13 May, 2016

Eight Rites for Getting By

I. For being tallied four times daily: the Assumption of the Position.

II. For calming, in lieu of privacy or space: the Osculation of Thumb and Fingertip, repeated.

III. For sustenance: the Salisbury Renunciation, followed by the Feast of Bread and Beans.

IV. For preparation to be visited: the Observation of Minutes Passing.

V. For nostalgia’s pernicious ache: the Cherished Songs Devotional.

VI. For sleep, when sleep won’t come: the Silent Litany of Hopes.

VII. For reluctant waking on dark mornings: the Acquiescence, the Taking-in of the Black Invigorator, the Reading of Ill-Illuminated Words.

VIII. For all the rest: the Unsaid, Unheard Prayer for Ending.

04 May, 2016

Leaving Lockdown

I'm finally honor-dorm material again, in the eyes of prison administrators, having gone two years without a conduct violation since my release from the Hole (an experience I detailed here). So, of course, I've submitted an application and been accepted to move, and now it's only a matter of waiting for an opening.

Surprisingly, my cellmate doesn't care to secure a replacement, finding someone agreeable to switch places with me before I jump ship. He's determined to accept whoever he gets. I suspect he's simply too antisocial and lazy to seek someone out. It's needlessly risky if you ask me, but I'm not about to tell him how to serve his time.

As for me, no gambler by nature, moving to another housing unit means taking a chance. I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but so what? If I'm moved in with a chain-smoker, a sleep-all-day depressive, an old goat, a mooch (or, worse yet, a thief), that's life. I can deal with things as they come. The benefits — greater phone access, more freedom of movement, a somewhat higher caliber of associates — outweigh any risks.

Will I miss anything about this housing unit I'll soon leave? Not likely. When I first moved in I was surprised by the periods of quiet that stretched through the wing, in between the daily shower/phone rotations. I even sent word back to my friend and former cellmate Zach: "Hey, remember silence? I found out where it's been hiding all these years!" Everyone's doors, in the honor dorm, remain unlocked for the greater part of the day, so there's always at least a murmur. In general population wings, though, the ambience is almost sepulchral at times, with most of the inmates sleeping their tedium away or otherwise playing dead.

But that kind of quiet is overrated, I find. I have made my choice and locked it in. I'm ready. Bring the noise.