Senior Center


…..I was surprised at the end. I didn’t know it was going there. This is the writing of another man in prison, transcribed by his brother. I have met quite a few other bloggers in prison. You can find a few of them on the right in links section for prison blogs.

Fire and Forgiveness

The sun rose, embracing its duty to scorch the high desert between the Humbolt and Trinity Ranges. The leather seats of my dreamed-of ’51 Riley saloon burned as I sat for the short drive to the Senior Center to visit the one who raised me, Hope.

I try to visit her every day and when I can laugh, when the cascading blues part for a period, I am amused to allow her to see me as who she imagines I am. Shifting into third as I enter I-80 at Rye Patch, I wonder if today she will recognize me. Wednesday she knew my name and asked if I finished the book report on Of Mice and Men. I had finished it, before Nixon resigned.

Thursday she was so glad to see “me.” She spoke with great joy of “our” years at Gonzaga. This had happened before so I no longer…

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(excerpt from 8/26/11)
You play the piano? I didn’t know that. I wish I could play. Actually I would like to play the saxaphone. I like the sound, the feeling and the mood it puts me in. I sometimes come across Kenny G on the radio. Saxaphone puts me in a relaxing mood. It also helps me to free my mind. You want to hear something crazy, mom? I didn’t know any of this until I came here. I never listened to that kind of music before. I’m promising myself that when I get out of here that I’m going to take Megan to a jazz festival. That’s something nice to think about. At least if she’ll go with me.

Justice For Inmates

They are starving us. I don’t know how they get away with this but they do. We can’t do anything about it. They put us all on lockdown again. Not because we did anything but because they want to toss our cells looking for weapons and drugs. One time they planted a weapon in my cell. They put a homemade knife on the sink. I was really surprised and mad when they “found” it. Even if I had made the knife, would I have been stupid enough to leave it out on the sink when I knew they were going to toss my cell looking for weapons? It had to be a guard. They try to get you in trouble and keep you down. It doesn’t matter if you are guilty of doing something in here, they will make sure you are guilty. It’s your word against theirs, and you can’t win.

We’re on our second week of lockdown. This is the hardest one I’ve gone through. By law they are supposed to feed you a hot meal every three days but they do what they want to anyone in a white suit, which is us. They are feeding us what they call a peanut butter sandwich which is a half spoon of peanut butter on bread. They only give us a half spoon because they are trying to stretch it out to last longer. It saves them money. They stretch it more by adding some really nasty soup or applesauce that makes me gag. But I have no choice. I have to eat it or I get nothing. I’ve heard that it costs $40,000 a year for each inmate, to keep us here. Where does the money go because it sure isn’t spent on us. Once in a while we get a meat sandwich or cornbread. Sometimes prunes or raisens. In the morning we get two biscuits with a half spoon of peanut butter or maybe two pancakes.

This system is built for the inmates to lose. If we think we’re being treated wrong by the officers and they write up a case against us ( make up a case against us is more like it ), they tell us to write up an appeal. First they take away any privileges, like going to the commissary or rec,for 30-45 days. Guess how long it takes for the answer to the appeal to come back? 30 days. It’s crazy. The appeal will always be denied, too. It’s all for nothing. I lose my comm privileges for nothing. I get punished because I appealed the false charges against me. I lose because I tried to stand up to the bullshit. There is no way around the system. All the officer has to do is lie and the next one will back it up or say he didn’t see anything.

But I know now that there are effects for every cause that is made. All the good ones and all the bad ones. These guards in here don’t get away with the things they do. It’s written into their own lives. They will have to face the effects of so many lies. They don’t get away with the things they do to other human beings. They may get off treating us like dogs, but we aren’t dogs. They may talk to each other about all the things they do to us and laugh about it, thinking they are getting away with it. But we are people. I will do my best to change the parts of me that caused this to happen to my life. I will find a way to make a difference. I will become a better person. I will someday leave here a better person. I will have hope.
It’s a new year and I’m going to do my best to stay out of trouble. I never try to make trouble. It’s always someone else who comes up to fight me. But no more fighting. Nothing. But when you don’t fight back then everyone feels they can run over you. But I’m not going to fight. I want to focus on coming home. I have to raise my level before they will consider me for parole. I’m level 3. I need to be level 1 before it’s even possible. Even then they could still turn me down. They well give me something called a set-off, which means I have to wait another five years before I can see the parole board again unless they want to bring me back up again. This system is built for our downfall. They don’t want us to survive in here. There is no justice for inmates at all.