Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Doses

I woke up, grabbed my toothbrush and headed to the bathroom sink.  Brushed my teeth, my tongue, then rinsed off my face.  Still half asleep I slapped both cheeks like the little asshole kid in Home Alone. 

When I shower I use the hot to steam open my pores.  At the end I shut off the hot and stand under the cold until my nuts shrink to acorns.  I like to feel.  I like the sensation that I'm alive, speeding down the road at a hundred and fifty-five.

I'm an artist and get as much art as I give.  There is intense feeling while under the needle receiving your art.  You feel alive.  The inner rebel steps up and stands tall.  I believe that's one of the draws to tattoos.

There were times in my life when drugs over shadowed natural highs.  The excitement you feel when you accomplish something amazing.  These days I smack myself in the nuts and take deep breaths to walk through the pain.  During exceptionally long and painful tattoos I think through the pain by imagining hurt and heartache leaving the body.

When my grandfather died I put an eagle on my arm in memory of his legacy.  The eagle is powerful and respected.  It represents our country, freedom and the men who fought for that.  My Grandfather was all of that.  I couldn't attend his service, nor did he see me get free.  I let that hurt and disappointment in myself go with the pain of that tattoo.

We can let life hand us our daily dose.  Take it as its rationed out and wear it.  Problem is, all too often life can seem to hand you a shit sandwich on the regular.  So many are prone to depression that a couple hard doses of bad luck can trigger you into a funk that overtakes you.

Now I'm not saying to go smack yourself in the nuts, but you need to find some release that centers you once again.  Perhaps a tattoo is up your alley.  Maybe you're not into that.  Climb up on the roof and lay there and look at the stars.  Look at how big it is out there and then realize your problem is so small.  You can change your job, the people you associate with and the things you come into contact with.

I've had to realize I can't do any of that right now.  The asshole who cut me off in line lives 2 bunks over.  The cop who yells at me every day works here full time.  I can't leave for another 19 months.  So I pinch myself, slap myself and take cold showers.  Because that's what I DO have control over.

I understand why people cut.  I understand why some women sleep with multiple partners.  I understand why some men go home and beat on their wives.

You done lost control somewhere else and you're overcompensating in some area where you can feel you took it back.  I can't wait till I get back and have the chance to make choices once again.

Had I never come to prison and went to a drug rehab instead, I too would be on 10 different medications.  Perhaps an antidepressant, some methadone to help past my addiction and something for anxiety.  Instead I came to prison where I was forced to get clean and confront my demons.  Anxiety?  When you're an asshole to me I steer as clear of you as I can, but I also know you're the one in pain.  You're the one who has the issue, not me.  That's why you're an asshole.

I'm going home to ride a Harley, be a Dad and have casual sex.  You're still going to work here and your life will still suck.  Depression?  I'm about to go home.  Prison is my antidepressant.  Once I'm home, what can life ever throw me that overshadows 10 years in a dog house?

What night terrors?  I live with crazies who roam the halls and aisles all night looking for trouble.  They're still raping blond haired blue-eyed white dudes.  What's my terror?  I'm late on the power bill?  Go on....cut that shit off!

I realize you all sweat these things.  Just think about how much of your life your wasting.  And if your living a good life?  Consider yourself blessed.

19 months and counting.......

















































Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nut House

I'm not crazy.  No, really I'm not.

I just live in a nut-house.  Dudes here have demons for real.  Tormentors that wake them in the night.  Yelling, screams, seizures....happen every night.  It's nothing to have an extraction team come in to remove an inmate that has lost his head.  Men prescribed meds that have such side affects they don't swallow the pill.  Spitting it out as they leave the nurse at the pill window.  Only to have some out of body  experience hours later.  Some violent outbreaks, others just lock up in seizure.  This goes on all hours of the day.  I have never seen a more active medical crew than here at Lake.  The action is non-stop. 

You can see the darkness and emptiness in these men's eyes.  One day you can carry a conversation with them, the next they become hostile.

In the course of a day you walk somewhere and cut someone off.  Sometimes you bump into someone.  You must immediately respond with, "excuse me".  These minor infractions that a normal person overlooks may be the violation that causes one of these men to fly off and attack you.  The level of violence here is incredible.  Not limited to the young it carries into the elderly.  The hostility blows my mind.  These are the road-rage monsters who follow you home and run you down in your driveway.

I've been accustomed to a small percentage of inmates at any given time who are prone to violence.  This is a game of egg shells.  I can't count how many times I smile and say excuse me just to defuse some situation.  This has become stressful.

I'm blessed I don't have much longer.

A sane man calculates risk and consequences for his actions.  The insane don't give a fuck.  Criminally insane may not be charged with the full severity of a crime.  They are incompetent to stand trial.  Yet here they stand beside me.

I spend plenty of time asking God to keep his hand over my life.  A bumper sticker tells you not to drive faster than your guardian angel can fly....I take my time walking these days just to make certain mine can keep up.

I knew it was good at my last prison.  That's how I must look at it now.  I was blessed to spend 4 1/2 years off my sentence at a good camp.  Now to only finish 19 more months here.

I tell my daughter to keep her chin up.  Now I'm working to keep mind up.  It's fine.  The thing that doesn't kill us will make us stronger.  At this point in the game I'm working towards baddest dude in the valley.  Walk light and carry a big stick.

I've been a lone-wolf all my life.  At 16 I tattooed a wolf on my leg because it was already my motto.  One of my favorite tunes is Godsmack....I Stand Alone.  That's become an anthem of mine.  I'm heavily tattooed and constantly asked what gang I'm in.  I ride Harleys and before prison always stayed independent.  Here in prison I do the same.  Many join these organizations for some form of protection or a sense of family.  I would rather stand alone.  I only stand alone in the sense I don't need a gang to back me.  Every day I ask God to walk with me and keep His angels in charge over my day.  You may not be on that.  Perhaps you handle your affairs on your own.  I've decided to take the help from a Power greater than myself.  And that's what I'm on now.









































Saturday, March 25, 2017

Food Service

Just completed my first week in food service.  Quite an adventure.

They want me to work from 7 AM to 5 PM.  I get there at 9.  Before prison I showed up two hours late and was paid $16 an hour plus expenses.  Two hours late is about the max I can pull off or I'll get thrown in jail.

My first day they pulled a power-washer into the kitchen.  I was instructed to power-wash all the grout lines in the tile floor.  I was told to do this while they were prepping food to serve on trays for lunch.  Overspray from cleaning chemicals, soap and bleach were contaminating food areas.  We were told to power-wash the area around the prep table for the coleslaw.  I shook my head as I watched the overspray go across cooking surfaces.

About noon the food service director came to me and pulled me into his office.  He briefed me on OSHA regulations.  I have to wear boots at all times and wear a hair net around food.  OK.

The chow hall also has a lady who is free-world that oversees how much food is put on each tray.  She makes sure the employees don't steal all the food being prepared to serve.  She has to stand guard because a piece of chicken sells for $2 and they steal all of them they can.  They can be as much as 150 pieces short on chicken night.

The thing I observed is she stands over the serving line and prep area and refuses to wear a hair net.  It would mess up her hair and we can't have that.  So---don't take a job in food service!

My first manner of business was to write up the unsanitary way they clean.  Cleaning on the level they ask us to should be done after regular feeding hours when food is put away in coolers. Not during scheduled feeding.  Florida Department of Health mandates the same rules in D.O.C. as they do in free-world dining.  This kitchen is clearly in violation of clean cooking areas and sanitary work stations.

I've filed a formal grievance against the kitchen on behalf of myself and all other inmates who unknowingly are eating cleaning chemicals on their food.

Next, I wrote up the free-world inspector for not wearing a protective hair net or gloves when handling food.  This is a direct violation of food and health requirements for public food service.  So, while I'm in this kitchen we're going to get things in tip-top-shape.  Or they're going to fire me.

Getting them in compliance will better our dining experience.  Pissing them off will get me fired.  Either way it's a win-win situation.

Instead of giving me a simple job change they will probably lie on me and lock me up in confinement.  Whenever you write grievances in prison this can happen as a result.  That's why you never write up officers.  I never do that. 

I'm writing up food-service and the free-world employees.  They are breaking rules and not being held accountable.  I don't want to work under those conditions.  I eat  that food.  As long as I don't know there is cleaning products in it, then I eat it unknowingly.  However, you put me in there to work and I see it all day, I don't want to eat like that.

It's possible they will just lock me up for some small infraction because I have thrown a rock at the hornets nest.

That's how it works.  Its a 50/50 gamble but I had to do this.


That begins my first week in the kitchen.




















Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Freedom on 2 Wheels

We've all made those credit card purchases.  The ones you don't realize how much you've spent until the bill comes and makes it a reality.  Hits you like a slap in the face.

I ride Harleys.  We sold them when I came to prison, but I have rode them since I was 19 years old.  Before I left my last prison I met a man selling his bike.  I really wanted the bike.  I told you a bit about this before.  He was an inmate like myself.  When you ride motorcycles, there are times you're standing around admiring the bikes.  Everyone takes a turn telling the story behind their scooter.  So I was thinking my bike's story would go something like......"I bought my bike from a dude doing time where I did mine.  He shot his wife for cheating.  He got life--while I got his bike..."

So I made the man an offer and he didn't want to budge on his price.  I didn't have the full amount he asked, so I decided to wait.

I explained to Mom why the bike meant so much to me.  Sure, I could wait until I get home to buy one.  However, I will have been in prison for a decade at my release.  Where I was going, opening a shop, and who I was going to spend my life with.  Well, all of those plans have changed.

My future plans are now an adventure and will take shape once I'm home.  I'm very OK with that, but would love to have a couple things be solid for me once again.

I explained all this to Mom.  A few days later she told me about the lady who cuts her hair.  She's also a biker and had upgraded her bike and still had the other one in the garage.  The story behind my scooter now goes like this.....

Mom knew how much a bike meant to me.  She knows the freedom you feel with the wind in your hair.  A feeling you can only experience on two wheels.  Mom negotiated the deal, covered the difference for me, and now holds a Harley for her eldest son.

Two things for certain....

I get to come home and be a Dad to my daughter.  I get to spend time with her and make up for all the years of her life I missed.  I have years ahead of me to walk beside her and be a role model.  I've stood patiently on the sidelines of her life thus far.  I tell her I'm on the sidelines cheering her on.  I'm the loudest fan she's ever had and ever will.

And I get to ride a motorcycle.  That shit makes me happy.  Nobody can take that away from me. It's mine.

Mom told me on the phone she bought the bike, it was mine.  Late that night I was laying in bed looking at the ceiling.  I'm not certain what prompted it, but at one point I laughed out loud...."I own a fucking motorcycle!!"  It was like the bill finally showed up and I got that slap in the face.  I've requested pictures.  Seems you all have seen my bike even before I have.  It will become even more real then I'm sure.

I'm coming home people.  I've got a Harley to ride as soon as I get there.  Mom brewed home made wine two years ago and I had her put two bottles to the side.  They should be nice and ripe when I get there.  I have a funny list of things-to-do.  It's so close now I can taste the wine and hear the motorcycle rumble.

(Note from the Mom:  He has all the pictures now!)

Friday, March 3, 2017

TRANSFER


I was sound asleep when an officer kicked my bunk and told me to pack my shit, I was transferring.

Barely awake I looked at the clock and saw it read 3:30 AM.  It's a Friday.  Monday is transfer day, so I know something is off.

It's not up to me, I only follow the orders.  And no questions can be asked.

For the past five years I made this prison my home.  I know the officers and what they expect from me.  I have friends.  Men I walk to chow with and eat dinner.  The men who stand up for me when I'm in trouble.  All the things that make you feel safe and comfortable in this messed up reality.  Here's an officer telling me to pack my things---I'm transferring.

I'm unable to make the rounds and tell them goodbye.  I wish I could.  I take a deep breath and remember I came to this place alone, and I'll leave alone.  I stand alone.  I process the fact I'm leaving, put my shit into bags and get ready to leave.

My Jewish brother and neighbor of nearly three years wakes up and makes a cup of coffee.  We give each other a hug and I tell him its been a hell of a ride.  He makes me promise to come visit him once I'm free.  His wife will read this and tell him I spoke of him.  Jen, you tell Mike I'll catch him on the flipside....that's a promise.

I walk out of my dorm and get into a line of others who will also transfer.  There are 40 in all.  We have to turn in all our property that the institution issued us upon arrival.  They don't want us to leave with their shit.  After they go through all our property and take the "extras" we then line up in the sally-port.  The Bluebird is waiting.  Basically a reinforced school bus.  Our feet are shackled and hands restrained.  You sling your property over your shoulder and try not to step too long a stride.  If you do, the chains will cut into your ankles and rub them raw.  Baby steps.

You duck to get into the bus through the emergency entrance at the back.  The front is for the officers and a grate separates us from them. 

In order to make sure you're the right guy, they ask you identifying questions.  My name is called.

"Smith!!"  

"Where were you born?"  Mitchell, Indiana.

"What county sentenced you?"  Orange County. 

"Mother's maiden name?"  Wendel.

"What's your girlfriends name?"  I don't have one.... "Get on the bus asshole."

And so my journey begins.

I sit beside the window and watch the bus pull away from the place I have lived and been visited at.  Another chapter ends, while one more begins.

I'm able to look out my window.  It has reinforced grate welded onto it so visibility is poor.  Still, I can see men in trucks headed to work.  A dealership where a salesman is showing a car.  A bus stop where people wait to be picked up.  A cute lady with long tanned legs slowly passes in the other lane. 

I see freedom.  It's right outside my window.  There isn't a row of fences with barbed wire or guard towers.  It's a small piece of Plexiglas between me and life.

I smile.  I'm glad I'm moving on.  A new place to develop relationships.  A new place to lay my head.  A new life.  My time will fly past as I learn the ins and outs of my new home.

The bus is slowing down.  We exit off the highway and shortly after pull down a long drive.  I see the fences and towers and know I'm nearing my new home.  I get butterflies.  You must walk the cat-walk.  They call out..."fresh fish", "hey cute boy--want to sleep in my bed tonight?"  You learn to walk tall, look ahead and shake it off.  They watch for the one with fear in his eyes.  The one who looks away or hangs his head.  Keep Fuck You written on your face.

As I pass under the gate I read the name.  They just sent me to a psych camp?  As if my life isn't crazy enough with their shipping psych's to my camp....now they put me at a psych prison!

Classification informs me I've just been transferred for "institutional needs".  A "population adjustment".  When you grow comfortable somewhere, you forget to feel.  Sometimes we grow too comfortable with the people in our lives and we forget to respect them....and our life.  If I grew too comfortable here I would miss the lesson.  So close to the end and I want the lesson to be loud and clear.

Don't ever, under any circumstances, come back to THIS place. 

Stay tuned to the next and last chapter of my life behind bars.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Last Minute Preparations


Just a little over 20 months from now my Mom will pick me up from the curb.  D.O.C. is about to kick me out.  Something I've waited on for a long time.

From day one Mom has planned to come here and get her son.  She's visited plenty and had to leave without me.  Soon, I'll be in the car with her.  On the way out I want to take a leak on their sign.  That will be the first picture of me free.

I intend to continue the blog.  I expect it will be even better since I'll be able to post videos and more pictures.  Perhaps I'll get the chance to meet some of you as well.  It would become a way for me to see more of the country.  Come to your town, drink a beer at your local dive bar and even sing some karaoke.  You can video that and we will post it up.  My schedule is free and I'm game.  But are you?  Keeping the blog is also a way for me to stay accountable.

I have a large bucket list.  Things such as Burning Man in Arizona, Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest in the Florida Keys.  Then there's the small town stuff.  I'm a sucker for a fair.  Cotton candy and elephant ears.  Carnies who talk shit and rides that could fall apart any second.  Any town I'm in having a fair and I'm there. 

Not long ago I heard a man here had his Harley Davidson for sale.  I scraped together my loose change and Mom said she would loan me a couple hundred.  I made an offer.  I'm a sentimental person and like the story purchasing this bike would make.  Drinking a beer at a bike week everyone stands around and tells their chopper story.  I tattooed my ass off to get the money.  Then purchased the bike from a man who shot his wife for cheating.  He got life, I got his bike.  You can't buy stories like that, except I'm trying to.

Perhaps I'll become part of your story one day.  You pull up your sleeve to show your friends your new tattoo.  Then you go on to tell them you read a prisoner's blog for a handful of years.  Got to know a little about him and when he got released you had him come to your town and give you a tattoo.  Yeah, I like that.

Just like I want my bike and every aspect of my life to be personalized, I may personalize your life as well.  Then again, maybe reading this is enough for you.  Tell me the fair is in your town and I'll head out there and see if I can't win us a stuffed animal.

I used to work to pay the bills.  Plan and save all year for some big vacation once a year.  Stuck in a rut most of the world is in every day.  I'm not doing that anymore.  I'm doing one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Life's too short to sweat your boss and a job that doesn't give two shits for you.

Now hold on...Don't go quit your job!!  Just make sure you stop sometimes and have a stiff drink.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

When you have kids and responsibilities you need that security.  At least until the kids are grown.

I'm coming home 40 years old with a daughter who will be 21.  I haven't had sex with a real person in over 10 years.  You can bet I'm coming home to experience life to the fullest.  I found a way to work for myself.  Be able to travel with my work and be accountable to myself, my kid and God.

Right now as I write this, Guns & Roses is blasting in my ear buds.

Paradise City is the song and that's what I'm on now.




Please Note:  The Jailbird was moved to another prison two days ago.  This post was written by him prior to knowing he was being moved.  There is a lag in snail mail time!  Stay tuned for another post to come soon describing the experience of a move.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Visit


My Dad came to see me today.  I knew he was coming because my little brother told me on Friday when I called home.  When I woke up I layed out my visitation set of blues.  Every inmate that gets visits has a special set of blues reserved as "viso-blues".  We wear the same outfit every day.  But when you come to see us we want to look our best.  We want to, for that one day, feel like a million bucks.  To remember what it felt like to dress nice for an occasion.  You may not know, but the blues we wear are clean pressed and set aside specifically for that visit.

I sat on my bed and waited until they called my name.  I then dressed and laced up my polished boots.  My boots are only for two things:  Visitation and Kickin ass.  The tips are polished to shine and look good poking out from under my pants.  They also look good arcing through the air in a roundhouse kick directed at someones teeth.

Laced up and feeling fresh I grab my pass from the officer and head to the f ront of the compound to the visiting park.  Once there, I stand in a line to enter.  They call us in 5 at a time.  "Strip down and place all your property on the table directly in front of you," the officer instructs.  You stand there in your bare feet on a cold floor shivering.  You are naked in a room of 5 inmates and 2 guards.  Seven men see you nude.  Well, six.  I see myself naked all the time.

You're directed to open your mouth and stick out your tongue.  Rub your finger along the inside of your gums.  Next you will brush your hair out and show them behind your ears.  The officer will then instruct you to lift your penis.  Then lift your testicles.  "OK, now I want you to turn around." "Bending at the waist reach behind you and spread open your butt cheeks."  While the officer looks into your anus he says, "please cough 3 times."  "I'm sorry, not hard enough."  "Please bend again and cough 3 more times."

If they are satisfied nothing is shoved inside your ass, you are then instructed to go ahead and dress. Once dressed, grab your pass and head into your visit.  I take a deep breath and walk out of my world and into some sort of fucked up pergatory.  The "in between".  I'm not quite in your world and you're not quite in mine.  Still, we will meet here, and for a few hours you will have your loved one back.  I will forget where I live and remember a life back home.

I scan the room to find you.  How much have you changed since I saw you last?  What did you put on to come and see me?  And I look to see if you are healthy.  A man like me wants to know in two years when I come home you'll be alive to see me free.  I need to see loved ones taking care of themselves so I have time with them once I'm home.  I want to see a lady that speeds up my heart and has it going on.  A woman who will compliment me and make me look good in these same old blues I wear every day of my life.  And if that's who came to see me, then I can give you a kiss.  I'll squeeze you tight like I may never see tomorrow.  I'll let my hand slide down and yes, I will feel your butt.  After all, I'm still a man.  About then a guard is approaching to tell me that's my first warning of the day. "Don't do that anymore".  That's fine, because I already did it, and it's worth a month in solitary to feel your butt.  Today it was my Dad.  No, I did not feel his butt.

I do squeeze him like it may be the last time.  One thing I know real well is loss.

We then walk to get into the line for canteen.  They sell food in the visitation canteen that we are unable to purchase at ours.  Besides, when you're here we could be at the food-court in some shopping mall.  It doesn't matter if its my Dad, Mom, brothers, sisters or a woman....you already removed me from my life here.  Standing in line forever like this doesn't matter.  We are talking, laughing and never even notice the line.  At the window finally, we pick some frozen entree and then head to the tower of microwaves.  I also purchased a photo ticket with the ham sandwich and Mellow Yellow.

We will warm the food and return to the table.  Where you will sit on one side and me on the other. I'll pop the top on your soda, then place it on a napkin to catch the condensation.  If you don't mind I'll unwrap your sandwich and put it on a paper plate.  Next to it I'll put the packets of mustard and mayonaisse.  Then pour some chips on the plate and ......lunch is served.  I also asked you what you wanted when we were in line so I could order for you.  This is all I have to show you how much I appreciate you taking to time to come and visit me.  While you're here I will serve you just to show you how special you are to me.

Then...its all over and it just barely began.  I know its coming.  I see the clock nearing the time you must go.  You see me.  You're smiling.  But on the inside I'm already crying.  Because I know soon you will go.  I will watch you finally realize its at the end. I'll make it quick for you.  I'm an escape artist.  "Don't cry, I'll see you again soon" I say.  If I seem cold at the end its because it's tearing me apart at the center.  One last wave as you disappear around the corner.  You're gone.  I won't even notice stripping nude and bending and coughing.  I'm still with you.  During the walk back to my life, this place will begin to tug me back.

Slowly, surely, I'm brought back....because the house always wins.




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Monkey See? Monkey Do!

Keeping up with the Jones'.  That's how you say it out there.

Way back when my sister helped me create the blog we discussed the day it might turn into a non-profit.  Years back we did inmate shout-outs.  Ways to open it to inmates other than myself.  Keeping families connected to their inmate.  It became a pain in the ass.  I was chasing down dudes to get them to write a shout-out because the larger portion of these men don't give a fuck about their family out there.

Prison got me clean and free from drugs.  I thought perhaps I would give back to others like myself. Maybe one day open a clinic or a rehab center.  And then life has come along and I think I'll keep it to me and my family.

In prison I'm know as the Hooligan.  Years back I tattooed it across my chest.  A week later some dude put it across his knuckles.  Then I put my date of birth on my knuckles and a month later a dude 3 bunks down does the same thing.

Lately it seems younger and younger kids are coming to prison.  They even have a mentor program. Like a big brother deal.  These kids find someone they think is cool and they latch onto you.  Most of them are from broken homes and never had a Dad.  So they seek to fill a void.

So they follow me around.  Tattoo my same tattoos on themselves.  Tell people they know me and we're friends.

The rapper T.I. sings a song-You Don't Know Me.  These dudes don't know me.  Is God playing some trick on me?  When they come around and bug me, put my ink on their body and say we're friends it pisses me off.

Now I have dudes who want to work out with me.  I'm a lone wolf.  If you come around  me, I've been jaded to wonder what you want from  me.  Its innocent enough and all they want is to be around a cool dude.   I suppose it's a compliment.

I made one kid.  She doesn't answer my calls half the time and she breaks my heart.  I don't need any more kids.  I really wasn't cut out for that shit.

If the neighbor comes home driving the same family sedan you just bought, you would probably be pissed.  What if their kids keep coming over because you cook better and you're cooler.  I would go over and tell their folks to get cooler because I don't need their kids at my house.

Am I just a dick?  Is God seriously trying to shape me different?  Because right now I don't want to be followed around.  I don't want you all standing around my bunk.  I don't want you stealing my tattoo ideas either.  Go get your own.  A rehab center?  I'm going to worry about staying clean myself.

I'm sorry that so many men make babies with women and then leave them.  The woman raises the kid the best she can but there's no Dad to play that role.  When you catch your first fish you want to brag to your Dad.  You don't want your Mom baiting your hook either.  A Dad should do that.  A Dad should drive you to ball practice and play catch with you.  On that note....

God bless the women who play both roles.  The problem is that some women can't and so there's a void.  Those are the kids coming to prison.

I'm an artist so I have some dude come stop me in the middle of some important shit I'm doing to show me a stick-figure he drew.  I'm thinking it sucks and he should find a different hobby.  Then that other person on the other shoulder speaks and I have to stop and give them some pointers.  Tell them they're off to a nice start and pat them on the back.

Lately that's been a battle.  I endure every day.  I didn't ask God for patience.   I know he would pull some crap like this.  Is it because I'm ready to go home?  I don't know.  I'm not sure what the lesson is here.

Prison has attempted to harden my heart.  I recognize it has, but I can quickly see it and fix it.  Some days I push away people who really love me because I have other ideas.  I don't mean to hurt anyone. Perhaps that's why I'm bombarded by people trying to soften the hard edges prison has painted on my life.

I challenge you to compliment someone today.  If you see someone working really hard at something, even if it looks like shit, tell them they're doing a nice job.  Even adults still need that pat on the back.

Much love to you, seriously...I mean that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Be Real

Have you ever drug your tired butt to work on a Monday and watched your boss come strolling by whistling a tune?  As you watch him walk by in his exceptional mood you think to yourself...."somebody got laid..."  Unfortunately we have all sat there and listened to a boss pop off about some shit that has you thinking..."must be that time of the month!"

It's the same way here.

One day the guard will allow you to eat a second tray of food and overlook you walking outside the yellow-line.  The next day the same guard is all over your ass because you're two minutes late to call-out.  They get so mad at us that we get a fire-drill at 4 AM on a Saturday morning when its 28 degrees.  Then they make you stand outside in your gym shorts for 20 minutes while they stand around and smoke cigarettes.

Over my time in D.O.C. I have learned to appreciate a convict guard.  That's a guard that come in with the same attitude every day.  And "if" they ever change their ways they will stop and listen to you if you approach them in a respectful manner and point it out to them.

There are other officers that are over the top on every call.  And for that reason there is a chain-of-command.  An officer puts you in cuffs and you know you weren't wrong, you have the right to ask "to see the Captain."  A good Captain will hear your side and then make the ruling.  Either you're headed to confinement or the cuffs are removed.

Personally I like the man who's the same day in and day out.  I try to live the same way.  If it's been working this far, why change it and possibly mess up something.  Just move on.

Even if the officer is a straight dick, just be a dick every day.  Then I can move around you.  Simple as that.  When you learn to do your time in this manner you are a "convict" as opposed to an inmate.  An officer will respect you for that was well.

I have learned to do my time this way.  Now with all the new changes it's turning things around a bit. Still, you make like a chameleon and adapt to the change.  I figure it's a good thing in preparation for life out there.

Weed was an illegal drug when I was growing up.  We were taught it was a drug and not to be used.  Now it's becoming legal and parents are having to teach differently.  Much like alcohol, it shouldn't be abused.  And if you're leaving the house every day and turning around to pick up something you forgot...Yeah, you may need to cut back some.

Our lives are ever changing.  Change is good.  I'm writing once again for Jailbird.  It's keeping me occupied and allowing me to vent.  On top of that I'm making new friends.

Thanks for stopping by.  Tell someone about this.  I get all the comments read to me and reply when someone wants to write.

I'm out in 22 months and I will continue to update the site so everyone can see what I've done with myself.  Before prison I was an addict.  This will become a way to stay accountable for my actions.  I ask you to stick around.  Contact me if you like.

Hopefully your boss got laid over the weekend and your day is beautiful.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SHAWSHANK: The Final Redemption

There's a scene where an inmate manages to lock himself inside an office where he is able to use the security P.A. to broadcast music.  All across the prison men are pausing to stop and listen.  Perhaps one of the "realist" scenes in the movie.

Music knows no boundaries.  There's no fences, no concrete walls...only music that carries throughout.  The universal language that, whether in your native tongue or not, can cause you to stop, drop anything, and move to the music.

When I heard Rihanna sing, Love on the Brain, I stopped and was moved.

So much that I downloaded it onto my MP3.  It's not even that "love is on my brain".  Rather it's the passion and soul she puts into that song.  Perhaps it's the artist in me, but I find it amazing.

When you live in prison you latch onto things that free your mind from the confines of this place. Sleep certainly takes the first prize.  That's the easiest way to do time.

The next in line would be relationships.  I have been blessed with solid people in my corner both in here and out there.  Throughout our lives they come and go.  Some people grace us with their presence for a short time.  Perhaps they are angels God places in our paths to help us through extraordinary circumstances.  Others will walk the entire journey of our lives beside us.  My Mom has done that.

Some days you can argue that's just family and that's what they're supposed to do.  However, plenty of families don't show love and support for their members.  One little thing and the house is divided and nobody talks to old Uncle Tom because he pissed somebody off.

I'm not on that and I'm blessed non of my family is either.

I called home the other day to speak to my Mom and a little voice answers and says, "Hello Uncle Mike"...

It's my sister's daughter.  She doesn't know me other than the pictures of me on the fridge.  Well, and to know that my sisters all tell their children about their Uncle Mike.  So I'm alive and well back home.

I'll get home and the pieces will all fit once again.

I think there's love, loyalty and respect in a great family.

I've been gone and forgotten to some.  And they now take the bottom of my list of acquaintances.  It blesses me to see how my family has stood tall and kept me alive there with them.  And that's what's on my mind today.

I want to tell my family...you are the best team this man could ever have.  My hat's off to each of you.

Some people will never come to this place...and thankfully.  I'm not angry I came here.  Nor am I angry about the time I gave here.  Had I stayed free these past 10 years, life out there wouldn't have taught me the lessons I learned in here.  Joke about the school-of-hard-knocks...but I've been a pupil there all these years.

Touch the stove and you get burned, you'll really think hard and long before you do that again.  The person who is just "told" not to touch is much weaker than the one who was burned.

I am that dude now.  Took the lesson the hard way,  but I fully understand.  If you thought you knew me before prison,  you probably won't now.

I'm blessed my family has taken the journey in stride beside me.  This way we have all grown together.  And you reading this crap?  Well---we're growing together too.