Cleaning Up His Act

VINCE

I got to leave the grounds for the first time today. Myself and five other volunteers took a short van ride to a YMCA camp type of area thing place. We cleaned up after some sort of event, folding tables, stacking chairs, sweeping, mopping, etc. Nothing too exciting but just for half an hour I felt like I wasn’t in custody. It was nice.

We’ve been here a while now and more of these opportunities will come. Count me in.

It’s been snowing all day. It all has melted on contact with the ground, but we still haven’t been able to get outside much. That’s why I’m able to write so much sometimes.

Twice now I’ve made it four laps around the big track. Three miles each day is definitely an improvement over, well, anything I’ve ever done. My lungs are sore. My ribs hurt. My calves are tight. I have an abundance of energy, but am too sore to do anything with it. And I’m starving! Soon we will eat.

It’s my down day. It’s been quite frustrating so far.

It started at 0800. In line waiting for breakfast, the notorious Officer Weston was looking at everybody’s boots. Mine, along with several others, were not up to par. They should be inspection-ready at all times, so I can’t blame it on anything other than me being lazy. He made me go back to the barracks and get a shine on them before I could eat.

After breakfast, he lined us up in the main hallway and took us one by one into our respective barracks to our bunks to inspect our personal areas. Mine was not looking too good.

It’s hard—nearly impossible—to have every area perfect. 2 bins; clothing in one, books, folders, mail, medications in the other. He unfolded all the clothes and tipped the other bin upside down on my bed. Then he took all of the clothes off my hangers and shoved them into the top part of my locker (our display area for hygiene stuff) so I had to start everything from scratch.

It took me two hours to fix it all. I finally got to go play some cribbage outside with a friend. When I came back in, a different Officer had un-made my bed for me. I don’t know why. Ugh. I need to focus more I think. Just when I thought I was doing well….

[ANNE: I am a neatnik, although I’ve learned to ease off. I used to be such a clean freak that I think people were uncomfortable in my house. And Vince was the opposite, maybe in unconscious rebellion? Who knows. His slovenliness was one of the things that bothered me when I would visit him in Lanesboro. His apartment was strewn with dirty clothes, empty beer cans, and trash. The carpet was stained, the blinds were crookedly half-raised so it was always dark, the bathroom was…well let’s just say I preferred using the porta-potty at the nearby campground. So now he’s learning to take care of his things, to make his bed, to keep things tidy. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues that once he’s released.]

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