So far we have discussed CO’s tussling with inmates, cordial murderers, density shifting shanks, and ultra clean intestines.
What I want to write now is so outlandish that I had decided against it, thinking it better to skip a day than lose the few readers I have with content that’s hard to believe. However, the insanity compounded on two occasions, so we will call those signs and proceed.
Most humans, especially those who deal in the cash fluid business of narcotics, know police corruption exists. Police don’t become magical when they accept a job. They are people. Nothing more. They take the job because it pays well and is, for the most part, cushiony. From my experience as a poor kid in the ghetto and as a well-to-do man socializing with a few, I can’t say any of them join out of a passion to do good and serve. Not one. Maybe they’re out there?
During my arrest, eight hundred dollars and a few ounces of silver vanished (forty times that in cash was stolen during my first arrest, three years ago). Again, some police believe in what they do, have morals, and think they’re the good guys. The ones I interacted with thought that line was for suckers.
Around two a.m., a few CO’s arrived and chatted with those working in my block. I am located directly above them and had no view, but I could hear just fine. A female informed the guy, or guys, working that she had found a joint.
The word itself caused me to stand at my bars and listen, curious to learn how it entered this fenced-off world.
They seemed pleased by the find. Soon, someone shuffled a deck fo cards, a lighter flicked, someone coughed in a way many of us know, and then a waft of odor that I used to enjoy so completely filled the air.
An inmate shouted for them to share. Another, as floored as me, kept repeating, “They’re smoking weed. They’re blazing down there.”
The CO’s giggled, continued to play cards, and I decided I had my next prison blog post. Later, I chalked it up as too absurd and went to bed. Out of all I have learned about prison, the guards’ behavior is what blows my mind. This group is okay with me, but the next man I’d like to discuss works the day shift and previously called me a dumb fuck.
First, I must explain that inmates do not get any handbooks (at least my batch didn’t). Our only means of learning what goes on (when to shower, wash laundry, how to get religious books or visit the law library) is through our peers, but get caught talking and you receive a ticket which may affect your prison allocation and will be scored against you when you see the parole board, which could cost you a flop.
That leaves the guard who works the desk. Unfortunately, ours waits for any questions like a trap spider, launching rudeness at anyone who approaches.
I refuse to speak to him. I’ll just shower barefoot and fight athlete’s foot when I get it. I’ll let my hair grow and wind up looking like a cross between Jesus and Charles Manson (or is that the personality mixture I embrace?).
Anyway, while we were locked down and silent, a man in a cell below me asked the guard a question. I was nearing asleep, a state many of us hover in due to the lack of stimuli, but his voice brought me to attention and I heard the rest clearly.
The guard replied, “Why should I answer a guy who sucks little boy’s dicks?”
“Fuck you, man. I’m in here for cocaine.”
“No fucking swearing, convict.” The guard replied. Then in a louder voice, “You little boy molester.”
The chastised man wisely kept quiet.
Needing more, the guard hollered, “Should I tell them what cell the guy who rapes little boys is in?”
In a whisper, the man pleaded, “Why you doing this to me, yo? You can look me up. I’m in here for cocaine.”
“You’re in here for what I say you are. I say you suck little boy’s dicks. That’s what follows you. And that’s what gets you stabbed on the yard.”
The man stayed quiet. Hours passed.
Then a young kid asked how he could get a sheet of paper. When we arrive, they give us one stamped envelope and a three inch, pliable pen, but no paper.
The guard asked him what he was in for.
The kid replied with pride. “Murder. I got life.”
“You’re nothing but a bitch.”
In prison, the word bitch is powerful. It’s like a white glove across the face, or running into a Nation of Islam prayer meeting and dropping N-bombs.
It’s the top level of disrespect.
“I ain’t no bitch!”
They argued at near a shout for a minute. The guard’s remarks were subtly racist and when the kid said, “I’ll knock your motherfuckin’ teeth out,” the guard scoffed and said that he ain’t shit without a gun and his homies. The kid fired back that the guard hides behind his badge, told him to open the cell and see what happens.
The guard laughed. “If I do that, I’ll taze you, break your legs, and stick you in solitude for a year.”
Kid said he wasn’t scared, but his voice cracked.
The guard explained the psychological drain a year in solitude put on someone.
The kid shot back, but his tone was flat.
Smelling blood in the water, the CO described how being in the hole denies you access to mail, television, books, visits. How men cry and beg. How they long to kill themselves but lack the ability.
Defeated, the kid foolishly tried to inject logic and reasoning. He said, “I just want a little respect, man. I ain’t do nothing to you. I want paper so I can write my little sister.”
The guards described the men this kid would meet at his prison. He told him they had been pumping iron longer than he’d been alive, they had foot long cocks, and they raped every new kid who arrived.
The kid stayed silent.
After a few seconds, the guard said, “Now tell me you’re a bitch.”
“You are, so just say it.”
It’s quiet, but I could feel three hundred set of ears listening. I imagine the kid felt shame, but he didn’t understand that we were with him. We all heard the atrocity. We all hated the injustice.
“Say it, you little bitch.”
“Say it nice and loud or I’ll take everyone’s yard.”
We only get forty-five minutes of yard every third day. It’s our only chance to chat, our only stint of sunlight, our only access to phones, and our only time to walk. Being the reason some lifer didn’t get to make his phone call could get you hurt.
“Tell me you’re a bitch or I’ma take everyone’s yard.”
A raspy voice broke the silence. “I’m a bitch ass nigga.”
Chuckles rolled down the galley and then someone added. “I’m the biggest bitch alive!”
More comments concerning the speaker’s level of bitchness peppered the catwalk.
Laughter snuffed the malevolence. Once extinguished, we returned to silence.
I hope quarantine is the worst of prison.
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