Breakthrough

VINCE

It’s been a crazy two days. The new guys have been getting yelled at constantly, which does take some pressure off us, but we are also feeling the pressure of trying to set an example for them.

Most amusing to me is seeing what we looked like a month ago. Completely disoriented, disorganized, and disheveled. We have made enormous progress in just over five weeks. We also have a long way to go.

Today, I really blew it. I talked myself down and out of the running group. I used every excuse I could think of to make myself okay with doing only two laps (1.5 miles). Now, of course, I feel stupid. I have a lot of trouble still with motivating myself to run. I don’t like any part of it except for how I feel when I’m done. That’s the only way I can explain it.

I received a postcard from my Mother today from Petra, Jordan, postmarked two months ago. So that took a little while. Well, it’s been a long day. Time for dinner soon. Tuna casserole.

I’m going to apply for a lead cook job here. It doesn’t pay, but it would be great experience.

The tuna casserole was actually quite delicious.

It’s Friday night. We don’t really do too much. Study hall for 1.5 hours at some point I think.

Then comes Saturday. My least favorite day. It’s the day we’re all on call for any dirty job they come up with. Trending this week is the gigantic compost piles. Tons and tons of decomposing organic matter we get to move around over and over, and over. If you don’t know what compost smells like, think of the smell of feces, and then don’t change anything. That by itself isn’t so bad.

When we’re working we are dressed in our full khaki uniform, long-sleeves and legs, and coveralls, gloves, and a hat. It’s not even hot out yet and we’re sweating like crazy. I’m not complaining; I signed up for this. Ugh.

[ANNE: Vince called me today, the first time in over 2 months. He is allowed one phone call every other Sunday from here on out.  Except, he explained, that this month has five Sundays so it’ll be three weeks until he can call again. I’ve been trained by the DOC now, not to ask “But why?”

Vince is allowed one 13-minute phone call, and he called me. That tells me I must have done something right—right?

And to me at least, once we got talking it felt so natural, like we had just talked yesterday. I think that’s a sign of a close relationship, when you don’t need to be in constant contact to feel comfortable talking to the person on the other end of the line. It wasn’t always that way. In fact for years our conversations via text and in person (Vince didn’t have voice service on his phone) were stilted and extremely uncomfortable. I was always hinting and probing and hoping for some sign that he wanted to change, and that was the last thing he wanted to do. This is huge, I realize as I write this. Happy Day! And maybe this means that someday he can have a healthy romantic relationship too.]

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