Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Screwed Without Intercourse



The story you are about to read is true. Every word of it. The majority of this book is made up of letters written by the main character of the story from behind the walls of the California Department of Corrections. 

Chapter I

I was a student at California State University, Sacramento.  I’d been working for one and a half years towards getting my baccalaureate degree in Nursing.  I lived on my own, working 40 hours on the weekends at a local hospital as a transporter/office clerk in the X-ray department. 
I began to date one of the employees in medical records, an oriental woman named Margie.  Margie was completely Americanized; she had no accent from her heritage. When Margie and I met, she was separated from her husband of 15 years, Bob.  Between them, they had three children: Danyel, Damon, and Derek.
Bob and Margie had been separated for 3 years, and Bob gave Margie $0.00 in financial support for their three kids.  This was a necessity for Bob, since every extra dollar he earned went to feed his methamphetamine habit. His crank habit also happened to be the reason that Margie told him to hit the road; they filed for bankruptcy protection that year. It was 1989.
When Margie and I started dating, no problems were expected from the ex-husband, who was so estranged that all three children constantly asked Margie when dad would be around again.  Unbeknownst to either Margie or I, Bob would
suddenly decide he wanted Margie back, and he was willing to confront any man who stepped in his way to take back his property. Who would have guessed that Bob would have the law on his side?
One night while Margie was at my house, someone knocked on the door, loudly and forcefully. Instantly, both of us knew who was at the door. It was Bob. Instead of opening the door, I called 911 wanting to do whatever necessary to avoid a confrontation. 
Now, mind you, Bob was a Phillipino, small in frame, topping the scale at 150 pounds, maybe 160 after a meal of pizza & beer, and standing around 5 foot 3 inches. I was a champion swimmer as a youth, weighed in at 215 pounds, and stood 5 foot 11 inches. The notable size difference made me the obvious victor in any hand to hand combat to take place. So why call 911? Why not just go out and kick the hell out of Bob? I had my reasons.
Margie had told me of the violent rages Bob would go into when under the influence of crank. And he was a Vietnam veteran, exposed to all the death & destruction that went along with it. Active duty; Combat. I was never enlisted thus I had no active service time, let alone active duty! Thinking that Bob was probably highly trained in combat and had killed before, I was quite reluctant to confront the smaller Bob.
By the time the police arrived, Bob had already left the front door of my house and was driving down the street. I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, and alerted her that the police had just driven by Bob in his car. They turned around and apprehended Bob. He had an open container in the car, a can of beer. The police took him downtown.
However, after holding the intoxicated driver Bob overnight and listening to his terrible story, about how I was stealing his wonderful wife away from him and destroying their wonderfully tight family, the Sacramento police department released him. No DUI, no open container, no charges at all. It wasn’t Bob’s fault. He had a right to protect his property, according to the police. And Margie was his property.
This happened two more times, the last being on New Year’s Eve of 1990. Each time, I remained inside my home trying to avoid a confrontation. Each time, the police spoke to Bob, but after learning of the situation, took his side and filed no assault charges against him. Their advice to me: quit seeing Margie. She’s married to Bob, and that’s the way it is. Even my father told me it was time to stop seeing Margie, insisting that this relationship was going to lead to no good.
But the police and my dad were wrong. Margie and I knew we had a future. Something was good between them.
Our lives on this planet are finite; there is an end to them. Some of us search for happiness our entire existence while others seem to run right into it. When I first saw Margie, she was dressed in a long, blue velvet dress. The kind that hugged her small frame, showing all the curves that drive most heterosexual males crazy. I was not immune to her beauty.
But there was something special between us. Margie felt it too. Many people don’t believe that love just happens. Instead, their opinion is that love must grow and flourish and be nurtured to be anything worth keeping. Margie and I did not have a chance to work at loving each other; we fell in love the moment we first met.
And then on April 7, 1990, the unthinkable happened.
Margie came over that night to spend some time with me. After going to sleep early that evening, they were awakened by a phone call. It was Bob.
“I want you out of that house and back home with your family where you belong,” Bob told her. “If you’re not home in 30 minutes, I’ll come over and smash the windows and slash the tires on his truck.”
But Margie wasn’t afraid of him. Her only concern was that I not be involved in this crap anymore.  So she got up and left. But Bob showed up at my place anyways.
He pounded on the front door. It’s now 2AM. I jumped out of bed and grabbed the first thing I saw; a buck knife folded up on the dresser. “If he’s gonna slash the tires on my truck,” I thought as I hastily headed to the front door, “ then he’s gonna be armed with a chain, maybe a bat, and/or a knife.” So I armed myself and went out the front door. Directly in front of my house was a street lamp, bright and luminescent of the entire driveway of my corner house.
“4 times the police have been called because this asshole is assaulting me. 4 times they have let him go. How many more times will this be allowed to go on?” I asked myself.
“None,” was my final answer.
What ensued was a fight to the death between two men: one scared to death, the other ‘amping’ out on crank.
At 2AM, my voice echoed off the surrounding houses in the still night air. I walked hurriedly up to Bob, shouting, “Why did you come here?”
I saw a flash of light in Bob’s hand, and the thought that Bob was armed as well caused me to react first. Something happened to me in that next moment.
It was as if something had caused my soul to leave my body and become a third party in what was about to occur. Like an out-of-body experience reported by patients who have been legally dead and are then brought back to life, I could see myself as I approached Bob. Anger welled inside me, an anger I had never before felt. Like an animal that has been backed into a corner, the feeling of dread that he must either fight or be beaten; he must kill or be killed; I knew I must do for myself what the police would not.
I kicked Bob in the midsection, causing him to bend over at the waist. Without giving him a chance to react, I swiftly and forcefully brought the buck knife in my hand down on Bob’s back.
On the first strike, Bob twisted as the knife entered between the 5th & 6th rib. The 4” long, ¼” thick blade snapped off in Bob’s chest, sitting ¾” from the tissue that surrounds the heart. I continued to stab at Bob as Bob was twisting around in circles like a tornado dance performed by an American Indian.  Unbeknownst to me, I no longer had a 4” blade at the end of my knife; it was now only about ½” long.
As Bob spun around, I slashed with the knife in my right hand while I held the lapel of Bob’s leather jacket directly behind Bob’s head in my left hand. With each rotation, the material bunched up more, and after 3 rotations, I had to let go.
Bob fell to the ground in the crawl position, suddenly realizing something is in his chest. Before he could think anymore, I let loose with a kick to Bob’s chest, much in the same way a football place-kicker would kick a football in the attempt of a 60 yard field goal.
Bob appeared to fly through the air as he saw the kick coming and jumped upward. As my kick connected with Bob’s chest, Bob was already on the way up by his own power, and the added force from the kick lifted Bob completely off the ground, as if he’d sprung from a springboard.
Bob landed at the foot of the streetlight. On all fours, Bob grabbed his chest and saw the blood for the superficial wounds on his chest and stomach where the random slashings had made contact.
“My God, what have you done?” Bob looked up and asked me.
As Bob said this, the out of body experience ended. Like a vacuum sucking a large amount of dust from the air, I felt my soul reenter my body, and I gasped, “My God, what have I done?”
I looked at my hand that held the knife. The blade is broken off. Now all the events appear to be in slow motion.  Bob looked up at me, and said “Man, somebody’s gotta call 911.”
“No shit someone better call 911,” I yelled at the top of my voice. One of the calls to 911 that came in shortly after that was from 3 blocks away!
I stepped back, now getting my feet back under me. The ‘return’ of my soul to my body was complete, and now reality was setting in.
I looked as my hand with the knife, and thought to myself, “The blade is gone. Where the hell’s the blade? And the blade is half closed. Why is it half closed? Oh, because it stopped on my pinky finger. Christ, I’m cut!”
The blade had closed on my finger, cutting it to the bone. In fact, the bone was broken from the force that was exerted by the slashing blows upon Bob’s back.  The wound would require 17 stitches to close. The fracture of the metacarpal bone of the 5th digit went unnoticed until sometime later. 
Upon noticing that my finger was cut, I went into the house to call 911. I left Bob lying on the sidewalk, tending to his wounds. After calling 911, I went back out to check on Bob, starting to realize now that Bob may die. As I entered the doorway to my house, the car that Bob had arrived in drove off.
“The man just got stabbed once, and he’s driving down the road somewhere. How amped up is this guy?” I thought as I watched the taillights disappear around the corner.
When the police arrived, I was up front about everything that had happened. Over the police radio, it was heard that Bob had shown up at the hospital; the same one that I worked at. I was never read my rights because I volunteered all the information I gave. The officers never asked me if Bob had a knife.
I couldn’t recall ever seeing a knife anyway. I saw a flash of light, but was that a knife? Or was it a wristwatch band? Or a ring? Could have been anything. I looked at myself. “No wounds except the one inflicted by my own knife,” I thought to myself. Is it possible that I had escaped any injury from Bob’s knife, if in fact Bob did have a knife in his hand? 
When officers arrived at the hospital, no knife was found in his car, but a baseball bat was in the back seat. Bob’s condition was critical. Although only one wound was serious, that wound included a knife blade very close the heart.  The X-ray department where I worked took the X-ray that showed the blade perched next the heart tissue.
After learning that no knife was found in the car of Bob, I was arrested. As he was being placed in the back of the squad car to head off to a different area hospital to have my finger stitched up, Margie drove back up.
Terrified, she ran from her car to the window where I sat, handcuffed behind my back. 
“Don’t make it any worse than it is, Margie,” I yelled to her. “He came at me, and I had to kick his ass.”
Margie broke down. This could not be happening. The guy she was just getting to know and really like, going off to jail because her punk ass estranged husband wouldn’t leave him alone, and now he’s fought back like anyone would in the same situation.  She pleaded for the police to arrest Bob, regardless of the seriousness of his injuries. He came here to my house. It was 2AM when he arrived. I had tried everything to get Bob off my case. And now it’s come to this.
Due to the seriousness of the attack, I was put on temporary leave without pay from my job at the hospital. I’d been working there for 4 ½ years, and now overnight, because I was faced with living or dying, I had nothing.
Without a job, I had to find a new place to live.  Margie offered me to come live with her. I accepted.
When I arrived at Margie’s house for the first time, I thought I’d taken a wrong turn and arrived at a dump.  Two broken down cars littered the driveway. A large pile of broken cement pieces lay on the front lawn near the front door. The yards were overgrown with weeds and tall grass. In the back yard, washers and dryers and refrigerators sat rusting and taking up space. Most of the windows in the house were broken, including the sliding glass door. Inside it was generally clean, but in dire need of a painting.
I had the cars hauled away cheaply, made a couple of trips to the dump which included all of the broken cement pieces, painted the rooms inside the house, cut the grass and trimmed the hedge and the palm trees in the front yard.  And I found a used glass dealer that came in and replaced all the windows that were broken for under $300.  The children were 14, 11, and 8, respectively.  Danyel, the oldest and only girl, was just at the age of searching out her identity, with peer pressure being the most important issue in her life. Derek was the youngest, a very talented young artist who could pencil draw figures such as the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles to a tee! Derek would like nothing better than for Mom and Dad to be back together, but he seemed to be okay with me.
Damon was the middle child. He was the only child that didn’t understand the incident, and blamed me. Damon and I stayed away from each other, and my living at the house didn’t seem to cause any problems.

Chapter II: The Trial

The trial came in December 1990. I had no prior dealings with the law, and since I did nothing wrong except protect myself, he obtained a public defender as a lawyer.  That was the second biggest mistake in my life. The ‘dumptruck’, so named by repeat offenders because she looses many easy cases, was a pathetic piece of work, interested more in how much cleavage she could show in the courtroom than in how well she could defend the charges against one of her clients. My biggest mistake was believing that the justice system would protect me from wrongful imprisonment.
Before the trial started, the D.A. offered me a deal of 7 years in prison. I said no.
During the trial, the public defender decided to stipulate with the District Attorney that the victim in this case, Bob was in fact on methamphetamine as noted by the drug test taken at the hospital when he arrived after the incident.  My blood test came back negative for any drug. While these facts were mentioned to the jury, a doctor did not get up on the stand and explain how violent and radical being high on methamphetamine could make a person; the first evidence of a lousy attorney. And it all happened so fast, without the public defender even asking if I was okay with the motion, that it was done and forgotten before I could utter a word. My attorney assured me that this would not make any difference in court.
The lady who lived next door to me was the only witness. She was waiting up for her daughter to arrive home. When she heard the commotion out front, she looked out her window which overlooked the street. She then went to her bedroom in the back of her house to call 911. While dialing, she testified, she heard someone yell, “Someone better call 911,” but the voice was not of the defendant but of the victim, Bob. My attorney was so lame that she didn’t even bring up the fact that a man who has a punctured lung from a stab wound can’t catch his breath enough to yell, let alone yell loud enough to wake someone three blocks away!
It came out in the trial that Bob was a Vietnam Veteran. There he worked in the Medical Corp, working behind the lines with injured soldiers. As I heard these words coming out of the lips of Bob, I suddenly realized that this tiny piece of shit wasn’t anything to be afraid of.
But now it was too late. Without an attorney who was good, the evidence was against me. But I didn’t know that. I’d been brought up to believe that the law never punishes anyone who is not guilty of that crime.
The rest of the evidence was clear. I admitted stabbing Bob. The question was – did I have justification for acting the way I did?  That was the question before the jury.
A knife had been found at the hospital where Bob had driven himself after being stabbed only 3 days after the incident occurred.  Not a broken knife, but a full sized, ‘Rambo’ type knife with a serrated edge and the little container in the handle.  And the D.A. did nothing to see if it belonged to Bob. No fingerprint lifting. Nothing. No attempt whatsoever to see if Bob was the perpetrator here and not I.
The D.A. went a step further in his closing arguments, calling my dad, a life-time member of a federal government agency in law enforcement, a liar.
“Surely, he would say whatever would be necessary to keep his son out of jail,” he said.
And in my attorney’s closing argument, she jumped up and down like a little schoolgirl, trying to get her point across that if I hadn’t acted the way I did, I would have been the one stabbed and not Bob. After seeing her performance, I thought her theatrics were the right touch to a close case.  I was wrong.
The trial lasted 5 days, the jury deliberated for 3. On that third day, January 8, 1991, the reached a verdict. Guilty.
Guilty of Attempted Murder in the second degree.
Guilty of Use of a Deadly Weapon.
Guilty of Grave Bodily Injury.

I was taken into custody immediately. My mom sobbed at the news that her son was to be locked up, to which I screamed at her, “Don’t you cry! Don’t you let that bastard win anymore than he has. He’s played the system and won, and don’t let him win anymore.”
I shot a quick glance at Bob. I was sure that Bob would be gloating heavily on my upcoming incarceration. Bob wasn’t smiling.  I never found out why.
And so I went to jail. 

I was arrested right there in the courtroom, handcuffed by one of the bailiffs and removed from the courtroom via a back door. The back door led to a long hallway which attached all of the courtrooms to each other, for easy removal of new convicts to the jail across the street. 
After the conviction, I stayed in the city jail until my sentencing hearing one week later.  When the week had disappeared, and it went by unusually fast, the sentencing hearing date had arrived.  It was at this point that things took an upturn in my favor, if there was any ‘Up’ to my current scenario.
The sentencing phase for me was different than what many of us are used to. I had always thought that if you’re convicted of a crime, then you’re a criminal and you belong in jail. 
The defense, of course, was arguing for probation for me. I had no prior violent criminal convictions, I was in school, employed, and from a good family with Christian values.
The prosecution, of course, argued for the maximum of 7 years in prison, dismissing the evidence presented in the trial that showed Bob was the aggressor and that my attempts to get the police to stop Bob’s violation of my rights were ignored.
However, the judge saw something in the evidence, or maybe in me, that gave him cause to hand down a sentence much different than what anyone had expected.  The judge gave me a 90 day observation period prior to his official sentencing. 
A 90 day observation is a period of time that a prisoner is incarcerated at a state prison, and the prisoner is observed for his behaviors and attitudes.  It also includes a multitude of testing by psychologists and counselors.
I would spend my 90 days at Vacaville State Prison, also known as the state hospital for the criminally insane.  After the first sentencing hearing, I spent 10 more days at the county jail until I was transferred to the county jail, also known as ‘the Ranch’.  This was the holding place for all prisoners going either from the jail system to the prison system or vice versa.  It is located roughly 40 miles out of town, in the middle of cow fields and corn stalks.  I did not welcome the isolation.

Chapter III: Imprisoned

From the day I began my sentence, I wrote letters and read, if for nothing else to pass the time rather than going completely crazy.  I received many letters from loved ones including Margie, my parents and siblings. The first month was the hardest for me. This was my first time locked up with criminals. And my mother, bless her heart, made the mistake of mentioning to the guards that she was afraid I would be suicidal.  Not something to say to jail guards. The regulations on inmates now required that I be placed on suicide watch. And you know where they put suicide watch prisoners? On the psychiatric ward of the jail.
I didn’t know what my mother had done. When I arrived on the floor where I would be staying until transfer to Vacaville, I immediately realized that most of the inmates were nuts. With my training in Psychiatric nursing and my time as a psychiatric technician at a local psychiatric hospital, I was very aware of patients suffering from schizophrenia, and they were all over the place on this floor.

Day 17: January 24, 1991
It took me 16 days to stop pinching myself and realize that this was not a dream. This was reality. Up to this point in time, I had spoken to family members on the phone and had some visits through plexiglass, but I found the ability to write a letter beyond my concentration level while experiencing what could only be termed ‘Hell’. The first letter I wrote to Margie came on this day, shortly before my transfer to the Ranch.

ear Margie,
Well, here I sit in this jail cell, trying to keep my sanity about me. I just finished a song for you, and I’ll be sure to play it for you the day I’m free. I cried a lot today because of the news I received about Mr. Bogert, my probation officer. I hope you were right about the letters making a difference. Guess I’ll have to wait this one out…
I played myself silly today in outdoor rec. It was a game of 2 on 2 basketball, and I did good for the first half of the game (I made 3 of our 5 points), but I got tired- as usual- and we lost. The winners got a big Snickers bar each as a trophy. Oh, well, I’ve got my own. But I enjoyed myself – it took my mind off my troubles for a while, which was good. I needed the diversion. Now my body is tired though! And I needed the exercise.
I seem to be doing pretty good at keeping myself busy. I read the paper everyday when we’re out of the cell for dayroom (TV’s and phones), and I play solitaire and read the Bible when we’re locked down for 25 hours. Now that the first couple of weeks are past, it’s almost – that’s almost—bearable. I’m learning that the Bible depicts God as a very violent God in the Old Testament. When giving his people the land of Israel, he kills all the people who are in their way, and kills all of his children who sin.
I’ve found a number of verses to be quite humorous, under the current circumstances. I’ve written them out so I can remember them. (see below)
Well, one thing positive about this place is the food. It really isn’t all that bad. The breakfasts are great! A guy could get real use to hot cereal with eggs and hash browns, or French toast, or pancakes. Not bad at all. But I can’t eat the orange they give me every morning. I think the citric acid is what caused the sore on the roof of my mouth. And I’m always so hungry that I can’t pass up a meal to let it heal!  A couple more days of eating on the right side of my mouth, and it should be gone.
Here’s an interesting trivia point: Kuwait was part of Iraq until the British took it by force from Iraq. Hm. Sort of the way the jews took Israel away from the Palestinians.  If Hussein wasn’t such an ass, I’d probably be on his side in this war!
Writing seems to be very good therapy for me, except the pencils they sell us (in commissary) are so small that I have to take a break every 30 minutes or so. My back keeps hurting, too, since I’m sitting on the edge of my bed and writing on the table. At least I have the bottom bunk.
My cellmate appears to be nocturnal. When I woke up around 3:30 this morning, he was at the door just staring at the empty room before him. Phew! Glad I’m not lost like him. I don’t even think he knows how to read, so I’m not worried that he’ll read this before I send it. He’s OK, but today he was trying to pull out one of his teeth. He says it’s loose and is ready to come out. He acts like it’s no big deal. God help me if my teeth start to fall out!  How gross. He sleeps all the time, probably a side effect from the Haldol they give him. It’s like thorazine, but has different side effects and can be taken orally. Thorazine is an injection only, if I remember my drug therapy correctly.
I hope you send me a picture real soon. I’d like to be able to see your face in the morning and at night before I go to sleep. I wish you could send me a naked one. But, oh well. Someone would have to take it, right? And I want you all to myself.
It sure is great to have a family who is so supportive of me. Many of the guys in here get zero social visits and never use the phone. These same people often stay in their cells when we get dayroom privileges. This morning, when they called us for outdoor rec, only 5 out of the 32 responded! That’s nuts. They wanted to stay in and watch “The Price is Right.”
I’m surprised I can sleep as easy as I do without my fan. The noise around here is pretty constant, though, so at least it isn’t dead quiet. The mattress isn’t too uncomfortable either, so I’m surviving. The units that inmates are kept in consists of two levels of cells, a top floor and a bottom floor. Both floors share the dining and TV area. Being up on the second floor, I figured nothing very exciting would happen in the unit. Well, so much for uneventful days.
Last night a new inmate was brought into our floor. All night long he kept yelling from his cell, “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” Over and over. The dead quiet of the unit made his voice reverberate off the walls and echo throughout the cell. It continued on most of the night. I think I fell asleep around 4 am.
In the morning before breakfast is served, the guards do a role call, to make sure no inmate has escaped from this 4th floor, completely made of concrete and solid steel, sarcophagus.  When role call is performed, the guards open all of the doors on the top or bottom floor, and all of the inmates on that level are to step out of their cell onto the blue line on the floor 2 feet in front of their door.
So the bottom floor’s doors all open, and the inmates step out and are counted. Then it’s the top floors turn. The doors open, and I stepped out to be counted.
As I’m standing there, from the cell 3 doors down, this black guy comes bursting out, runs around the corner of our balcony heading straight for the stairs. But instead of taking the stairs, he jumps over the end of the balcony and lands flat on his back on the concrete below.
This second floor is made for security so we’re up about 25 feet. When the inmate hit the floor, I saw blood splatter all over the window next to him. I figured he was dead. But my instinct was to help him. 
As I started to walk towards the stairs, the inmate in the cell next to me said, “Don’t. Just stay there. They’ll think you’ve got something to do with it.” He obviously knew what he was talking about.
The guard taking role call walked over to the lifeless body, leaned over him, and took out his radio to call for medical assistance. The guard’s body language told me that all he could see in this lifeless blob on the ground was a whole bunch of paperwork, explaining what happened, why it happened, and how it could be prevented next time.
After calling for assistance, he told us all to return to our cells. Man was I freaked. I couldn’t believe what I just saw. At least, what I thought I saw. I could see though the small glass on my cell door the attendants picking up the injured inmate, but I couldn’t see the window where the blood had splattered.
No sooner had the inmate been taken away than the guard called for role call again. As I stepped out, I looked over at the window where the blood had covered the inside.
Not a drop of blood anywhere. I’d have sworn that I saw blood go all over that window. But there was none. And the guards didn’t have time to clean up what I’d seen. Later during lunch, I asked another inmate that could see the whole thing from his cell if the blood had been cleaned off by the guards.
“Blood?” he asked. “Didn’t see that. Just that asshole cutting into our TV time.” Such human compassion. So I am led to believe that my mind did some overtime imaging and no blood never did splatter the window. That’s wild. This is what psychologists talk about when they say that 4 people on 4 corners of an intersection can witness the same accident and all 4 will give different accounts of what happened. None of them are lying; people just interpret events differently when they are under stress.
And I believe it could be argued that I am under a lot of stress.
I pray that Judge Backus sees the truth in this case, and is good-hearted in sentencing me. I’ll be thinking about you, and dreaming about you. Just hope I don’t have any wet dreams. That’s embarrassing. (TeeHee!)
I hope to someday find a tree that we can carve our initials into, to show for all time the love that we share.

Day 39: February 15, 1991
My family visited me once a week while I was at the city jail.  However, after the sentencing hearing and my subsequent move to the Ranch, the visits were short and far between due to the distance family members had to travel to see me. I continued to adjust to life in jail, amazed at what occurred and what was allowed. 
My time at the Ranch was the most unpleasant of surroundings yet. Convicts were housed in 12 or 14 bed dorms, fed in the cells on plastic trays, and allowed out for recreation time only one hour every 48 hours. As the days passed at the Ranch, I realized that this is the way jail should be.
I wrote this letter to my mom after my transfer to the Ranch.

Dear Mom & clan:
In my new cell, here at the ranch, I’m getting along fine with the other guys. The food here sucks, which is not at all what the inmates had told me about it (from the city jail). They had assured me, while downtown, that the food at the ranch “was 100% better.” Of course, these guys don’t know what good is, so I’m not terribly upset.
I’ve been writing a program for the computer. Just a little basic program. It needs some finishing touches that I’ll do when I put it on the computer. Ask Scott to put the basic program on the hard disk for me so I can put it on the computer when this is all over.
I know I’ll come out of this alright. The other guys here just don’t have what I do in the way of brains, talent, or family. I have a great advantage in this life that started when I got the name Simon.
Imagine humor in a place like this. I heard a great joke I want to pass on to you.
A man walks into a bar with an alligator and a brick.  He sits down and states “I’m the Baddest Dude in this Bar.”  He takes a shot of whiskey, and says “I’m the Baddest dude in this town, and I’ll prove it.”  He slams down another shot of whiskey, grabs the alligator and places it on the bar.  He pries open the alligator’s mouth, sticks his dick in the mouth of the alligator, and slams the brick on the top of the alligator’s head!  The man proudly boasts “Let me see someone else who is man enough to do that!”  And a small frail man approached him and said, “I’ll do it if you promise not to hit me on the head with that brick!”
While my incarceration continued, I read a bible that I was allowed to have in my jail cell at the City Jail and at the Ranch. I found no solace in the scriptures; the old testament was too violent and the new testament seemed magical, almost phony. The following are some passages I found humorous, and decided to send them home for Margie to see.

Genesis 2:24
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Deuteronomy 25:5-10
“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.
And it shall be that the first born son which she bears will succeed to the name of the dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate of the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’
Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him; and if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’
Then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and say, ‘So shall it be done the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’
And his name shall be called Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’”

I laugh every time I read it! Anyway, I’ve been finding phrases like this all over the place in the Old Testament, and I’m shocked. What a trip, to find such stuff in the Holy Bible.

Luke 14:25
And great multitudes went with Him (Jesus).  And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Romans 12:20
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 

Letter from Gloria: February 16, 1991
Gloria was the nanny that lived with my mom and dad. She was the second mom to the six kids still living at home, and a close friend of the family’s. She had taught my siblings and me how to swim when we were in grade school, so her history with my family went back quite a ways in time. 
After teaching us to swim, we lost touch with Gloria. She became a prison guard at one of the oldest prisons in California, San Quentin. While there, she was injured by an upset visitor of an inmate who she caught trying to smuggle dope into the prison in his shoe. The 6 foot 7 inch visitor picked up Gloria and body-slammed her on the concrete floor, breaking a disc in her back and putting her on permanent disability.
After my conviction, Gloria did what she could to alleviate my mom’s fears about the system. She wrote this letter to me to explain that my defense attorney had spoken to my mother and suggested that I not receive any correspondence from Margie while on the 90 day observation at Vacaville.  Simply put, my attorney felt that any letters to or from her could influence the judge to believe that I did not feel any remorse for what had occurred.  Gee, why would I feel that way?

By now you know that you will not be getting any letters directly from Margie. They are being sent through other means. We feel that would be a better solution for obvious reasons.
Hint: If you get to use a long envelope you should fold the letter differently. The one you sent us with the forms for your prolonged leave of absence from the nursing program at CSUS was barely legible by the time it reached us.
The day we got your letter, your little brother was being a little shit again and your mom just kept going into her room and reading the part that said you were ready to kick his ass over and over again. I had to laugh at her. She said it gave her a warm feeling. It really was funny.
Margie called this morning to see if I had heard from you. She thinks she may have a job through her mother. She didn’t say what it was. She also said that the guy who’s storage she is using paid his bill and she should be able to get her stuff out now.
Take care, I!
Love, Gloria

Day 47: February 23, 1991
On February 15, 1991, I was transferred to Vacaville State Prison to begin my observation period. I had all kinds of preconceived ideas of what prison would be like. I hoped it would be less horrible than I’d imagined.
This letter was written to his family after I realized that most of my fears were unfounded.

Dear Mom & Clan,
Hello. It is Saturday night, about 7pm, and we have just been allowed out of our cell so we can visit and play cards in the mess hall. The T.V. is also on, but it’s so loud that the T.V. can’t be heard. But I have a table that I can write at, and some instant coffee that Tim Snively gave me (along with shampoo, soap, and tobacco). He’s the guy that called for me. He sure has made this an easier experience. He advised me on some rules to follow to stay out of trouble. So I’ll write all I can for the next two hours and let you know about this place. Please keep the letters I send so I can use them as references for my book when I’m released.
I have completed the testing that they give us here. The questions they asked were pretty strange. For instance, 1) I have been engaged in unusual sexual activity (of course, yes!); 2) I know that people are following me (false); and 3) I am very emotional (true). They asked so many questions (567) that I was left wondering what they could decipher from the answers, even with my psych nursing training. I look forward to seeing Dr. L. Frank. I did receive a letter from my lawyer, so I would like to get started with his tests.
They also gave us (all inmates get it) an IQ test. Two of the 30 guys in our ‘class’ rated at 133 – yep, I was one. Not bad. The psychologist who told me my score said he was impressed. I hope that is passed on to the Judge.
I have been trying to keep my brain active by reading the novels I have (another commodity that Tim gave me). I have read a Louie L’Amour book (The Sacketts), a slasher (Leather Boy), and a book about the concentration camps of Hitler (The Odessy Files). The last was great. Actually, they’ve all been hard to put down. I have found a new interest in reading.
I can see stuff on the T.V. about Iraq, but I don’t know what is happening over there. We don’t get newspapers. If you would, in your next letter, give me an update on what’s happening? Thanks.
On Tuesday, February 19, I went out to the yard where we lift weights, play basketball, etc. When I came back my cellmate was gone. He approached me today on the yard. I was stunned because I thought they’d sent him home! They just moved him. The next day I got another cellmate. He is talkative, and really a neat guy. He is one of the people caught in the system and can’t get out. He keeps violating his parole for some stupid reason. (I’d say about 70% of the people here are parole violators.)  His name is Gus, and we get along great. He should be going home in a couple of weeks, and he says something stupid will happen within 60 days and he’ll be locked up again. If he is in a store, and the store is robbed, he could be arrested for “being at the scene of a crime”, a parole violation. What Bull Shit. That’s the system we’ve come to know. Gus is the first person I’ve talked to about Margie. Oh, yeah, Margie…
All this time away from her hasn’t changed the way I feel. I’d like to explain it to you now, since I’ve come to terms with my feelings. All my adult life, since after my motorcycle accident (that the doctor gave me a 5 percent chance of survival from), I have searched for the woman who would love me as much as I loved her. All the girls I dated were prospective wives; none of them showed me the love I desired, though. I never set a standard on the girl I fell for. I know that the ‘perfect’ woman was not real, but a fantasy. Age never mattered in my relationships until Karla (the 42 y/o I dated from Consumnes River College when I was 20). After we’d dated for about 3 months, she asked me to marry her. It was then that I realized there was a limit.  If we were to marry, she would be 62 when I was 40. When she told me she was done having children. I knew marrying her was out of the question. I still hope to find a woman that will start a family with me.  So I’ve gone out with all types of woman to find what I’m looking for.
When I think about Margie, I think about what’s happened, and what I should do. I have come to realize that by continuing to think with my brain, and not my heart, I’ll always have a reason not to marry her. But I believe in Margie. She has put something in me that I have never received from any woman before – she gives me that ‘loved’ feeling. I don’t want to try to find someone else who will feel this way about me. It took 7 years to find her. And I want to start a family, now. Whether you and Dad agree, I feel like I’m getting old. Dad & Mom, you were married when you were 20 or so. I’m almost 30, and I feel the years slipping away.
Although I’ve many reasons not to marry her, and we’ve talked about those, I have one reason to spend my life with her – I love her. And it isn’t a kid love. It’s a love that I have never doubted, unheard of with other girls. We started off as friends, and that is what will make us work.
Dad, I know I’ll disappoint you by doing it, but I have to stay with the feelings I have for Margie. I don’t know how you and mom got together – you’ve never told me – but if you can remember back to those days before you proposed, you might also have battled with yourself over whether mom was the girl for you. I’ve come to see that we think in the same manner, and I’m proud to be your son because of the great upbringing you have given me.  I hope that you will see my love for Margie, and will give me your blessing in my decision. I want to bring up a child or two with all the love and joy that you gave to me.
As I told the probation officer, “My dad and mom are the best parents anyone could ever have.” I hope you will understand where my thinking is coming from. And I think you and mom will get a kick out of being grandparents.  Of course, this means I’m reneging on my promise to you (to leave her), but I can’t walk away from this. This time, I have to “play the hand out, and the bet is ‘all in’.”
Time seems to go pretty fast here, since I go outside to the yard every day. It’s about 6 acres with 2 gun towers looking over it. I work out every other day with the weights, and I’ve decided to start jogging around the field to improve my stamina. I don’t want to get to buffed up, though, and end up looking like a convict! I jogged around the field 15 times today, which is the equivalent of 5 miles. My legs can feel it, too! Tell Tony he better be ready for me in 1-on-1 (basketball) when I’m released!
In the physical they gave us upon entering here, I was shocked to find out that I weigh 190 Lbs! And it’s all muscle. My belly is firmer than it’s ever been. I thought I only weighed 175 Lbs at the most. Well, T.V.’s just gone off, so I need to go back to my cell. When the writing changes, it’s because I’m no longer at a table!
I’m now writing on my bed. Interesting fact: After 6 months or more in the state penitentiary, upon release the inmate receives $200 cash to help him/her out on the street. Hm…..
I’m very concerned about what will happen to me when I get out of here. I can’t live with you, I don’t have a job, I’ve no money, and I’ll be on parole. I’d really like to know how I can get back into civilian life with that deal. This is what scares me the most at this point in time.
I can’t believe the way the guards allow the blacks in this prison to scream to each other. All night long, they sing their stupid rap songs about smoking crack and stealing and running around in the gang back home. All the blacks know at least 20 of the others in the prison. One big happy family for them. They make me want to puke!
I hope, mom, that you will strengthen your faith in God. It upsets me to think that after the religious teachings that you allowed me in my youth, your faith is fading because of some jerk that has caused us some trouble. This will be over someday, and he will receive his karma.
I’ll write again after I get a letter from you. Let me know if Margie sold her house, and how her jobs are coming along, how Michelle’s behavior has been since the adoption (I can’t wait to see the video), how Shawn and Cori are doing, all about Iraq (I hear Russia is getting pissed at Bush, eh?), how Gloria’s shoulder and general health has been holding up, and tell Theresa, Scott, and the Earls hello & I love em.
Miss you all. Wishing for a release date before Easter (When is it?) so we can be together. God bless you both for the support and love you have given me through this crazy life of mine.
PS: Policy for the prison is that when you come to visit, you cannot wear blue jeans or green slacks, or white shirts. These are the clothes that inmates wear, and you can’t look like an inmate.  Also, if you could get a $20 money order made for me for canteen items and send it to the Department of Corrections at this institute, I’d really appreciate it!

Day 51: February 27, 1991
This letter was written to my little sister, Pam, then only 6 years old. She has yet to learn of my incarceration.

Dear Pam,
Hi, sister of mine. Sorry I haven’t been to visit you in a long time. I am very busy taking care of some work in another city. It shouldn’t be too much longer, though, and I’ll be able to come home and see you and the rest of the family.
I understand that you are upset because Michelle has been getting all fussed over since her surgery, and you feel left out. I know how you feel. When I was your age, the same thing happened to me. Scott and Julie came down with the mumps and got to stay home with mom, but I didn’t get the mumps, so I had to go to school. It’s a bummer!
I don’t know if you will understand this, but all good things come to those who wait. Remember that you will have events happen to you in the future which will give you all the attention. And I bet that you will feel bad for Michelle because then she will feel left out. You are older than her, so you can act more grown up about these things. Remember, the love in our family is equal for everyone – you and Michelle, Julie and Scott, Theresa and Shawn, Mom and Dad.
By giving attention to Michelle when she’s sick, we’re not saying we love her more - we are just doing our part to help her through a tough time.  That is what family love is - being there when one member really needs love. Your time to see that will come. When I get through here, I’d like to do something special with you, just you & me. So you think about what you’d like to do, and I’ll see you real soon.
Day 51: February 27, 1991
I took a moment today to write a short letter to my brother, Scott.

Hey, Scott!
How’s life on the outside? It’s hell in here, but I can see why so many prisons are over-crowded. Instead of what I’ve heard before, about a roof overhead, 3 meals and clean clothes, the reason inmates are happy here is because ‘all my home boys are here.’
Oh, God! What is wrong with these people? I cherish my freedom now more than ever.

Day 65: March 13, 1991
Good news was brief and almost non-existent for me while at Vacaville. I wrote this letter following the receipt of some disturbing news on my family’s visitation applications.

Dear Mom and Dad,
Hi. I just got a piece of paper from the visitation department, so I thought I’d let you know what it said. “For Glenn Simon, visitation has been denied until a manual search of her DOJ File (Dept. of Justice) is completed.” Neat-O.  I haven’t heard anything about Gloria or Theresa yet.
Thank you for putting the money on my books. I haven’t yet received a receipt for it, though, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to use it. Canteen is Wednesday, March 20. I just have to hope for that receipt before then.
Today is my 28th day here at Vacaville. I hate it more each day. I feel so humiliated to be here with this group of people.
I finally saw Dr. L. Frank. He is the psychologist the appeals lawyer hired. Lawrence was very amiable.  He started off by giving me a blank piece of paper, and asking me to draw him a picture. I drew a picture of a dream I had while I was on morphine at UCD, after my motorcycle accident in which I had a near-death experience.  It was an ‘Adam & Eve’ scene with me and a woman walking naked through the Garden of Eden, with wild animals gazing at us. There were snow capped mountains and a waterfall. I found it a challenge to illustrate the water accurately since I didn’t get to add any color. My drawing never has been much, either, so I doubt the drawing will earn any recognition like Grandma Glenna’s artwork.
After that, the psychologist took a history of me. He asked how I liked myself, how growing up was, and how school was. He inquired when the first time I had sex was, if I had any lasting relationships with girls (Margie and Shelli were the only two) and how many close friends I had (just one – Tony).
He then asked me some questions, like “If you were lost in the forest, how would you find your way home?” and “If you found an envelope with an address and stamp on it, what would you do?” They were all open questions, ones that I had to answer with something other than a ‘Yes’ or ‘ No’. Then the questions became definitions of words. Most I knew, but I got stumped on a few of them.  I had to look up ‘fortitude’, but since then I’ve forgotten what it means. Damn! Wish I could remember. I read that dumb word in most of the novels I have at least once, and it would be nice to know what it means!
The next test was an inkblot test. Although I knew about this type of test, I did not know what the cards would look like. For each card, I had to come up with 2 different figures that I saw in the ink blot. Some of them looked pretty violent. I saw a cat flattened out by a steam roller, an F-14 in Iraq, a man shot with a shotgun, and the world blowing up, all in the same ink blot! No, I’m kidding. Those pictures were on 4 different cards. The colors were supposed to make me think violence (black, white, and red). So I think I came across as mellow as possible. I didn’t really try to be, though; I just was thinking about how to appear nonviolent to him. Maybe you’ll hear about those results before I do. Who knows? Just a matter of time now, before we find out which direction I’m headed, I guess.  I hope it’s the right path.
I’m working Monday through Friday as a painter, still. It’s real nice because the time goes so fast. We’re on the 3rd floor, and the AIDS patients have already moved into the first floor cells. Some real weirdos!
Today was rainy, and loving the rain, I did my best to keep from getting down. I did real good, too. My cellmate obtained a job in the kitchen, so I’m alone from 3 to 9:30 every night. I’m trying to get one in there, too, but 90 day obs usually don’t get jobs here. Oh, well. They want to make us suffer so we realize our mistake. HA! This place is hell enough without that.
I get a letter almost every day. That makes me feel very special. Most of the inmates here are glad if they get one letter a month. Thanks for being with me in spirit through these trying times.
I received a few letters from the appeals lawyer. One was a transfer of Power of Attorney from my trial lawyer to him, another was to let me know that a Mr. L. Frank, psychologist , would be visiting me here, and I’ve just received one right now which is the legal contract of him now being my new attorney. I pray that he can find something to appeal and win this case with.
Speaking of praying, I signed up for church services on every other night.  So last night I went to my first service. Ugh! I thought we’d to go a chapel, right? Nope. Just to a classroom. And then the service was black gospel. EECCKK! I hated it, and I won’t be going back. I had to sit for an hour and a half listening to ‘Amen’ and the ‘hallelujahs’. I really resent that type of worship. Oh, well — another lesson learned.
I’ve been reading some novels given to me by Mr. Snively, and I read ‘The Exorcist’ yesterday and today.  I was hurrying through to see how it ended, and I got to pg 386, read to the bottom, and then started reading the next page. Oh, No! I exclaimed, as I realized that the next page was 403! Yep, I missed the entire end of the book. That is the second novel I’ve read that was missing a page or pages at the end of the story! What luck.
Other than that, I’m doing just fine. I haven’t had any problems, and my cellmate continues to give me good prison advice. Like what? Not to be stingy with my coffee and tobacco. Yea, I smoke 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, but it’s only because of boredom. I’ll surely quit again when I get out. And I was telling him that I’ve just become stingy because I always got hand-me-downs when I was a kid, and now I like to keep what’s mine as mine.

Day 69: March 17, 1991
It never stopped amazing me how ridiculous and uneducated the inmates around me were. They believed almost anything they heard, almost relishing in the excitement of news about another inmate in another prison who had been told by another prisoner that such and such had occurred, regardless of how asinine the news was. I wrote this letter to help myself cope.

Dear Clan,
Well, it is Sunday, March 17. Happy Irish Day! It’s raining here, and probably there, also, so, needless to say, I’m coped up in my cell. This makes the day drag out terribly. I would usually be out at the yard from about 9AM until 2PM, but I freeze enough in my cell. I’ll be damned if I’m going to voluntarily go out in the rain! I was able to go out yesterday, since I don’t work the weekends. I worked out on the weight set(s), and I feel a bit sore today.
This letter is brought to you by the ICAA – Idiot Convicts of America Association. I want to tell you some of the asinine things I’m told around here.
1. “Don’t lift weights using your arms and then your chest on the same day because you want the oxygen to go to one part of your body.” This jerk was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t curl weights (a bicep exercise) and use the bench press (a peck and shoulder exercise) on the same day. He tried to convince me that the first muscles you exercise on any given day require more oxygen than the other muscles of your body. In this instance, he implied I would strain my shoulders doing bench presses since I had started the day with curls. I didn’t tell him I was a nurse, and I didn’t tell him he was an asshole either. But I really wanted to.
2. “Vistaryl isn’t for that – it amplifies the effect of the drug you are taking with it.” This bean-head, with tattoos all over his body from neck to fingers to waist (& probably below), tried to tell me that he was being given motrin and vistaryl for his back pain. I asked if the motrin made him nauseous, because that is what vistaryl is for – it’s an antiemetic; it keeps you from puking! He looked at me and said,
“No man, that ain’t what vistaryl is for. You don’t know.” I just walked away. This bozo was too stupid to know 2 plus 3, let alone understand what I based my knowledge of drugs on. I didn’t tell him I was a nurse, and I didn’t tell him he was an asshole either. But I really wanted to.
3. “These 90 day ob(servations) people got it rough. If the judge tried to give me a 90 day ob, I‘d tell him to give me 2 years state time. I’d have that knocked out with no problem.” Another goon, talking out of his rectal orifice. Like most of the prisoners, they have no life outside these walls, and I am so afraid of what awaits me when I am released. I didn’t tell him he was an asshole. But I really wanted to.
Well, I tried to cut my hair today with a razor, but I don’t have a mirror, and I just couldn’t get the reflection in the window of my cell door to give me a clear enough picture of where I needed to cut. So, it is getting rather long, and I refuse to let anyone in this or any prison system cut my hair. The only thing that they know how to do is crew cuts and “shave the head bald.” No thanks.
Although the food is mediocre around here, it would be nice if they gave us time to finish. Last night they gave us about 3 minutes to eat dinner. I was really pissed. They won’t let you take food back to your cell, so what you don’t finish, you have to throw away.  But hey, it is prison. We’re not suppose to like it!
Another complaint is the temperature of my cell. Last week, everybody on the first floor was complaining of how cold the cells were. The upper floors are warmer because heat rises. But this week, the cells have been fine, temperature-wise. They have hot-water pipes in the walls between cells, and that is how they warm the cells at night. Only problem is: they have to decide that it is cold enough to warrant the heat being on. I’ve been coughing for a couple of weeks now, and it is still lingering.
I got the St. Patrick’s Day card. It’s very much appreciated. I have not yet, however, received a receipt of the money order that was with it, so I will probably be coming back to Sacramento with that. I will just attempt to use the $9.70 already on my books this Wednesday. All that I need is some deodorant, toothpaste, conditioner, and playing cards. Anything left over will be used to buy a real soda. It has been 63 days since I had a coke. That will be nice, if they acknowledge that I have the money on my books. I wrote a letter to them, and they replied that yes, I do have $9.70 on my account, but I would have to wait until this week to use it. Oh well, that’s prison.
Today is day 32. I wonder how long I’ll be left here in this scummy place? Wish I had some idea. Have you heard anything from my attorney? I don’t know what to expect anymore. This place is stupid, filled with ignorant people with less drive than a worn-out transmission. When I listen to their pathetic stories, I want to scream. But I can’t, and I don’t. Patience is a virtue….
I saw Mr. & Mrs. Snively through the yard fence today while out on the yard. They were on a conjugal visit. Something else that I can’t stand to see, even for those I would call my friends. This is prison. If you are in prison, you shouldn’t get to have sex with your wife. That’s part of being locked up. You’re a prisoner and have lost rights. Prisoner rights. Make me puke.

Day 70: March 18, 1991
On this day, I witnessed a crime that left me baffled. I couldn’t write about it, since all of my mail was screened by prison officials, and if I wrote the following exerpt, I was afraid they’d question me, and I’d end up being labeled a “nark”, a deadly title to have in prison. And I already knew what happened to those who talk while in the general population.
The day started out much like any other in prison. But it soon turned out to be different. Before breakfast, I received notification that no work detail would be done today. So after breakfast and the morning role call, I headed out to the yard for a run around the yard and some weight lifting.
As I reached the yard, I remembered how open the field was and how threatening it made me feel. “If you get into trouble, you’ll blow any chance you have of getting probation after your 90 day ob is over,” I thought to myself as I started to jog around the 440 field.
I had completed my first lap and had passed the last of the four corners of the square track when I noticed three men standing on the handball court, about 20 feet from the track I was running on.  One was talking to the other, and the third was standing back just a bit from the other two. 
Just as I was about to go past the three, the one standing back sucker-punched one of the other men. The man’s head snapped back from the blow to the jaw, and his head bounced off the handball court as both of the other men slowly walked away like nothing had happened.
I stopped running, remembering what my cellmate had told him.
“If any trouble goes down around you, don’t run away. The guards look for inmates running away as the culprits of any situation, and they may take a shot at you. And if the guards in the towers say ‘Everybody down’, get down on your belly. They won’t play with you. If you even look like you’re gonna get up before they say ‘Clear’, they will shot you.”
I kept walking, waiting for one of the two tower guards to notice the man laying on the ground, probably with blood pooling around his head. I wanted to assist the guy, but remembered the advice back at the city jail: let it go.
I hadn’t walked more than twenty steps when the call came out.
“Everybody down.”
I chuckled to myself as I lay down on the track. I was practically the last man on the field down on the ground. Almost as if every other prisoner knew it was coming too.
The guards brought out a stretcher and carried the guy off to the infirmary. I couldn’t believe what I’d witnessed, and was shaking inside knowing that any inmate could be the target of such violence.
I went back inside at the first call, and my cellmate was already there. I explained what I saw, and the experienced prisoner told me not to repeat that story to anyone.
“If you tell that to the wrong person, you’ll be as dead as this stick. You can’t tell who’s a homey of who in here, so forget what you saw.”
Good advice, I thought. And I followed it. I never wrote about the incident until I decided to tell my story in this book. I remember all these details because it was such a haunting sight to see such raw violence directly in front of me.

Day 76: March 24, 1991
On the 39th day of my 90 day observation, I was getting used to the daily routine. I didn’t like it, but it was better than I had planned for.

Day 39 (In Vacaville) – I slept wonderfully last night, having dreams about women and sex. Guess I’m normal. And luckily the covers weren’t a mess when I woke up. I’m getting ready to go to breakfast and then my job as an office clerk, so I thought I’d add a couple of lines while I can.
On Wednesday, March 20, I went to the Doctor for this cough. They diagnosed me as having Bronchitis. Eek! So they started me on a decongestant and ampicillin four times a day, and today I am finally feeling like the cough is about gone. I haven’t coughed this morning and I coughed very little last night. I’m glad!
Last week, my old cellmate was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from my cell, and transferred to another facility. I thought I would have at least one night alone, but instead I came back to my cell after my paint job, laid down, and before dinner, a guy named Gary was put in here with me. He is also a 90 day ob. He has a wife and a four year-old girl. It makes me feel better to be able to help someone else get through the rough time one has when he gets here. The first week is tough, while you get used to the routine. He has had some depression, and I’ve offered as much advise as is appropriate.
As you can see by the new pen, I have just returned from my second day as a clerk. I have a black ballpoint pen, a red felt tip pen, and this blue felt-tip pen. I was given 5 erasers, and two extra pencils also. I have a work-pass and will be able to take messages to the other wings. Today, I proved my usefulness by cleaning out the filing card index of names that are no longer here. I then typed a list of all the inmates from the large ink board where the names, cell #’s, and CDC #’s are written for easy reference. I will crosscheck the list tomorrow to make sure that each inmate has a card in the file. The CO appeared to be impressed.
I just found out that Easter is next Sunday. Please give Pam and Michelle a big hug and kiss for me, and let them know they are on my mind. Also let them know I miss ‘em, and can’t wait to be home to see them both again.
Of course, I’d be rambling to say that to the rest of the family. I hope you all realize I feel just the same for you. I wish I could be there for mom. I’d even go to church with her. I guess I’ll have to make it on Christmas Sunday and Christmas night instead to make it up to her.

Day 77: March 25, 1991
Despite what

Back to Voting

Old Comments

  • Your protagonist is utterly unsympathetic. There is nothing wrong with a brutal protagonist but the fact that the narrator is always trying to justify his own actions makes the story much less accessible.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/08  at  09:36 PM
  • Page 1 of 1 pages

    Add a comment
    What makes a good comment?.

    Name: (Already a member? Login)





    Remember my personal information

    Notify me of follow-up comments?

    Submit the word you see below:

    Or Use Disqus Comments Below

    comments powered by Disqus

    << Back to main