According to a guard, three people have died at quarantine this week.
I recall watching an ambulance race across the yard while I ate breakfast. At the time, it hardly registered that there was an ambulance doing forty miles an hour over rough, grassy terrain with its flashers on.
Now I have to wonder: can a person become desensitized this quickly?
Later, a guy asked the guard if the man in the ambulance was okay.
“Nope, he’s dead,” the guard said with a pinch of jest. “Third person this week.”
I understand the need to joke. In an environment like this, you can’t let things weigh on you.
“Well, at least tomorrow is a new week,” the inmate said.
“Nope, two more days to go.”
Three deaths in five days? I hear there are between thirty five prisons in Michigan. Are that many lives quietly finding their end behind these walls?
I can’t help but think of the man from the other morning who was so concerned the guards were going to kill him.
Throughout the day, people ask each other and the porters (who travel to places regular inmates can’t access) if they have seen the man on another block, but no one has.
No one asks a CO.
It is a prison fact that guards kill inmates, and not just by shooting the ones who attempt to escape, but by conspiring and then committing first degree homicide.
At some joints, inmates kill guards, so it’s only fair.
You might not believe that, but if you tried to tell that to someone who has been state-raised or any old-school, you’d find yourself scorned for disrespecting reality, and being naïve.
I possess terrible gay-dar, which concerns me, but I can smell truth. I fully believe that guards have killed inmates. What you won’t like to hear is that I think they should kill more.
There are predators in here that would rape anyone, just for the terror of it. There are drug addicts who despise sobriety and only care about getting high. Upon release, they will destroy family, friends, and society until their last breath and we all know it, yet they get the shortest sentences?
The people from the hood (think Detroit) have moral compasses that run in direct opposition to decency, and they hate you (think people who work and are proud of their kids) for that.
There is also a percentage who suffer from a strange, possibly undiagnosed, mental illness.
I will try my best to present an example, but understand this will be a thirty second glimpse into a trait that blankets the mentality here.
Let’s say two women in a Soap Opera are talking, one says to the other, “Don’t worry Susan, we’ll get him back.”
At once, four adults scream at the TV.
Guy A, “Man, that bitch wouldn’t get my fucking ass back.”
Guy B, “I’d slap dat hoe so muthfuckin’ hard.”
Guy C, “Yeah, but she’s slick tho’, she’s slick, watch how she gonna get him.”
Guy D, “Sandy best be glad this bitch ridin’ with her, or she’d get no muthfacka back!”
All of this occurred simultaneously. Each person shared his own, for lack of a better word, train of thought. There is always an undisclosed, but unanimous winner. Let’s say Guy B, the guy who would ‘slap dat hoe’, wins. He will then remain quiet and nod while the others praise him.
Guy A, “Yeah, you look like a muthafucka from tribe slap-a-hoe.”
BOOM!! They all burst into crazy high-pitches cackles. Once it dies down:
Guy C, “You’re right, man, I’d slap dat hoe with bof’ hands.”
BOOM!! Another fit of rabid laughter. It ebbs.
Guy D, “Bitch say some shit to me, I knock her the fuck out.”
No one has watched the show since, but once this round subsides, they tune into the TV. Let’s say it’s dark as it segues to a commercial. They wait like cats ready to pounce.
It’s a spot for Tide detergent. BOOM!!
A, “Tide is my shit.”
C, “Fuck Tide. Give my ass Cheer with stain guard any day.”
D, “Man, Tide ain’t shit.”
Guy C wins, “Give me Cheer.”
Guy A, “I do like Tide, but that Cheer with stain guard be treatin’ clothes nice.” Mini-BOOM! Everyone agrees.
Guy B, “But compare dat shits with All with stain guard.” Mini-BOOM!
Guy D, “Man, I put Tide with stain guard on my bitches’ panties to make sure dem shits so dey don’t be stained up.”
BOOM!! The cackles. The rabid noises.
This often involves more than four people, often less. I watched a man go through all those steps by himself. This is an accurate accounting of how a small but significant percentage of the men in here spend their days. And they don’t need television. There is no TV here, but that doesn’t matter. I overheard a group breaking down the size, shape, and shade disbursement of a tree with the same insane pattern.
1) A comment. 2) A mix of personal thoughts. 3) A winning clause. 4) A congratulatory round of verbal support. 5) Repeat.
This time it’s the face the guard in the gun tower makes when jerking off. BOOM!! How well Goodyear tires handle in gravel, BOOM!! Harden or Curry, BOOM!! A female guard’s physique. BOOM!!
Sorry to prattle on. I only want to express how nothing is ever said; nothing is discussed. They do nothing. They lack thought, opinion, character, and purpose. They laugh these exaggerated explosions that pierce the ear and sustain too long. They never tire.
What kind of illness is this? Don’t tell me it’s not one. I watch it. I even experimented.
I caught one of these men alone, and asked him what I thought was a straightforward question. “Did you hear that they plan on voting whether or not to reinstate “good time”?
He tilted his head and looked at me funny, as if he was unsure I was talking to him (or maybe even what I said). After a few seconds of eye contact, he dropped his head and said, “Man, I don’t even know.” Then walked in the opposite direction.
This is a topic that concerns him. “Good time” is time that inmates earn off of their sentence with good behavior. Every state that I know of has it except Michigan. It is the most effective (perhaps only) tool to keep convicts in line, but he acted as if I said a series of jumbled words.
I’ll need luck to stay sane. You guys help, so thanks and please continue checking on me!
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