I continued my routine; I started to add some things to make more
out of my time. I asked if they had a bible or if I could have one brought to
me. The only one they had was a little blue bible that usually handed out to
homeless and children. It was just the New Testament, Palms, and Proverbs, but it was better than nothing. I would read in the morning, and before I went to bed. My pastor could visit on Sundays without taking away from my weekly visits, and he told me that there are 31 proverbs in the bible, and 31 days i most months, so I should start reading one a day. It was a brilliant idea; I started getting more and more out of the bible than I feel I had ever before.
It’s an ongoing joke in jails and prisons that people are always finding God
while they are inside. I don’t feel like I fall under that category, I didn’t
find him, I reconnected. I had always had a relationship with God, but while I
was in jail I started to pay more attention to what he was doing in my life,
what he had done for my life, and that I need to pray for what he is going to do next.
In jail you pay attention to everything, how people act, where
they are at, what time it is, where you left your things, etc. I don’t want to
come off as a religious nut; I have never been big in religion. With religion
you get humanity made guidelines with life. Jesus broke down the 10 commandments to just two rules; love god, and love others as you love yourself. Basically the hippy way of living life. Jail is the perfect environment to test your love for others. The dude I got into an argument with over falsely learned Spanish, I started to watch a little closer than most. After he would return from court, he was in a “fuck the world” kinda demeanor, proud of his charges, boasting about telling the judge off and he turned down probation, and asked for 3 years in prison. (Or so he says, people in jail can come up with some off the wall stories, and being in a position to where you can’t check the facts on it, you either listen, or ignore)He had tattoos of swastikas, and 666 symbols, he “hated everybody and everything”. Was always being a prick and pushing people around. He had this persona all the way up till the morning he was called out to prison. From head to toe, his body language changed. He wasn’t proud anymore, he was scared. I could have told him off, I could have called him out on it, I would have waved my dick in the air and made a huge scene about it, but I didn’t. For the first time in my life, I felt for a complete asshole. I could almost see his past, and see where it went wrong. He wasn’t born a total prick, life made him this way. I saw in the fear in his face someone else. I saw someone dealing with life the way he was taught, and he was scared.
He passed out all his personals to people, (can’t take anything
with you when you get transferred) packed his blankets and sheet in his box, and waited by the door. The guards called him out, and I held the door open for him, as he walked by I said to him, “whether you like it or not, I’ll be praying for you”. He looked at me and quietly said, “thank
He left, everyone else went back to bed, I stayed up and listened
to some music off the TV, and prayed, I prayed for someone I barely knew. Not in the way you pray for someone when a pastor tells you they are ill, “Dear God, help them, amen”, I prayed for him as if I was praying for my own brother. It wasn’t long after that I began to cry. I really felt for this guy, I saw his pain, I saw the cards life dealt to him and the game he was taught to play. This wasn’t his fault. This was the result of a shitty, unguided life. Now, I don’t mean he is in prison because he didn’t grow up with Christ, that would have been nice, but everyone needs morals, respect, and responsibility taught to them as a child. As time went on, I began to see that in everybody I met in jail. The ones in for drugs are on drugs because life to them isn’t fair. Either they take drugs to feel numb from the pain of depression, or they sell drugs because jobs are scarce, or both. There may have been only one guy in jail I met that took drugs simply because he liked drugs, but I’m sure even he has an underlying cause for the start of them.
Soon, my cell of people emptied. All that remained was my Celly,
Andy, and I. some came, and went. It wasn’t long before the next list of
“residents” came to stay a while.
This would be about my 3rd month in jail, by now I would be
considered an intermediate detainee in the eyes of new comers. I started to
become the source of answers to questions and advice. Of course, jail isn’t
rocket science, but one of the things I learned in jail is to be proud of my
education. Common sense it seems isn’t for everybody.
The next group of people is the group I got to know the best.
This one guy named Diggs was a coal miner, sports nut, and a shunner of anything that “wasn’t real” like cartoons, fantasy movies, or TV shows. He was a really nice guy, and bluntly honest. I liked him a lot. He was about 52 years old and in jail because of this new law passed pushing back a date for Drug related felons, and them buying drug precursors. He got some Sudafed at Wal-Mart, and because 10 years ago he was in prison for drugs, they arrested him for buying the cold meds. Resetting this new date sent a lot of people to jail; another guy by the name of Brad was in for the same thing. Brad was a cool guy too, but it seemed his drug past burnt him to a crisp. He always fidgeted, could never sit down for long, and was always moving around. Brad also considered himself a “lifer, in and outta jail since he was 17 years old” and here he was going on 50. Brad was also a pretty funny guy, had a story for every minute of the day. His appearance fit his personality as well; he once said that, “he was easier to jump over than he was to walk around”. Ha-ha. Another guy that came in, not for too long, but long enough to mention, we called him “frooska”; It was a play on his last name. He wasn’t born in the US; he was from the Check republic. He was in for basically defending his daughter from an asshole. He used to be a boxer
in his younger days, so he worked out all the time to pass the time. Then there was “PEE”, a nickname derived from an event/story (again, you can never be too sure in jail) of him peeing on a cop. He slept all the time, and was the trustee to the jail. He had already been sentenced and was waiting to go home. He was pretty funny when he was awake. Also, he was the only one in the cell around my age in this group of inmates. “Hooha Bob” is next. Standing at a lanky 6 ft 7 in, he towered over everybody, including me. He was as grumpy as old guys got. If he wasn’t bitching about something, he was thinking about something to bitch about. We would give each other shit all the time just to make time go by. He would tell me to shut my fat lip, I’d tell him to take his wrinkly old ass to his bunk for a nap. It was all in good fun, but part of the sport was to be as insulting as possible. We had loads of fun with it. I liked him a lot, and I’m sure somewhere down in his wrinkly, old, decrepit heart he likes me too. He was in jail for a paragraph of meth charges. He was kinda set up though. He is guilty of what he did, he doesn’t deny that, but the police got some dude to bring some stuff to make meth to his house, and he started it. Then the guy was all like, “I’ll be back I got to go get something”, it wasn’t long after he left the cops busted in and arrested everyone in the house. When you are arrested for drugs, the amount is factored in with your charge and sentencing. The stuff Hooha had would have made just a gram or two of dope, but when they busted in, it wasn’t done separating. So when they weighed it, they weighed it jar, liquid and all. So instead of going to jail for manufacturing, and possession of just a couple grams, he got manufacturing and possession of 130 something grams of
meth. Class X felony, he was facing a 10 year sentence. It’s not right to be set up like he did, but he saw it as a wake-up up call. He swore after he got out, he wouldn’t touch the stuff ever again. And finally, pulling up the rear is
Bruce. The oldest in the cell, in for charges similar to mine, he was a “go with
the flow” kinda guy for a while. He read his bible a lot, and sipped on his
instant coffee. So the second group of people in the cell with Andy and I was a bunch of old farts set in there old fart ways. You can say things got more
stressful and tense, but it wasn’t so bad if you didn’t fight it as hard.
As far as court goes, nothing happened for the next two or three
court dates. My lawyer talked to me about my Trial, the plea agreement (if I had intended on taking one) was crap, and I was continually told that this was a no evidence case and it should be an easy win. I got papers explaining my case called my motion of discovery. What I got out of it is my friends…. My old friends… didn’t seem to care that I was being shafted. I can understand if they continued with an investigation, and tried to find out if what happened did or not. I can understand if they took their daughters side and followed her to the end of the case, but Bill ended up writing a statement that described a night a while back of me putting his daughter to bed, the middle child, not the one that is accusing me, and it gave him an unsettling feeling. That he began to feel like it wasn’t a good idea if I babysat for them anymore because of it, but not tell or even ask me about it. I watched his girls countless nights for 4 years, whatever night he is talking about isn’t any different than any other night I babysat. I don’t know about whatever pot induced feeling he got that night, but it ended up as a statement in my discovery. Reading that statement broke my heart, I couldn’t believe it. In it he mentioned, that I was a friend, he even put “friend” in quotes. Four years of fantastic friendship, and I read in a statement that he didn’t care to have one anymore. Per the circumstances I was in that point is apparent, but I never expected to read or hear any of them to say it. It killed me. I also gathered in my Discovery, that a search warrant for my phone was retrieved AFTER the dick took my phone, that I was arrested two months after the investigation ended, and my charge gradually went from “sexual penetration” to “he touched her thigh”.
Not once did someone give me a real reason as to why I was in
jail. A little girl told somebody that I “maybe” touched her thigh in her sleep,
and boom; seven months in jail, 4 years of probation, a lifetime of registering
as a sexual predator. My discovery was basically a bunch of “well, we heard
this” and “we think that…” no real, factual evidence was present, yet I sit in
The only really exciting thing that happened in this time period
was moving cell blocks. The guys in Cell block 4 were right next to the women’s cell. Whoevers bright idea it was to put a door between cells is a mystery, but they were just asking for communication to happen. You can’t lock someone up for more than 3 months and not expect them to talk to chicks next door. After many times of being told to stop, their final punishment was to be moved, and we were the cell they swapped with. The big difference between two and four was four was an open dorm, no little cell rooms to be locked in at night. A big open aria with beds, toilets, tables, TV, all under the brightest damn lights they could find to put in a building. The best part? They never… shut… off…. 24/7 of light. A lot of us felt like we were the ones being punished. Being locked in a little cell sounds bad, but for a while, I missed it.
Time continued to drag on. By now I was a jail-house resident. I
was given seniority ruling on decisions, I started working out to keep myself
from wasting away, and I started a business. I never demanded payment or set prices, usually if I waited they would set their own and I would go from there, but I had a rare skill. Well, rare in our immediate jail block, but I could draw. Letters is my best talent, little doodle cartoons, I would write poems, people started to ask me to make them cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays. After a while it grew to calendars, little posters to toothpaste on their bunk walls. Of course it wasn’t long before we started writing the women next door, and when we got that going I was doing things for them as well. I would get Cheetos, envelopes/stamps, dinner trays, snacks; I didn’t have to worry about anything after that.
Well, now we have reached December. Everyone is depressed for
being in jail during the holidays, and I’m doing my hardest to keep everyone
happy. I even used an old TV guide, a juice cup and tooth paste to make a little Christmas tree. I used the foil from the juice cup and made a star to put on top. Guys were giving me shit about it for a while, but they soon looked at it as a reminder of home, that made a few of them feel
Eventually my cell of guys began to change out again. Diggs and
Hooha Bob got prison time, Brad and Frooska bailed out, and Pee finished his
sentence and is on TASC probation.
Andy, Bruce and I remained.
One by one our cell began to fill back up with guys. Nate was
first. He was a rock n roll loving asshole. Ha-ha. He spent every day trying to
be tough. He would do his workouts and flex as if it could intimidate anybody.
He had been in juvenile DOC before, but now he was facing prison. He had/has a shitty set up for a charge similar to mine. He was dating a chick younger than him, but he was over 18 and she was under. They ended up getting a place together, having a kid, and he is still with her today. It didn’t take much, though, to piss her mom off and get him sent to jail for it. When he went to court, the judge saw him, his girlfriend, and his son there and granted him probation. It was a probation violation that got him sent back to jail. Bare was second. He too was charged with a case similar to mine, and also in for probation violation. This was another day in the life of Bare, ha-ha, he had already been to prison twice, and was now facing his third. At first bare did nothing but sleep and read… after a while he got up and was sociable, then close to the end he went back to sleeping and reading. He is a pretty cool guy with a pretty dark past. He didn’t talk about what happened, and I never wanted to ask how it happened, but his daughter was killed a while back, and he had me draw up a memorial tattoo for him. I don’t know if he will ever get it, but he seemed happy I made it for him. Danny was next, in also for a charge similar to mine, and also probation violation. He made it clear to everybody he was Wiccan, and we should keep our Jesus to ourselves. Ha-ha. Calm collective guy, racist as a mother fucker, but a kind person to white folk. Had a thousand stories, and only one, monotone, slow way of telling each one…. But he was entertaining. Loved his kids, and loved his wife, he talked about them often. If he wasn’t talking or sleeping he was trying to steal your food. Not to eat it, but to see how long it would take you to notice. He too had some prison time under his belt, and loved to tell people what they were facing in prison. Soon came Damion.
His favorite thing to do was piss off Nate any chance he got. They always
resolved the issue with a handshake, but it was a daily thing to hear they
threaten each other for an hour, and then let it go. He was a big kid, and by
that I mean mentally. He was a smart guy don’t get me wrong, but it seemed his maturity in dealing with life was offset a few years in the negative. He loved his Honda cars though. He could tell you everything you didn’t care to know about Hondas. Working on cars was his passion. His down fall though was drugs, which is what got him in jail. He didn’t have any drug charges, but he blacks out while high, and is violent. He had a girlfriend, who ended up moving in with him beside the fact there was an alleged violent attack. No one can say for sure, he can’t remember anything. It must have not been so back because when he woke up from his black out, all of her shit was in his house. It was her mom that reported the “attack” and put him in jail. His girlfriend dropped charges, but was later persuaded to pursue it by her mother. He is another “shafting” case I have seen in jail. When he isn’t on drugs, he’s a nice guy, a total asshole, but in an understandable kind of way. Everyone always has an asshole in their circle of friends. He is a misunderstood product of bad upbringing. He has
a good heart; it just has all the wrong motives.
Well, I met with my lawyer one last time before my trial. To paint a picture of how worried he was about this case; we talked for 3 and a half hours… but spent around 10 minutes talking about my case. The rest was WWII stories about his dad, Peter O’toole movies, and his days as a Marine. We talked more about other cases than we did mine. It was also around this time he first mentioned that the case may not go the way we would want it to. That jury cases are a “coin flip” and it’s hard to determine the outcome of a deliberation. 4 months in jail, and he finally shows doubt on my case. By now it’s too late to do anything about it. I couldn’t call for character witnesses even if I had known I could. He left me with a pit in my stomach and a new building hatred for lawyers. At this time though, my faith was in God and in him. I depended on him to get me out of this; after all, I didn’t know anything. Especially what was going to happen at my trial. He didn’t prepare me for much, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the train that was scheduled to run me over.
This is the end of Part IV… Part V coming soon.