Cellular Data

VINCE

I complained enough to the house staff about my smelly cellie that I finally got a room all by myself! It’s all the way up on the 4th tier, so it’s really hot, but I’m okay with that. No longer will I wake up in the middle of the night and see someone pooping three feet away, and staring at me. Nor will I have to point out to him, daily, that showers do not bite. It is nice up here.

If I could draw, I would, but I can barely write (although the copy of “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” that I found in my new room will surely help with punctuation).

I will try to describe my room and what I can see from my cell as I sit at my metal desk.

The bed starts directly behind me, and is six feet by two and half feet and three inches thick. Directly in front of me, above the desk about one foot, is an electrical outlet with two plug-ins and a switch that leads to the light next to it. To the left of the desk and attached is a six-foot-tall steel locker. I keep all my hygiene stuff in there and hang my hand-washed clothes to dry on the hooks. To my left is the sink, that produces only extremely hot water or fairly warm water. It’s what I drink because my choices are limited. To that. And next to the sink, behind me and to the left, sits the porcelain god. No crown of course. Unfortunately too many people have been injured or killed in the past by toilet seats. So we sit on the cold white surface. The walls are all white-painted brick. High gloss. Probably 30-40 layers. And the small grey shelf above my bed houses my paperwork and my books.

Outside my cell I see seas of bars. Directly outside is the four-foot walkway with five horizontal bars and every eight feet a much thicker post that links them all. The railing is about four and a half feet tall to prevent people from easily being thrown over. Beyond that, everything is brick, glass windows with a view of the fenced-in area that serves as the recreation area for offenders in segregation. The narrow brick shell of the corridor to the mess hall, and juuuussst a little patch of grass along the wall. The ceiling is also brick but it is arched. It honestly looks like it should have fallen down years ago but the paint holds it together. And that’s pretty much my view for 22 hours a day. Except on Saturdays and Sundays, then it’s 23.

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