Friday, January 13, 2006

Christmas 2005

Dec. 23rd, 2005
Friday, 9.59 am

I’ve written maybe a dozen entries since I’ve been here at O.S.P.. I won’t post them on this site. I’ve gone through MAJOR bouts of depression since I’ve been here… and the past few days have been f-ing incredible!
At this moment I am sitting at the desk in my cell with a bloody sock on my left foot. ”SHE” is parked in the parking lot, and is, right now, visiting with ”HIM” on the OTHER side of the prison (”She” was here on Dec 4th and Dec 11th also.) And, I’m writing on my last 3 sheets of paper, until I borrow more from another inmate.
First of all, my brother FINALLY made it here to visit me on Dec 18th (which, ironically, is my mother’s birthday). His flight back to Heathrow in London departed at 5 pm! While he was taking off for home, I was being led away to the hole (segregation).
Another inmate got into an argument with two of the C.O.’s (Singleton and Reyes) about having his hotpot (cooking appliance) outside of his cell. In retaliation, those 2 C.O.’s searched his cell, looking for ANY reason to send him to the hole. They came out of his cell with a pencil sharpener and a cup with unauthorized medication in it (ibuprofen). So, they took him away, and they let the rest of us get back to whatever we were doing. About 20 minutes later, they came back in and locked 6 of us into an exercise room, and searched ALL of our cells. When they were done they let us all back out of the exercise room. This was before 11 am… and we went about our day. At 4.30 pm we came out for supper, and when I was almost finished eating they told me I was going to the hole. So, I went to ”D-block” (where ”HE” lives… and where they keep the hole for d.r. inmates), and I was put ”under investigation” because I only had ONE blade in a TWO blade pencil sharpener. Well, that was a common thing in Mansfield! We were allowed to have loose razor blades, steel scissors, and blades from our pencil sharpener to use for cutting art materials, etc.
Earlier in these blogs is mention of the idiot who just didn’t know better to leave me alone, and I went to the hole for threatening to defend myself against him. Well, he was picking on another inmate, a stroke victim who can hardly walk, and THIS time he got his throat cut. The inmate (stroke victim) LIED about how it all happened, and he’s in the hole under a ”SUPERMAX” secutiry level. The shit-starter is enjoing ”GENERAL POPULATION” status… and this place is treating him like a ”VICTIM”. (This so-called ”victim” LITERALLY f-ed a 2 year old baby to DEATH! The baby died of internal injuries!)
In any case, because this asshole can’t mind his own business, and because the other guy went WAY TOO FAR and cut his throat, they decided to make an example out of ME, AND the inmate they INTENDED to send to the hole.
So, I went to the hole at 5 pm on the 20th. I made a statement that I was allowed INTO THIS PRISON with the pencil sharpener, when my scissors, headphone extension cord, and other stuff was sent home because it was ”contraband”. If the sharpener had been labelled contraband, I’d have thrown it away, or sent it home. (I sent stuff to ”Ohio”) If I ”KNOW” what’s considered ”contraband” I’d AT LEAST have the opportunity to throw it away!
The missing blade was thrown out in Mansfield. I fail to see how a blade MISSING can from the sharpener is ”DANGEROUS”. Yes, I CAN understand their concern, but unless a weapon is found to have been made from it, I fail to see why I was put in the hole.
I felt wrongly accused of any offense, and I wrote an official statement saying so.
I refused breakfast, lunch, and supper on the 21st. I refused breakfast on the 22nd, and they asked me why I wasn’t eating. I told them ”I’m not eating a thing until I’m out of here. I didn’t do anything wrong, and I’m not eating until I’m out of here!” So, I was told I’d just get a ”minor contraband” ticket, and I pled guilty to ”#49 destruction, alteration or misuse of property”. THEN they turned around and put me on ”30 days commissary restriction”.
On the way TO and FROM the hole I had to wear shackles and it’s a long way to walk. The skin over my achilles tendon is raw, and I have blood on my socks.
I received my clothes that I sent to the laundry while over there, but not my fingernail clippers, shaving razors, or yesterday’s mail.

1.58 pm
”SHE” just left at 1.30 pm. I knocked on the cell window with my metal tweezers, and flashed my mirror so she knew where to look. She waved… she knew it was me. She looks really good. She was here to see him for a ”Christmas” visit. She left looking very happy.

I missed my last days to mail letters + cards out BEFORE Christmas! I wrote to Shyla while in the hole, using just the inside of a pen that I mentioned in the past… in a note to Karen I spoke of the red ink… and it consisted of the ink well stick and the tip of the pen (the part you write with). There was no casing around it, so I wrapped an envelope (from a Christmas card I received) around the tip and ink well, and taped it. I ”made” the casing, so I could write with it.
The ONLY card I sent out went to ”Sweden Med. Stu.” by way of a friend in Cincinnati, Ohio. And it won’t get there BEFORE Christmas.
My Christmas? My Christmas came by way of Christmas cards. I received 21 cards; 3 from my brother and his family (his daughter MADE me 2!!!), 2 from ”HER”, one from ”Ohio” (which was very nice), one from ”Texas S.P.”, one from ”Baston”, one from a new friend; ”Canton”, one from my friend in Cincinnati, Ohio, one from Dee Martin at The Abolishment Movement, 6 from people (that I don’t know) who support d.r. inmates, and 4 from people who read my blog. Of these last 4, I’d like to share what they wrote; ”May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! Hang in there and know that you are not alone” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
”I often read your diary on the internet! I wish you all the best.” (Spain)
But my favourite one is;

”If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you,
And share with you its beauty
On the days you’re feeling blue.
If I could build a mountain
You could call your own,
A place to find serenity,
A place to be alone.
If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea,
But all these things I’m finding
Are impossible for me
I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be what I know best
A friend who’s always there”

”Happy New Year and
be good to yourself”

This was handwritten on the back of a little card. It’s my favourite one of the people I don’t know.

10.57 pm
I got my card from ”Sweden Med. Stu.” today. She makes me feel like I’m too far away, and wish I was nearer. She writes hundreds of pages of letters to me and I can’t keep up with her. She doesn’t mind if I only write 2 or 3 pages, so long as I answer the important parts.

My transfer to O.S.P. took a lot out of me. I was depressed for a long time. I was forced to quit smoking, and I have no one to call on the phone, or anyone to visit me. (I won’t see my brother for 2 or 3 years.) I have no money, except for the $17.00 statepay I get each month for being the ”librarian” in my pod. Tha barely covers hygiene and writing materials. I owe ”Ohio” $500, and I can’t even make or buy cards to send out… not even mention embossed envelopes or overseas (extra) postage. I have 10 cents in my account, and that’s all I’ll have until January’s statepay (prison pay). I spent $1.42, of the $1,52 I had left over from December’s statepay, on a pint of Hershey’s Ice Cream on Dec 14th. (I’m including a commissary receipt to be scanned and added to THIS ENTRY!)

Dec 24th 2005
Saturday, 10.13 am
Good morning!
The sun is out and all of the snow is beginning to giveway to the grass beneath. We’ve had snow (4-6 inches of it) on the ground for at least 4 weeks… and it’s all melting for Christmas. But, there’s snow in the forecast for the days following Christmas, so the kids will get to use their sleds soon enough!
My Christmas will be a prayer at midnight tonight. I wrote to Shyla and asked her to say a prayer with me at midnight. We’re in the same time-zone. So, I get to be with my daughter at midnight. But anyone who reads this already knows how I spend my Christmases.

3.27 pm
I came back to my cell early. Rec isn’t over until 3.45 pm, but I came back at 2.50 pm. I was playing Scrabble (a boardgame) with Brett Hartman. He kicked my ass today. I only won one game all day.
There’s hardly ANY white left outside! Only where shadows protected it from direct sunlight. No white Christmas this year. Two days ago there was 4 to 6 inches of snow.
Anyway, I guess people may want to know what this place is like, so here’s MY thoughts so far; it’s good to be out of my cell 5 to 6 hours a day, and be able to socialize with the other 7 inmates on the top range with me. It’s nice to be able to eat my meals outside of my cell, at a table with others. The food TASTES 100 % better than the food at Mansfield! The visiting is better, and they’re about to start ”semi-contact” visits. They’ve cut holes in the safetyglass that are 5 inches high and 18 inches wide (approximately), where you can get a kiss and hold hands, but they’re only doing 3 booths. I’ve heard they will start in January. (I don’t have any visitors, so it’s not a perk to ME!)
The bad things are; the ”supermax” mentality of the staff here. Laundry takes 48 hours to get back to you. Rec is interrupted every 20 mins so the guards can do ”range checks”. Guards are vindictive, and instigate arguments with inmates… that’s how I ended up in the hole, because the other inmate argued with 2 guards (C.O. Singleton and C.O. Reyes). I kept telling the guy that his confrontational attitude was going to get his ass hung up on some bullshit! Well, it DID!!! And I got hung up TOO! (Man, I hate DUMBASSES!)

Dec 25th, 2005
Sunday, 11.59 pm
Merry Christmas!
No special meal for Christmas, and the prison was locked down from 9 am until 4.30 pm. We only got out for 2 ½ hours today. My worst Christmas of the 17 I’ve celebrated in prison. The warden is a Jehova’s Witness and he doesn’t believe in Christmas! It’s against his religion, so all of the other Protestants and Catholics find themselves religiously oppressed. After all, the Muslims are served their meals after sunset during Ramadan. But, no for all the ”other” Christians!
Yeah, I know Mary was only ”Great with child”, and that even the Romans were smart enough to wait for warmer weather to allow people to travel to their birthplaces for a census, and ”Christmas” was invented in order to incorporate pagans into Christianity by allowing them to substitute Christmas for their ”Winter Solstice”… but Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus as a ”tradition”, and not an actual ”holy day”. But this is the ONLY prison that DOESN’T serve a holiday meal for Christmas. So, since it is a matter of religious beliefs that denies us a holiday meal, let me speak against THEIR beliefs!
Jehova’s Witnesses believe in the Holy Days set forth in the Old Testament, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Trumpets, Passover etc etc. They believe sabbath day is Saturday, and day begins end ends at sunset. Basically, they still believe in the ”LAW” and are bound by it.
A true Christian believes (and I stress ”TRUE”) that Jesus was the Son of God, God in the flesh. The words of Jesus are the words of God.
After the birth of Jesus, Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt. An angel of the Lord warned them of King Herod’s plan to kill Jesus… but, the main reason is to relive the Exodus experience of Israel. The father-son relationship between God and the nation (Israel) is set in a higher key. But, here, the Son is not a ”group” adopted as ”son of God”, but the child conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and Joseph, but, above all, God! So, Jesus is not only ”of” God, but of all of Israel, from Abraham (the beginning).
If Jesus is one with the Father, then the words He spoke were of God (God’s Word). Jesus (God) fulfilled the law, and made the law obsolete by dying for the sins created by Adam + Eve when they accepted the knowledge of right and wrong, which is what the law was made for; to prevent man from sinning. But, in following the law, one rejects the offering of Jesus, forgiveness of sins, and God’s grace. Holy Days or holidays mean NOTHING! Here are your only 2 commandments;

#1) You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
#2) You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Is it a sin to feed inmates a special meal because you believe Christmas NOT to be a ”Holy Day”? Those who believe in celebrating the birth of their savior (regardless of whether it was or wasn’t Dec 25th) should not be denied a special meal on a holiday that the U.S. government acknowledge, ESPECIALLY in a FEDERALLY FUNDED (partially) PRISON! All because the warden doesn’t share the same beliefs. You fail the second commandment by hurting the feelings of Christians.
Jehova’s Witnesses base their sect around Isaiah, 43:10 ”You are my witnesses, says the Lord, my servents whom I have chosen.
To know an believe in me and understand that it is I.
Before me no god was formed, and after me there shall be none.”

Jehova’s Witnesses were formed by Charles T. Russel (1852 – 1916). They are a proselytizing Christian sect. They follow the mosaic law, and the old Holy Days, and keep an old biblical calendar to follow the Holy Days.
I think it is a sin to crush the spirits of fellow Christians, regardless of denomination.
Christmas was ”just another day” for me, besides the midnight prayer. My neighbor gave me a present wrapped in newspaper; chocolate bar and a lollipop. He gave ALL 15 guys the same thing. He put a present in front of every cell door on the bottom range for those guys… a while later, a guard was making his rounds and got suspicious, so he opened one, saw what it was, then tossed it 7 - 10 feet BACK infront of the cell door. We heard the lollipop shatter, so Brett (my neighbor) replaced it. Moments later we saw the guard telling the other guards about the little gifts. He seemed amazed that we’re capable of social skills and being civil and kind towards one another. (I HATE THIS SUPERMAX MENTALITY.)
(*sigh*) No one to call and talk to for Christmas. No visits. I’m going to go work out.

Merry Christmas!


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