Saturday, January 26, 2013


DAY SEVEN: Prison Diary January 9, 2013 Solitary Confinement Okaloosa C.I., Crestview, FL

The Russians in Stalin's gulags (prisons) used to say that the years pass quickly, but the days go slowly. That is partially true today. When the lights cut on in lockup at 4:00 AM, blinding cell lights, two hours before breakfast, it seems like an interminable time until ten o'clock that night when they cut the lights off. Seven suns have risen and set, as our Native American brothers and sisters say, since I was unceremoniously shoved "in the hole," a week has passed, and what do I have to show for it? A lot, actually.

At nine o'clock this morning I was summoned to a legal phone call with my attorney, William Sheppard. After getting gussied up with a set of handcuffs, waist chains and leg irons, I shuffled to a little hearing room where my classification officer waited by a phone. She gave me the phone and left the room, closing the door. Attorney-client confidentiality.

After that, the nurse and doctor waited to complete my annual physical. I'd lost six pounds on the scale, but that wasn't counting the several pounds of steel bracelets and anklets I wore. Prison diet plan - go to solitary - no between meal snacks.

Considering the circumstances, I should be happy I am in relatively good health, all my lab numbers in the normal range. The doctor said my cholesterol level was very good, lower than his, and I answered, "Yeah, but I'm not eating those porterhouse steaks, baked potatoes and sour cream like you are." Not much cholesterol in beans and soy patties. I told the doctor I'm trying to survive this life sentence, and maintaining my health is crucial. Many prisoners have severely curtailed life expectancies, usually from bad lifestyle choices, and many look years or decades older than their actual ages. After living a monastic lifestyle for over 34 years, I'm doing better than most, not letting up now, but it isn't getting any easier. The hard, grating conditions, the endemic abuse, and the psychological torment inflicted on most prisoners wears down even the strongest of men. Apathy is a contagion that affects many prisoners and staff.

I am grateful for small blessings. It took me six days to get a toothbrush - one with a thumb grip, perhaps two inches long, I suppose so one so inclined can't stick anyone in the eye with it. Have you ever tried to brush your teeth with the corner of a towel for six days? It's not fun. The "stale" toothpaste they issue is made in India, probably from holy cows. It used to be made in China, but they had a major product recall - something about contamination, and they switched suppliers to India. Whatever happened to "Made in America?

Anyway, I had a brand-new bottle of Colgate toothpaste in my stored property, along with a bar of good soap and a paperback book. I sent in a request, since we are permitted such limited items, and today they brought the three items. Christmas in January. "When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose," the man said, but in here, where no one has much of anything, the little things mean a lot. So I got out my thumb-sized toothbrush, loading it up with blue-and-white "name brand" toothpaste, and woke my mouth up. No, I won't throw away the toothpaste from India. It's still good for cleaning the little stainless steel toilet.

After waiting for hours, it is almost time to take my quick shower. On Monday, the water was warm, but dribbled out like-I don't want to say what I was thinking. No washcloth - apply soap with your hands. The three-second push button barely comes in before it cuts off. You have to endlessly push it to get the drizzle. Very difficult to get wet, soapy, rinse and get clean. Perhaps that's why they call it prison. You don't want to come here.

Before I go, my web master says I must mention Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and "Psy," to keep up the hits on the blog, and attract a younger, more hip, and older, more sophisticated reader of the accompanying blog. Since today marks my 12,701st day of captivity, I'm not getting any younger, or hipper, either, so I guess we're even.

Thanks for reading this far, and keep in touch. If the grinches make me do the entire 30 days of retaliation in "the box," I'll get out on February 1st, right before Superbowl Sunday. Who do you think will win? Being cut off from all news sources, I don't even know who's playing.

In the meantime, goodnight, and I'll see you tomorrow, if the Lord is willing that I arise.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tell Dan or whomever makes the posts that there is a 'script' which they can fill the blanks of and it will be as effective as hashtags on instagram and twitter. I'll look for it but it can be found on technorati (vox(
It's good to mention them in your posts but so much better for audience draw if they are put in this script. It's very simple