Saturday, June 09, 2007

the ins and outs

One of my favorite Saturday ladies is scheduled to walk out of prison doors tomorrow. We had an emotional and discussion-filled session, ending with her in tears, saying goodbye. The tears seemed so perfectly normal in a place most people would be overjoyed to leave. Friendships are best fanned in the fires of hardship, and it was apparent this morning. I asked this young woman if she was ready and she had a place to go. All she said was that her mother was picking her up and she was pretty sure mom wouldn't drop her off on the town square and drive away. I so wish I had a way to know what was on the other side of these women's lives. Would I be as sympathetic? I guess I do. And I'll let Brandon weigh in with a comically frustrating recounting of events in one of his recent weeks. Here's Bran:

"This week has a been a little rough, albeit interesting, with today being the culmination. The fun began several days ago when being reckless in the yard we jettisoned our new hacky sack into no-man's-land (an area that would be considered an escape attempt to enter). It ended up in the white rock, nestled comfortably again the inner perimeter. For what must have been 15 minutes, we plotted as to how to get it back without anyone realizing we had been there. That is, to elude an escape charge. First, we decided the person who has the least to lose should go for it; we needed a lifer. Well, Nick couldn't be found so we had to "gird up our loins" and ask a Sarge or Lt. for help (AAHAHHHHHH! I just walked into one of my cellie's death traps: a half-full cup of water precariously located on the edge of the desk. That's the last thing I need right now). We found one each, doing the job they do best: holding up the walls of the field house. After their pre-rehearsed spiel, they told us to con one of the other officers into fetching it. "But who?" we asked. "Why, that guy!" (Sarge points dramatically toward the opposite end of the yard. Camera zoom in on a lone CO rounding the track 450 feet away). Then the running began. It was about halfway through the football field when I realized my shoes were laced way too loose for this kind of pace. My pants were falling down and I can't breathe because I smoke rolled up garbage in a piece of glued paper. This must be what it's like to be a gang-banger running from the cops. The irony being I'm running toward one. In the end we caught the guy and he agreed to get the hack, declining our offers of commissary goodies. Nice guy...

Bran continued with several hilariously maddening accounts of stupid stuff that could only happen in prison. One of these was a cell shake-down which most inmates simply dread. All possessions are gone through and either tossed, sent home or kept, in no particular order of importance or logic. He was made to send home precisely six books (which we received this week) and scolded for having too many. His comment was, "They then complained about my cellie having too many shirts and me having too many books (when I relayed this to Liebel, my associate from the law library, he said, "so they punished you for being literate?") Well, yes.

So that is life from both sides of the bars this week. It's always interesting.


Blogger jules said...

Thank you for sharing the stuff about Brandon. With Josh's upcoming trial, it gives me hope that there are some "funny" moments in prison as well.

7:47 AM  
Blogger joannie said...

Absolutely there are. He seems pretty well taken care of, all in all, but it's just not a place anyone should be. I'm praying for you and Josh.

4:08 PM  

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