watched a smaller musk rat crawl back and forth under the fence. When he touched the fence it caused a manned van to appear in the asphalt path outside the fence. The thick cable were clearly motion detectors.
About 30 yards past the outer path was a rail road track. Long trains rumbled past there constantly.
The cell was filthy. In need of washing as well as sweeping.
Scratched deep into the door was a recognizable cartoon road runner. On its chest it read, "The Guelph Boyz".
This was my home.
As I thought about that and let myself get encompassed in the impotent rage, frustration and seeming unfairness of the situation I felt the pain in my shoulder peak. Breakfast came.
They had me on a diabetic diet now. At least thats what the tag said. It wasn't.Black Water
Breakfast was half a cup of Rice Krispies, a pouch of milk and two slices of bread with butter and jam. There was also a rotten apple.
I got a 5 oz styrofoam cup, a packet of Maxwell House instant coffee and a pouch of Equal. You had to rest your cup on the hatch, stand far back and wait for the guard to fill it with luke warm water. (The cell doors all had a hatch. This was a 14 inch by 5 inch door in the 6 inch thick door.)
I ate what I could and felt the pain in my shoulder expand. I recognized it as the same way my original heart attacks had started. I sat on the stool and looked out the little window trying to calm myself down. They had given me my nitroglycerin spray. I used it. A spray under the tongue. The pain abated somewhat but then came rushing back harder and meaner than before.
I tried to calculate five minutes and gave myself a second blast of nitro. It reduced the pain but I noticed I was soaked in a clammy sweat. I could feel the weight on my chest grow heavier and heavier as the pain became a solid thing I could touch.
Sea Princess
Click images for desktop size: "Sea Princess" by Unknown
While I was waiting for 5 minutes to give myself another does it became hard to breathe. My breath was coming in short ragged spurts. I took the third blast of nitro. I remembered that's all you're allowed. If after 3 the pain doesn't vanish you're supposed to dial 911.
The pain wouldn't reduce. I tried to stop things. I concentrated on my heart and tried to demand it slow down. My heart ignored me.
I managed to walk to the cell door. I banged on it as hard as I could. I don't know how long I was pounding but I kept at it until the guard finally showed. Safe guess it was about a ten to fifteen minute wait.
I said, "I need to see a doctor. I'm having a heart attack."
They never open the cell door so she looked at me through the lucite window for a second and said, "Oh, f___ off." And she walked away.
I couldn't move well. The pain was worse and more consuming than the heart attack that took me toBreakfast at Tiffanys the hospital. I wedged my body in the cell door frame and closed my eyes.
The pain was terrible. I still didn't think I was dying but I had this morbid fear that this wasn't a heart attack but a stroke and that I was suddenly going to collapse and wake up a half paralyzed vegetable.
I tried to meld with the pain, feel as if the cold sweat was a normal part of life and nothing to be afraid of. I stayed like that for over an hour. I would have stayed like that for I don't know how long when the door was abruptly opened. Bob Moriarity, the social worker, had come to see me. I sort of stumbled and fell across a table they had out there.
As I stumbled Bob was talking. He said, "Your dog is safe. I spoke to your friend and she was shocked to discover where you were. Hey, are you okay?"
I remember only croaking, thinking I was saying thank you. I remember feeling free of the tiny cell and being able to breathe easier. Then the only thing I remember was trying to walk. People were trying to help and I was resisting, trying to walk on my own.
We ended up someplace I didn't know. There was a grotty nurse there I did recognize. They took my BP - 151 over 96 with a 98 pulse rate. The grotty nurse declared that I was just fine.
They told me I had to relax.
I said, "I'm in prison and I haven't done anything. Haven't even had a trial. Relax?"
The nurse started to ratchet at me; "If you're feeling like this it is your responsibility to tell a guard. We can't be responsible otherwise."
"I did tell a guard, back when it was starting and felt worse," I said.
Dog by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "Dog" by S4W
"That's not true," said the nurse, "no one said anything to me!"
"The guard told me to f___ off."
They walked me back to my cell. I wanted to talk to the social worker. I wanted details. Instead I just lingered in my cell and felt gritty, sore and diminished.
Suddenly the cell door opened. "You got a visitor."
I followed the silent guard down all the corridors. I finally saw my friend. Seeing her I felt dirty. I was unshaved and unwashed. No showers allowed until tomorrow.
We had to sit behind glass and talk through a scratchy telephone. We didn't get to say much. Maplehurst Prison only allows 20 minute visits twice a week!
I've visited guys on remand for murder. I've visited murderers in Arizona State Prison. I got to sit in the same room with them and always got at least one hour, often longer. I was still bewildered by this harsh inhumane treatment.
It was good to see my friend. I tried to look strong even though I felt sick. When our 20 minutes were up she had to leave. I got to see her exit on the CCTV system. She looked good. She lookedThe Cabinet of Dr Caligari strong.
I was still feeling so off that it wasn't until I got back to my cell that I realized how near miraculous it was that she was there.
I was hoping she might even come back tomorrow when the female guard opened the hatch and started yelling at me. She was mad. I was indifferent at first to her feelings.
"Why did you tell them what I said to you. If you want to play like that I can play it better than you can. You asked to see the chaplain and I told you to fill out a request."
"A chaplain? Look, I said doctor you herd Chaplain. You said fill out a request I heard f___ off. Leave it off."
"You're going to learn what it means to be an offender." She spun around in a huff.
I thought she really was a most unattractive girl. Why would any girl want to be a prison guard? I also wondered who said anything to her and why she cared. I didn't make anything of her threat. That was a mistake on my part because tomorrow I got to meet Bad Boy Billy.

July 8, 2009

Smoking in the boys room
Brownsville Station

River Crossing In Spring by Kô Sükoku
Click images for desktop size: "River Crossing in Spring" by Kô Sükoku
Bad nightmare. I dreamt my puppy had been stolen from me.
I love my puppy. I keep seeing her in my memory and remembering the stories other people told Bad Day at Black Rock me about her.
When I was in hospital over night. My puppy is a therapy dog. They put her little doctor coat on her and let her stay in my room. The nurses told me that when I slept they'd go in and see her standing pressing her head onto the bed staring at me, trying to sleep that way. I know she didn't want me to wake up and not find my dog there.
And the time we had to separate and how she refused to leave the car. She wanted to be someplace where she knew I would find her.
My arm is killing. I'm starting to hope they didn't do permanent damage to it.
Got my resume updated. Sent out four of them. Classifieds are scary. About half the ads on offer were of the "Make $800 in your spare time at home" ilk.
I tried to stay still. I thought it would help my body heal if not my spirit.

June 22, 2009

So this short fit guy is jabbering at me; about what, I'm not certain. Looking at the logo on his polo style shirt I realize he's from Immigration. I focus in on what he's saying despite wondering how a polo shirt could become a uniform.
It seems he had me arrested because I am found to be an undesirable. Scott the cop has dug up an old internet article. I knew the cop was determined to harm me. It was good to know I wasn't just paranoid. The immigration guy flashes the article at me. I recognize it.
See, I had a friend. He was an MP, a pretty notorious one. He gave evidence at my UK immigration hearing and said one of the most horrifying things anyone has ever said about me and he said it under oath.
He said, "Winston Churchill once said that the best thing for England was milk in the stomachs of babies. I put it to you that the next best thing for England is that man sitting there," meaning me.
Reverie by Digital Blasphemy
Click images for desktop size: "Reverie" by Digital Blasphemy
I was pretty mortified. That started what seemed to me to be a deluge of newspaper and magazine stories about me. You know I'm not shy and have a massive ego but these flowery stories were just wrong and presented me as some sort of Mother Teresa style freak.
They missed the point. I was just a guy who loves kids and all I do is teach them how to play a game. I'm good at that. All the things they tried to foist credit on me for had little to do with me. Its the game that teaches them strength, tenacity. Its the game that enables the "social inclusion of youth." Its the game that opens up a future in education and success in life. The game and not anybody human.
I love credit but this was inaccurate. I wanted money. Three hundred bucks let me kit out a player. Two hundred bucks would let me kit out a flag football team. Praise and Proclamations weren't going to do that. The advice I got that they would was wrong.
The attention also irritated my enemies. Enemy is not a paranoid term. Not when you believe in something. What I believe in is that children should not be harmed, they should be protected and given every opportunity to maximize their potential to be something greater than we can ever imagine.Arena (Naked Warriors)
A pretty innocuous thing to believe in, you'd think. But there are people who disagree, like the MP who was having an affair with a 13 year old who was pushing through legislation to make the age of consent 12 . . . or the Cabinet Secretary who believes that children should be protected as long as its not too expensive and we don't get crazy about it and by thunder they're safe enough as it is. That guy and I were in Parliament yelling at each other, calling each other names.
When you believe in something, even something innocuous you make enemies. Even if all you believe in is the truth.
Then there was the trial. One of my players had been arrested for murder. I testified as to his character and his physical ability. Newman And Redford
Click images for desktop size: "Newman and Redford"
My evidence made a lot of furor. When he was found not guilty of murder a lot of people put the "blame" on me.
So there was an incident. A female coach claimed she was getting dozens of text message claiming she was ugly, stupid, etc. Kid's stuff and stupid.
The kids came under enormous heat because of it. The Old Bill (London Met) were getting some of their own back.
It got to a point. I talked it over with the people who mattered to me I decided to plead guilty to it. I felt it was my responsibility anyway for letting things get out of hand. My personal opinion was that if people thought I was capable of such shenanigans I didn't need to know them.
I remember when the article came out. I found it as annoying and inaccurate as anything else that had been written about me. It was one of those where all they do is quote the cop, that way the paper can get salacious and wild and not face a law suit.
I've sent the article to at least one person because I thought they should at least know what a bent Rite of Passage by Stag
Click images for desktop size: "Rite of Passage" by Stag
copper thinks of me. I still think his lies and conjecture are at least as honest as the other stuff they say about me. I guess I'd still rather be thought of as a jerk than as a saint. I'm pretty sure I'm neither.
What surprised me is that I knew what happened after the article came out. It was pretty obvious that the Immigration guy didn't. He also didn't seem to wonder why there was such a long article about such a minor offense.
I asked him if the only info he had for all this was a 6 year old news story. He said its not six years old it was printed out last week! He looked at it to show it to me and realized it was printed off the internet last week but it was over 6 years old. He then said it was still enough. He claimed that under Canadian Law the charges would carry a sentence of 25 years.
That shook me. In a country where murders routinely receive a sentence of 15 years this seemed pretty harsh. I mean for a misdemeanor that carried a max sentence of about half a shoplifting charge to get translated to 25 years seemed extraordinary.
I asked him if he was locking me up for 25 years. He became apologetic and said no, he was onlyBeast From 20,000 Fathoms arresting me as being undesirable. He then began a strange litany that continued through our brief relationship. He would really appreciate it if I would just plead guilty and then offer to pay my own way home because he was already over budget and it would help him out a lot . . .
I asked for my lawyer and a rep from the US government. He said that was not his job and that the police should already have taken care of that. He then told me I was in a maximum security facility as he had no place else to put me . . . I was considered too dangerous to put in one of the Immigration Detention Centers. Then in his rhythmic cadence he admitted he was the one who made the decision. He then gave me his card and said I should call him if I had any questions. He was K.W. (Ken) McMurtry. I'd never seen a nickname in parenthesis on a business card before.
As I stare at the card I wonder how long it will take them to figure everything out. I wonder if I'll care or if I'll even be alive to tell them they messed up.
I don't spend too much time in meditation because Bob Moriarity comes in. He's the Social Worker.
The New Flesh by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "The New Flesh" by Unknown
He's a hard guy for me not to like. When I talk to him I realize that my voice is rasping with desperation. I asked him to call my lawyer and to call my friend. I felt a huge wave of relief when he said, "No problem." It doesn't take much to not feel so all alone.
Talking to the social worker I forgot the main prison rule of NOT talking, of telling anyone as little as possible. None of these people care about you. Anything they ask is for their benefit and to say it is to help you is a lie. Stay quiet. Wait for a lawyer.
I told Moriarity about the heart attack, about my friend and about my puppy, about the McMurtry and his recent visit. It was not an easy flowing conversation but I was forth right.
It seemed to agitate him. He said he was leaving now to make the calls for me. After he left the guard yelled at me through the door. I don't know what he yelled but the tone was enough. Probably something about my dark glasses. They let me keep them but they really bugged the guards.
I didn't sleep well that night. No surprise. I think I was starting to regain consciousness.
The first thing the next morning a guard opened the cell door. "Get you s___ together. You're moving a__hole."
I'd been in the infirmary. I was about to experience the sad hell that is Maplehurst Prison proper.

July 7, 2009

These wild green cats taught me how to do the bop
Billy Lee Riley

Rose Garden by Peder Kroyer
Click images for desktop size: "Rose Garden" by Peder Kroyer
I over did it yesterday. Spent a lot of time gasping and feeling uncomfortable.
I think I was fine with the walk to the mall and I was fine with the long shopping trip (10 different A Bullet for the General mobile shops). I believe if I had stopped then, sat down and taken an hour or longer break I would have been fine. Instead I plunged back and made the walk home to make it about a four hour uninterrupted expedition.
Silly of me.
I did get a phone, so I have a number for resumes. It also gives others a way to reach me. I got the cheapest package I could find: Net10. They had a 30 dollar phone but it was sold out at all the shops. There was only one 50 buck phone left in the entire mall. That's the one I got.
The phone itself is an LG. Its pretty barebones but is still fancier than I need or want. It has a camera built in. that's a big who cares to me.
But its nice to be connected.
I made an appointment to see the doctor for this Thursday. Earliest appointment I could get. My old friend doc has moved on and is following his focus even tighter. He was a good, no a great doctor. I hope his replacement is as good.
It still only costs 20 bucks to see the doctor. Reminds me of why I came back here. I'm a bit nervous about the damage that was done to me in Maplehurst. I hope it is reversible.
When I left the hospital they said there was a good chance that I could heal the damage done to my heart. I hope that is still the case.
But the biggest thing for Thursday is to get new scripts for the myriad meds I have to take to stay alive. I have over a week's supply or I only have about a weeks supply if I want to be cynical.

June 20, 2009
My cell was strange. The steel door was have two inch plexiglass. In the middle of the empty room was a hospital bed. Next to it was this sci-fi looking contraption that was a one piece steel water Painted Dancer
Click images for desktop size: "Painted Dancer" by Unknown
fountain and toilet.
When the guard slammed the door shut he said, "see that emergency cord hanging there on the wall. Whatever you do don't even f____ing think of touching it. Touch it and I'll f_--ing stomp your f___ing head in. The TV is off from noon until midnight and then off from midnight until noon."
He walked away jingling his keys and chuckling. I wondered if the whole thing was a joke.
The cell was tiny but clean. I paced it until I finally lay down. I seemed to sleep in 15 or 20 minute cycles. I kept falling in and out of consciousness. I'd wake up to hear a guard yelling at an inmate, to look at and not be able to eat the food, or to shuffle over to the door to have a cup of pills handed to me. I had to take them and then stand at the window and raise my tongue. I guess to make sure I'd swallowed them and wasn't saving them for some unfathomable purpose.
At down I'd watch a flock of cedar wing waxbills alight on the big empty yard. They methodically worked from one end of the yard to the other, about 100 yards by 30 yards. It was done with aAddicted to Murder: Tainted Blood pleasing wild animal precision.
In the evening I watched a large animal that I've since discovered was probably a musk rat, go over the same yard grousing and searching for food. He moved with a very pleasant unhurried gate. from the wall to the 20 foot chain linked fence.
I thought it odd that the prison had seemed to create its own George Harrison
Click images for desktop size: "George Harrison"
The guards had created their own universe too.
I never heard a guard in this place talk to anyone. They yelled. And all of their yelling was punctuated with a string of profanity and racial slurs. When the inmate was white, like them, they made derogatory remarks about the inmates infirmity like, "Get the f___ of out that bed you c___s___ing crippled bastard or I'll come in there and crush that f___ing head of yours like a berry!"
They were so uniformly consistent I figured the abuse was a part of their training.
For the most part the inmates were pretty much as silent as I was. That didn't seem to matter as to how much verbal invective and abuse you received. They always seemed to try to keep a threat of menace and violence in the air.
On Sunday I asked about taking a shower. A fat blonde female guard screeched at me, "You f___ing wop bastard. You think this is a f___ing hotel or something! Sit there and stew in your filth a__hole."
Dream Party Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Party Dream Girl" by Unknown
That seemed uncalled for to me.
I spent the rest of Sunday in pretty much the same way; falling in and out of sleep, listening to the abuse and accepting my fair share of the abuse. I thought at least no ones punching me or twisting my arm. I guess that was something. From the sounds I could hear I might have been unique.
On Monday I woke up when the doctor came into my call. At first I was glad for a doc but when I saw him . . . he was old, Very very old. His ID hung around his neck. It was so old that his fidgeting with it had worn his picture almost completely away.
A nurse took my blood pressure. It was something like 140 over 90 with a pulse of 96. "Perfect," he The Amazing Collsal Man declared. "Nothing wrong with this one."
I tried to talk to him and explain that those numbers were in what the hospital declared to be a danger zone for me, about a third higher than they should have been for me to be safe. They were close to impossibly high in the face of the beta blockers and stuff I was taking.
He didn't listen. Just shuffled off.
I fell asleep. I woke up and someone was talking to me. I have no idea how long he'd been talking before I came too. I had no idea who he was.
I was curious as to who he was and what he was saying. He wasn't French or even Quebecois but his voice had they rhythm if not the accent.

July 6, 2009

Don't mess with me, this is a baseball bat in my hands
Johnny Burnette

MVP by lavakillu
Click images for desktop size: "MVP" by Lavakillu
I'm back in the USSA.
Sad trip.Warrior of the Lost World
Greyhound. Seldom took the bus. It used to be that airfares were so close or even cheaper than bus fare that it just made no sense.
The bus is tough. So tough it should build character. It doesn't. Its just something to survive.
Today walked and got a phone (pay as you go) so I can have a phone number to look for a job.
At first I was pretty pleased. A walk that would have taken 30 minutes I figured would take the deflated beaten up me an hour to do. Only took 40 minutes to get there and 37 to get back. Only issue was the heat and humidity on the return. They weighed heavy on me and made me think I was over doing it a bit.
I'm safe. I have food. I'm tired.
What else is new.
Oh, I have no puppy.
My friend sent me a letter. She said she was so mad at me because I had nearly died.
I understand that. I consider it a bid admission of the fury of things that go on inside of us. Its not an easy admission to make.
When my best friend ever, Tom died I was furious. Not at his killers but with him. I was angry that he died, angry I wouldn't see him anymore, ever again. I'd have punched his ghost if I could have. I loved him that much.
I also guess I was in worse shape than I imagined. After I'd been examined and wheeled into surgery some RN came out and told mare, "Don't panic. His doctor can work miracles. I've seen him do it before."
I guess that's not the normal routine thing to say?
I was in there for 3 hours or so. I guess that's a lot. I just never thought I was dying. I mean, I was singing in the surgery! A man who is singing cannot ever die. Its in the contract.

June 19, 2009
Mystery Skateboards
Click images for desktop size: "Mystery" by Unknown

I was standing outside the homeless shelter just waiting, listening to some stranger talk about going up by the river and watching a pair of red tailed hawks do a mating dance. Suddenly two police cars came barreling in, revving engines and squealing brakes.
I saw Scott, the cop would been harassing me pop out of the lead car and knew I was pretty well in for it. A Friday evening, you know you'll be sitting someplace unpleasant until Monday morning at the earliest. A creep cop move that they love.
He came up to me and said I was under arrest for immigration violations! I was pretty well stunned by that. He grabbed my bad arm and twisted it behind my back.
It was a pain that redefined the word for me. It was white hot electric blue bolts of brain zapping energy that seemed to be tearing me apart. It felt like gallons of blood should have been spurting out of me. It dropped me to my knee.Women's Prison
As my vision cleared I was aware of something touching my back. It was Scott hitting me and kicking me.
Some of the homeless guys were yelling at the cops to leave me alone. One guy yelled, "looks like you're going home after all!" I thought he said that pretty nastily. It bothered me, the nastiness.
Grace Kelly
Click images for desktop size: "Grace Kelly"
Another fellow came up and spoke calmly to me about somethings he thought the two of us could do tomorrow . . . I said, "I think I'll be a little busy." I wondered if he was aware of what was going on. He seemed very disappointed.
They flung me in the back of the squad car, threw my pack on top of me. I was pleased that I'd still have my meds.
By the time we got to the police station I was almost able to sit up. I was dragged inside and sort of flung around. These are bullies and I'm not quite small enough to fling around and they're not tough enough to fling anyone but the smallest of the world so it would be fairer to say they tried to fling me around. They took my shoes and my belt (!) and locked me in a windowless cell.
After a while Scott came in and said I was allowed to have one call only he would be the one making the call. I asked him to call my friend. He refused and lavashiously explained how she didn't need to hear from me. So I gave him the name of my lawyer. Found out later he never called her either. Then asked to make sure the American Consulate was advised as to what was happening. Never called them either.
I don't know how long I was in the little cell. I paced the walls and figured the square footage, the cubic footage and even the hypotenuse of the room. I was trying to take the hypotenuse to the 7th Morning at Misty Vale by Stag
Click images for desktop size: "Morning at Misty Vale" by Stag
decimal place when they came, dragged me out and semi flung me in the back of the squad car.
They drove about 90-100 mph for about 20 minutes. The two cops in front seemed to be having a tremendously good time.
I was finally able to wiggle myself about enough to sit up. I saw Maplehurst Correction Center. Prisons always look the same. They suck the life from the ground the same way they suck the souls out of men and women. They take and give nothing back.
We drove in through a series of gates. I was dragged in even though I could well enough walk. The cops left. They were laughing. I don't know if they were laughing at some joke or at me.
I was pushed into a line, no by a hand but by the natural force. It was early Friday evening but there were at least two hundred men.
Our hand cuffs were removed and then we entered processing proper. The place looked like Heronomous Bosch's nightmares of the unknown levels of Dante's Inferno.Zombi 2
A slanted concrete floor that was wet with soapy bubbles and puddles of a color I'd never seen before.
There were men. Guards. In my head I heard the song, "Hard Working Man", the old version by Commander Cody were the drums were augmented by the spark of 10 pound hammers smashing into 200 pound blocks of concrete.
The guards curried about like imperious imps but they didn't have the decency to wear honest dirt, flesh and bone they disguised their evil with hatred, a hatred that was blue with darker blue patches.
A guard dumped everything you now owned into a plastic wire basket. A second guard went through it. I realized they were making three piles from each basket. Three piles. One pile of what wed get to keep when we came out, one pile for the garbage bins and the final pile was the guards haul. Their share. The devil's tithe.
The guards swore at us constantly, for no reason other than they could. They called us names, racist names, dirty names, contemptible names. If you said anything they fell on you with a flurry of fists, clubs and kicks. It was their only delight.
The Garden of Allah by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Garden of Allah" by Maxfield Parrish
Suddenly I heard my name: "Which one of you f___ing idiots is . . . "
"That's me." I said while I raised my left hand. I have no idea why I raised my hand.
"C____t you spics are stupid. What's with all these bottles of pills?"
There was a fat man standing at a writing table. He wore a white shirt and a badge. He shouted out, "Take the spic and his pills to the nurse."
Off the long corridor there were doorless rooms. In all of them were people. Some were full of naked men, others of men in street clothes. All of them were confused and at least a little bit frightened.
The room I was sent to was barren. There was a large glass cabinet filled with pills. Behind a desk sat a corpulent woman with a face out of terry Gilliam's "Brazil". It was not a real face but a caricature of indifferent over weight humanity. The woman wore a rayon wig. Blonde. It accented the alien tinge of her features and highlighted the strange tint of her flesh.
She sat and never moved. She barely spoke but the bird like woman in white who stood beside herViolent is the Word for Curly seemed to respond in a flurry to the fat one's every tic and thought.
The fat one looked at my pill bottles. "Diabetic?"
"You have a heart attack?" she either asked or stated.
As she spoke the thin one scuttled about, clicking open cabinets and vials. She managed to do this with a tremendous amount of noise while keeping up no discernible rhythm. She sat a paper cup full of pills in front of me.
"Take them," said the fat one.
"What are they?"
"Its your medicine. Take them and get back in line."
Back in the line I hoped I wouldn't regret ignoring the pills. I didn't recognize any of them.
As I moved along it felt more and more miserable. It was almost a relief when I got to the place where I was told to strip.
Got naked so they could search me for drugs and weapons. I had to stand on one foot a lot and was surprised that I kept falling over.
They gave me clothes, baggy, crinkly feeling boxer shorts, scratchy wool socks and rubber slippers. Orange T-Shirt and Orange coveralls. Putting on the coveralls really hurt. My shoulder felt all tubular inside the skin, as if each vein, tendon and muscle fibre was standing at attention and trying to imitate a klaxon whistle.
I was lead away in a chain. I was led to a cell.
I felt alone. I was certain no one knew where I was. I still had no idea why I was there. But I was there.
It was confusing. Jail is or people under arrest. Prison is for convicts. Immigration has Detention Centers, but I was in prison and there was nothing I could do about it. Doing time for doing no crime.

July 4, 2009

And I'm not dead yet

Cole Phillips My puppy is safe. I'm alive.
The crazy cop Scot moved beyond mere harassment and got me to spend two weeks in a MAXSECVertigo Polish (Maximum Security) prison.
It wasn't easy. It was hard, even if it was only two weeks, it was hard.
I'm in Pennsylvania now, heading south. Mare rescued me.
We're still close. Maybe its a curse - hers as well as mine.
Trying to kill me has never been seen as completely fatal to me. I have a lot of friends who've tried in one way or another. Its when the trap shuts that you can see and know the difference between friends and family.
We've spent two days together healing each others wounds if only a little bit.
Tomorrow we'll have to part. She to go home, work and take care of her dogs. Me, to climb onto a Greyhound Bus and to start to recover a life, start over again.
I need to rest. I need to heal.
There's no time. Urgency is the price of a dollar.
I'll make it because that's what I do. I'll get my puppy back by my side because that's what we do.
As to Mare and I its what we do in the silence and the times we are alone that will define what is to come.
I need rest and I need to heal. What happened to me these past two weeks I need to retell, to clarify and to understand becasue its important to me to not forget. Important to see that it must not happen to someone else.
This sounds somber. It isn't meant to. Its only sounds that way because its not an adventure. Its only life.