Happy Birthday

VINCE

Today is the 36th anniversary of the most important day in the history of my life, my birth.

Although I have spent many holidays in lockup, this is my first birthday. Not at all surprising to me is that nobody here cares. I was excited yesterday, however, to discover that I had money on my account. Most likely from my dear Mother. Thank you, mom.

So far today, I have read 150 pages of Wild Fire, a novel by my most recent favorite author, Nelson DeMille. And my plan for the rest of the day is to continue reading until and after lunch, and until work at 2:30. It’s just another day.

Little changes.

As house crew, I have developed a rapport with the guards. We share a few laughs. Some of them are going to be assholes for the rest of their lives but most of them seem to enjoy having my sense of humor added to their daily routine.

I remarked the other day when we were trying to figure out why certain cells have such a horrible odor to them, “Maybe it’s because they hold the spray bottles sideways, and nothing comes out.” This is in reference to the way modern black gangsters are known to hold their guns, and sadly, the way, more often than not, they either refuse to clean, or try to cover up odor, with air freshener. Anyhow, it got quite a laugh.

Also, I noticed that the names I hear over the PA are becoming less familiar, and the OID numbers are getting higher as people cycle in and out. Today I heard a number that is just under 1,000 over mine. This means that, since I arrived three months ago, nearly a thousand others have come and gone. Maybe a hundred would be women going to Shakopee, but still big numbers. And that does not include repeat offenders. I couldn’t even estimate how many of them have come back, in ratio to newbies.

One thing many offenders have in common is that they spent too many years avoiding the dentist. I have one broken tooth, but that can be repaired when I get out. A good number of my fellow felons have no teeth at all. It is comical to me. And gross. They don’t use any kind of mouth cleansing products. Dry, sticky, clicking mouths full of rancid breath all around while I eat. Their noses nearly touch their chins. And I have trouble keeping a straight face in the chow hall when they’re mashing their mixed veggies in their gross mouths. I picture them in clown makeup. But I sit near them. Not all meals here belong to nursing homes, and every now and then I score something crunchy and delicious. Ahhh, what a birthday.

 

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