It’s been nine years now, give or take a few months. Nine very long years. Nine years alone living with the fantasies of a few short months with a woman. Nine years with only myself to talk to most of time. In and out of solitary for years at a time. A revolving door of being let out knowing it would only be a matter of time before they found a way to lock me up again. Other men were always coming and going, in and out of lockup. They want to make sure you know they own you. They think they can even own your mind. he was locked up for a fantasy crime. They wanedt me to feel humiliated. They let me know I can’t win.
It was real obvious the guards enjoyed locking me up this time. It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last. It’s what they do to all the dudes in here. They had a real good time laughing at me. I knew that as sure as I knew anything. No way was I going to let it show that it bothered me. They knew I didn’t do anything they haven’t done themselves a thousand times. It wasn’t necessary to write up a case on me for that. What did I need to be disciplined for? I’m a man. I have needs just like everyone else. I’ve been without a woman for 9 years, and even then I only had a short time with Morgan for less than a year, when I got out of Juvy when I turned 21. It’s the only memories I have. She was a beautiful and loving woman and I fell hard for her, so when I think of a woman I think of her and the way I wanted our life to be. But life had other plans for us and it planned they we wouldn’t be together. But I still have my memories and that is the only thing I have to keep me company when I’m lonely.
People were made for having sex. Some guys, when they knew they’d be locked up for maybe the rest of their life, or at least for a very long time, they would do things they wouldn’t do on the outside. But when you didn’t have any other choice it can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do and take advantage of the only thing that was there. There were guys that were into that. Some guys didn’t want to but they were made to anyway. Not him, though. He’d never let himself be put in a place mentally where it would be okay to be with another man. Not a chance. He didn’t care how hard up he was. He had a gay cellie once and he let it be known he was willing. he set him straight right off. He better not wake up and catch him trying to do things.
But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t human. He’s a grown man who still had needs. Being in prison didn’t make that go away. Just because he was locked up in here didn’t mean he no longer had any desire for woman. So here he was, minding his own business, and not being able to have any, so all he was doing was thinking about it and touching himself, just the same way everybody else does. He wasn’t doing anything to anyone. He wasn’t putting it in anyone’s face.
Female guards are supposed to announce themselves when they come on a unit. Someone could be changing clothes. But she didn’t announce herself, that was the issue. She caught him with his hand on himself. Finding a tiny bit of pleasure. She lied about that and they both knew it. But it didn’t matter. Guards can say anything they want. Guards are always right and inmates are always wrong. That’s the way prison justice works, or rather, it’s the way prison injustice works. That’s why they get away with doing whatever they want to the inmates. Their superiors actually encourage it. Prison injustice is more like it.
There’s a whole lot else going on around here and everyone knows it. Sex in prison is so common. He wasn’t doing anything to anyone else so how come he gets put in lockup for it? That was an offense to be put in solitary for? He wasn’t allowed to even fantasize about sex? He couldn’t be a human being with all the same urges of any other human being without being put back into a 5X8 foot cell, deprived of everything? Take away his job. Take away going to commissary. Take away his time in the yard. Take away the few friends he had made. Take away the progress he made so he’ll have to start all over? Take away his hope? Turn him into a person who will end up right back in in here like so many of them do when they succeed in making him nuts? They even took away his books and left him with only his paper and a pen.
What was wrong with thinking about sex? He needed to at least fantasize he had sex with someone. A seventeen year sentence is a long time. This also will make it harder to make parole in Oct of 2016. Yeah, how do you answer the question when they say, “What have you done to improve your life? Oh, you got thrown in the hole again? How many times is it now? It seems like you can’t stay out of trouble. You have a problem with authority, Cummings. You’re not ready to get out.” That’s what they’ll say. It’s all a racket. They do this to keep you down.
He thought about Morgan. She was the only woman he had been with. He knew it was over between them, and he told her to move on. It was too long to wait and he wasn’t upset, but he had spent so many years loving her and that was the only memory he had of a woman. He was remembering her the way he wanted to remember her. What was there, a few memories of making love to a woman who for so long and he wanted to believe she loved him as much as he loved her. Hoping against hope that one day when he got out and she met him again face to face, she would still want him. . .
He knew, though, that this was not the real reason they locked him up this time. It was just an excuse. A guard with a grudge. The real reason was to dehumanize him. Make him feel as though he had no value. Taking away the most basic of human feelings and emotions and making it into something to be punished for. It was a way to make him worthless. He wasn’t really a man. There was no way to act like a man. They want to control even what few good times he had that were locked in his head. He wasn’t going to let them have that.
“They aren’t going to do this to me.” He spoke out loud to his reflection in the stainless mirror above the sink
“I’m not going to let them get to me again.” He repeated with even more determination.
“They can lock up my body, but they can’t lock up my mind.”
What he didn’t know is they weren’t done with him yet. They were just getting started . . .