Zorba the Greek


Yeah! Indigent canteen time. Add to inventory: one 1.5 ounce bar of Bob Barker soap, two #10 envelopes, one manuscript envelope, 35 sheets college-rule paper, two safety pens, and a single disposable razor.

Each week, indigent offenders are allowed to order one over-the counter item such as aspirin (100-count for 97 cents). Melatonin, anti-dandruff shampoo, etc. This week I chose the 120-count Ultra EPA/DHA Fish Oil Supplements. These OTCs are what we poor people trade for what we really need. This bottle sells to a prisoner for $5.77. I trade away half of it for half price. I get an envelope, and a couple spoons full of coffee crystals. Next week I am getting the jackpot. A box of Prilosec, $14.77. Hopefully I can get deodorant and a few ramen noodles for that. Oh by the way, in prison, ramen is gold.

I should mention that St. Cloud is the only prison that has all day lock down. All others, people are essentially free to roam as they choose. You can spend four hours outside. Wherever I end up will not have any fences. Did you know that the only female prison in MN, Shakopee, has no fences? Since it opened, only one person has escaped.

Of course the more severe offenders are not allowed outside at St. Cloud. There are indoor courtyards too, surrounded by high walls and some barbed wire. Anywho, like I was saying, St. Cloud is the intake prison for all males in MN. Once I leave for another facility, unless I am taken to a county jail for storage, I will have many more programs, opportunities, and…I don’t really know what yet, available to me.

In mind head, the song Welcome to the Boom Town…“Handsome Kevin got a little off track. Took a year off of college and he never went baaack. Now he smokes way too much, got a permanent haze…deals dope outta Dennys, keeps a table in the baaaack. He always listens to the ground. He always listens to the ground! So I say…welcome! Welcome to the boom town!”

That part kind of reminds me of…me. Although Perkins was a little more likely. Listen to that song once and you’ll be hooked. And now I will write for you the ingredients of my ideal mixed tape. That song, plus Keep on Smilin by Wet Willie, Burning Sky, by Bad Company. We are Young by F.U.N. Angel, by Jimi. Son of a Preacher Man, not by Janice. Sorry hun, Aretha is better. Cry Baby, by Janice. Rubber Biscuit, by the Blues Brothers. It’s All Too Much, the Beatles. Suck My Kiss, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I Just Had Sex, by the Lonely Island. One time One Night, by Los Lobos. And Zorba the Greek, the Herb Alpert version from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I’m not saying there aren’t better songs out there. But all of those on one CD, I could listen to repeatedly. Alright, I have to write a couple letters to other folks now. So, until next time. Enjoy all of your freedoms. I hope you never have to learn how much they actually mean.

[Anne: Zorba the Greek? How weird. Because my dad had the soundtrack to the movie and used to play the album over and over and over…while slowly getting sloshed. One night I couldn’t sleep. I went downstairs and my dad sat me on his lap and we listened to Zorba together. And no, there was nothing creepy about it. The next night I did the same thing but he was already drunk and flew into a rage, calling me a god-damned fucking little shit and chasing me upstairs. I remember feeling very small and very alone, crying under my covers in the dark. Well, I was small—6 or 7 years old. I have no idea where my mother was, probably hiding under her bed.]


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