The following post is a recap of two of the more disgusting things I saw or dealt with while I was locked up. I lived with all men for about 460 straight days. Most of these men, including myself to some extent, were either not capable, or not willing to clean up after themselves, communicate appropriately with others, use toilets properly, or masturbate out of view (not me!).
I’ll start with my personal favorite. It happened while I was working in the garments section of MinnCorr at Moose Lake prison. I have mentioned before that I sewed men’s underpants together for a living there. On a quick side note, it was alarming to me how many grown men take off all of their clothing to make a poop (shit). It is also interesting to know that roughly 10% of men wipe from the front. And maybe 2% wipe while standing up. Keep in mind that these prison bathrooms have a privacy wall on the sides, but nothing at all on the front. So, as I entered the bathroom this particular day I rounded the corner and saw a man with no pants on taking a shit. What I found odd is that his hand was reaching into the toilet through the front side. I don’t normally watch people but that kinda drew my attention. Without hesitation, he pulled up a piece of his own feces and brought it up to his face and smelled it. A small piece fell off one end and went back in the bowl. My only thought was that I was happy he didn’t eat it. I looked away. At this point I walked all the way through the bathroom to the other door and exited, having lost my desire to urinate. I had a slow walk back to my work station, trying to process what I had seen. Nothing. I got nothing for ya.
This next incident happened while I was in St. Cloud. A rather large, very openly gay, very openly H.I.V. positive black man was moved into B house, where I was one of the swampers, otherwise known as house cleaning crew. Every day I would walk by the cells with cleaning supplies and talk with the other offenders. It was nice because almost everybody in that terrible prison is on lock-down for about 22 hours a day, so we got to chat. Well this new guy took a liking to me in a very creepy way. Every time I walked by his cell he would be very naked, and he would try to talk to me while he was cleaning, but I would walk down the aisle to avoid that. He would try to touch my hand when I grabbed the spray bottles off of his bars and smile at me in what I assume was an “I’m gonna butter your bread” sort of way. Well one day he happened to be sitting at my table during chow and he just wouldn’t stop looking at me. So finally I snapped and yelled, “what!” He smiled and said, “I would eat you alive.” Then he proceeded to eat a banana in a very inappropriate manner. That night during our flag time I walked by the shower stalls and he tried to get my attention while he was showering but I didn’t look. That night he got his red box and he was shipped out two days later. I don’t have A.I.D.S.
There aren’t enough words left for me to type another story. But in general, prison was the worst place you could ever be. There are so many things I think of on a daily basis that ARE the reminder to me–I fuck up, I go back to prison. No high or drunk can ever be worth losing my freedom. Nothing in prison will ever be like the relationships I have started anew out here with my family and friends. Nobody out here poops on the shower floor then mashes it down the grate so they don’t have to do it on a public toilet. I hope. And I have yet to see anybody out in the world eating with mouths wide open, splattering bits of food and saliva to and fro.
After a month, things aren’t so overwhelming and everything is getting easier day by day. It’s still a work in progress, but my future looks bright to me.