Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Indian Springs, Nevada
Soundtrack: “Doin’ Time” by Sublime.
“On lockdown like a penitentiary.” Ah, yes, the good ol’ prison lockdown rears its ugly head at HDSP again. The skies are blue, a few solitary clouds float freely across those blue skies. A beautiful day to be outside, get some fresh air. Nope. “No yard for you!” As a matter of fact, no movement out of your cell at all!
It’s Thursday afternoon, and we’ve been locked down for three days now. According to a reliable source, three different assaults on staff took place over the weekend–Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I`m pretty sure all of the assaults on guards took place in general population, yet the warden slams protective segregation, as well. I’ve never understood the oft-used “group punishment” here in prison. One inmate, or a few(at most) violate the rules and the prison response is to punish every inmate within a certain radius. All those other inmates are following the rules, doing nothing wrong, but they get punished arbitrarily because a guard or an administrator is mad. The result is that the threat of punishment holds less sway. “Wait, I get punished even when I follow the rules? Well, what the fuck?” What the fuck, indeed. There is no reward for following the rules, and punishment is forthcoming, so what’s the point?
The last time I was out on tier was Monday afternoon, after I got yard. I’ve been out of my cell a few times to pick up my food tray and take it back to my cell, and I’ve been out of my cell once for a shower (yesterday). That’s it. The rest of the time has been spent in my cell. Luckily I was one of the last to shower yesterday, so I had an hour to get a good workout in before showering. When I`m locked down like this, I won’t work out unless I know I have a shower coming that day. My celly and I worked out while bumping my workout playlist on my boom box, alternating our sets because there’s not enough floor space for us to both exercise at the same time. A couple hundred squats, a couple hundred push-ups, and a hundred lunges. I`m a bit sore today, but not too much.
The longer the lock down, the antsier I get. I usually use lock downs to clean and wash. I give the sink and toilet and floor a thorough scrubbing, then wash the floor rag and the towel I have at the cell entry(for preventing dirt and hair from coming into cell under the door). After the cell’s clean, I move on to laundry. I wash all my laundry as is–boxers, socks, shirts on a pretty much daily or bi-daily basis–but heavier items like shorts, towels, and sheets get washed once every two weeks. Washing everything by hand in a tiny-ass sink with limited water-flow is seriously time consuming. As of today, everything except my yard shorts is clean. I hand wash everything because I`m not a fan of putting my clothes in a laundry bag, sending them to “laundry” where they will be washed in large industrial washing machines that actually get your clothes dirtier after being mixed in a soup of God knows what, and wondering what diseases and bacteria have been infused into my clothes and sheets. If you saw how dirty and nasty some of these guys in here are, you would wash all your clothes by hand, too. Not just your clothes–all of your laundry. Just say no to sharing bodily fluids in prison. No MRSA for me, thank you very much.
Anyway, pretty much everything is clean, so I’ve been catching up on some long overdue reading. I’ve been grinding my way through The Complete Grimm’s Fairy tales. The first couple hundred pages(the first forty stories) maintained my interested as I found the origins for many popular Disney stories and fairy tales in general, and the overt violence in the stories I’d previously only known the sanitized versions of was intriguing. Then the stories began repeating themselves, and the previously entertaining non sequitur endings became annoying. Now, as I near page 560, the endless repetition grates on my nerves like a song played on repeat too many times. However, I’m committed to reading every single story. Only about 300 pages to go! Jesus wept.
Ah, I also took the time to sew some holes in my tier shorts. Yes, I have multiple pairs of shorts for multiple settings. There are my yard shorts, for working out in (both on the yard and at the gym). Then there’s my tier shorts, strictly for wearing on the tier (the phones don’t have any stools or chairs, so it’s either stand the whole time or sit on the ground when on the phone). Then there’s my cell shorts that I wear only in my cell so I`m not sitting on my bed(which also functions as my desk, my couch, and my workspace) with dirty ass shorts from outside. So, yeah, used a sewing kit to sew some holes.
The hardest part about lock downs like this is missing my wifey, going so long without talking to her on the phone. As she and I are wont to say: I miss my person. My poor wifey has endured too many of these lock downs with me to count. I don`t talk a lot about it, but I am in awe of her. She has been through so much with me, so much for me. I am truly lucky and blessed to have her. This life is impossibly hard for us together at times. I can’t even imagine how it would be without my indefatigable and selfless partner by my side. It’s astonishing to me when I think about the fact that we have been together for over fourteen years, married for almost eight years now. Thank you for your strength, my love, for your faith, and for never giving up on me.
On that note, I wish everyone the best, and I bid you adieu for now. Get outside, breathe that fresh air, enjoy the weather, and feel the sun–or rain or wind–on your face. In short, enjoy your freedom. Summertime, and the livin’s easy.