What is There To Do in a Solitary Cell?

white guy stack of bksThink.  What else is there to do but think? What would you do if there was nothing to do, day after day after day? Time wouldn’t matter.  Would you care if breakfast was served at 3:30 in the morning in a room where the lights were on 24/7 and you were unfortunate enough to be in a room that had no window or if there was, there was nothing to see or it was to dirty to see anything. If there was no window would you even know what time it was?

Have you ever been sick and stuck in bed for a few days or a few weeks until you felt nuts if you couldn’t get out of there?  If you were stuck in a cell by yourself for a few years what would you do to keep yourself sane?  What would be the high points of your day?  Could it be that you hoped the guard wouldn’t be too lazy to take you for a shower, by yourself, handcuffed and shackled?

How would you feel if the day went by and you hoped and hoped for a letter that didn’t come? You sent out a few letters hoping the person on the other end would be compassionate enough to realize that you needed to have them write back and you waited and waited and tried to make yourself think maybe they moved or didn’t get the letter.  Maybe they didn’t have time to read it yet.white buy pulling paper

So you read a lot of books – if you can.  Where are these books supposed to come from? Not everyone is able to go to the library. Being in adseg doesn’t allow it. Some can get out of their cells every day and some can’t.  Is that their fault?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Being so alone really plays tricks with the mind.  It makes you angry.  It makes you sad.  It makes you cry.  It makes you want to give up – but you can’t.  All you can do hopefully cross one more day off your sentence so freedom is one day closer.

Unfortunately this is what usually happens to people stuck away in a prison for years.  People eventually go away. It happens to people who are sick, too.  Friends that used to call or come by once in awhile to see how you are gradually stop coming by.  They don’t know what to do.  They don’t know what to say.  They are uncomfortable.  They are uncomfortable.  They feel weird.  They go on with their lives and pretend you died.  It’s not their fault you are sick. Prison is the same.  They don’t want to be reminded of where you are.  It’s not their fault you are there and they tell you that.

What will happen with these people when you get out.  Will they want to give you a hug as though you have just returned home after taking a very long trip to another country?  Will they pretend everything is okay? Will they say,  “It isn’t important now, so let’s not talk about it?” Will they think you will be so glad to see them, and so grateful they took time out of their busy day to see you only when it is over that you will forget the years of silence and the begging to see them? Are you supposed to forgive them for never bringing your son to see his father? Is that possible?

Will they say, “Welcome back to the family.  Lets have a big family party,”and want to prepare your favorite foods to eat? What if you said you wanted pancakes and peanut butter because it was the only food you could think of, and they wouldn’t understand the irony of why you asked for those particular foods? He could never trust their intentions.

How would they feel if you said, “Who are you? I don’t know you. Go away.” Would it hurt their feelings? He hoped so. They never minded if they hurt his.  How does he treat his mother?  Can he forgive her?  She is his mother.  Not so fast.  He kept telling himself she did her best when he was a kid. But he hasn’t been a kid in a long time.  Has she been a mother to him when he has needed her as an adult, or are adult kids not supposed to ever need their mother?  He will always be there for his son? She needs to understand how it feels to be hurt by someone you thought loved you. He wants her to say she is sorry for being so thoughtless, and sorry for the lies.  He doesn’t think he will get it, though.  It hurts when you think your mother doesn’t love you  enough to even pretend.  Even if she says she loves him, she doesn’t love him enough to understand how he feels.  She doesn’t love him enough to help him.  Ten years is a long time.  He doesn’t know how he will handle this later. They have no right to be upset if he isn’t glad to see them.  He doesn’t know if he could be glad.  Oh well, he still has a long time to wait, but soon he will have only 1/3 of his time to go.

The last ten years and eight months have been a very long time. Absentee family in prison. Why? Even if his mother couldn’t physically make it in to see him it takes very little effort to write “I love you son” on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and put it in a mail. It might have brightened a very lonely day when he was feeling lonely.  So little could have done so much. She doesn’t even have to sell her food like he does to get a stamp  because he had to use the little bit of money he had left to buy deodorant so he wouldn’t stink in these very hot and sweaty cells with no air conditioning. Did she or anyone care about that?  Anyone but Sonni?

He hated to always have to ask her for money because he knows her disability check doesn’t leave her with much but she is the only one he can count on.  She always finds a way. She sends boxes of books so he can pass the time. A friend of hers has helped some, too, and she has also written some letters, but he hasn’t heard from her in awhile and doesn’t know why.

white guy red bkSo he reads, and in his fantasies he can be somewhere else for awhile.  He has routines he follows to get through the day. Some days he craves a hug.  To feel his arms around another human being.  The warmth. The rise and fall of breathing, feeling the heartbeat of another person. To give his son a hug for the very first time.  This is what keeps him going.

These men in here who have no one to love and no one to love them back.  At least he has that.  Now he has lived through another day. He waits for another letter.  Maybe he will be lucky today.

This is the first post I put on this blog in 2014. It will help you get to know Jamie a little better.

ITFO Newsletter

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Sonni’s Pinterest
If you haven’t “liked” Jamie’s facebook page yet you can do so in the info under this post.

You can also follow the blog by email so you don’t miss any posts. That, too, is in the info beneath the post