Aflame with smiling faces Kenneth Patchen

What Are Friends For 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 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 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 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.
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.

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