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.
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 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 an 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 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 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.
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.