Sundays

VINCE

Today begins with Styrofoam. Breakfast delivered is a good sign that once again we will have no outside recreation, no showers, no AA/NA, no fun at all. Oh shit, no library! A these are the days I really look forward to getting mail. Which of course means there will be none. Ugh.

I don’t know why we’re locked down, of course. But I do know that it’s not my fault. I’m soooo bored.

Sundays are alright for one reason only. Breakfast. Cornbread and syrup. A southern delight. I traded my fish-oil pills so I’m up early drinking coffee. They just called warning for chow over the speakers. Oooh baby I can almost taste it.

I will also likely get a good amount of writing done today. Not just because of the coffee. But because I’m not getting out of the cell until 13 hours from now, aside from the 15-minute meal times. Nobody counts the meals as out time because we are not allowed to do anything before, during, or after chow.

Seating is not up to us either. I have twice been sent back to the unit because I refused to sit at the cho-mo table. I don’t think it’s fair for the COs to face that situation, but like I’ve said before, MN protects child molesters and actually takes proactive steps to let them mingle with us. For example, they do not have to register as a predator within the prison system. I’m five cells down from a guy I was in jail with in Rochester for flying all the way from Texas to have sex with a 13-14 year old girl. Sadly for him, all he met was the host and camera crew of “How to Catch a Predator.” Sentenced to seven years although he denies it because he never actually had sex with her. The fact (unsubstantiated but probable) that he had four felony points gives him the seven years. Had it been his first time….probation.

I just realized another reason I enjoy Sunday mornings. Quiet. Sooo quiet. On weekdays, announcements start at 8am. People going to work, school, to see the doctor, going various places. All of them called by name over the PA system. This unit houses 160 men. Roughly 70% have daily obligations. I get back from breakfast at 7:30. Just as I’m about to fall back asleep they start. I wouldn’t care if I had something to do. But I just sit in my cell. All day. Listening to that and the unending chatter. The black people each fighting to be louder than the next one. The natives making astoundingly life-like bird calls (that can actually be pretty cool). People calling out chess moves to cells 100 feet away. The PA system telling people to be quiet. One hundred sixty simultaneous voices yelling, “Fuck you!” (Including me. Yeah, I’m a part of something!) And the noise of the fans joining all the ingredients together in a harmonious fruit cake recipe.

But not on Sunday. Today only the noise of the fans parts the silence. It is so consistent though it’s as if it weren’t there. Every 30 minutes a CO drones by paying attention only to walking straight and looking buff. I do not comment because it looks like he could easily pull me through the bars. Like Wylie Coyote, my body breaking into neat cubes and my eyeballs bounding on top of the stack and blinking in astonishment. Yes, I’m simply more creative on coffee Sundays!

I also accomplish a lot of air guitar and air drums on Sundays. Right now, actually a minute ago I was playing the guitar solo to one of my favorite songs, the Fletcher Memorial Home by Pink Floyd. I don’t have a radio or TV but one learns to hone the mind in prison. I can hear it note for note, even as I write. But now my mind skipped over the rest of that track and to the next CD, David and David’s Welcome to the Boomtown. Another favorite of mine. I need a radio. Sadly they cost $17.00 and I only have 11 cents. A 13” LCD TV in here costs $210. About $140 over retail, but about 50% of the inmates have them here.

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