Day 1. Nearly 13 days after my pronounced sentence of 50 months is handed down to me, I am finally chained up, put into an Olmsted County Sherriff’s van, and driven through Shakopee to St. Cloud. About a 4-hour trip (stopped to drop of female prisoners at Shakopee Correctional Facility).
I’ll skip the intake procedure. But it is nowhere near as invasive as I thought it would be.
An hour after my arrival I’m in my new home. A 6×10 foot combo of cold steel and concrete. I unpack my pillow case which holds everything I need to survive, kind of.
3 pair state-issued stretch pants that resemble blue jeans
6 pair tighty whities
6 pair socks
5 white Ts
3 blue button-up long-sleeve shirts
3 white towels
1 wash cloth
Sheet and blanket
And the following Bob Barker products:
Maximum Security Brand 3-in-1 shampoo, shave, and body wash
My advice: don’t use it for anything I just mentioned. I can’t believe it doesn’t say, “Made with real pine!”
Deodorant, a size so small I’ve never even seen in it a Dollar Store. No scent.
A 4.4 ounce tube of something labled Mint Paste. I’ll assume it’s for teeth because it’s next to the Safety Brush, which is 4 inches long and flexible so you can’t sharpen it and stab somebody, or brush your teeth. A 3 inch flexible pen. Take your standard Bic pen. Throw away everything except the very middle, then cut that in half. Here we pick paint off the walls and wrap it around that until it becomes useful for writing.
All set up now. My first move, grab the 3-in-1 and a razor (forgot that) and go to town on my month-old beard.
Half an hour later, my wash cloth is covered in blood and hair. And I’m not done. I’ve left a patch of hair on my chin because that’s what all the kids are doing these days. That’s when it hits me. I look in the safety mirror and for the first time in my life, I see age. And I realize how much time I’ve wasted. I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a beat up, 35-year-old con, washed up unsuccessful drug dealer and addict. And I cry. Fuck my life.
The last time I cried was about 7 months ago. It happened about a week and a half after I was arrested. I had slept off the drugs, something struck me funny and I laughed out loud. And I wondered if I could remember the last time I had done that. Then everything came flooding out.