10 June, 2019

Conversing Like the Planets

The prisoner drifts in variably sized ellipses. He drifts among other bodies, around a common center, just as planets in our system orbit the sun. The prison system, with its focus on segregation and minimal contact, can be as lonely and vacuous as outer space. Occasional alignment constitutes an event.

Simpatico prisoners will engage for a bit, on the yard, queued for a visit, or in the dining hall. Ascendency is followed by retrogradation. They're soon pulled elsewhere. The next event might take place in weeks or months — perhaps even years — depending on the unique particularities of each body's orbit. Only the most complex telemetric calculations might predict when.

I see my former neighbor Ed. We wave in passing. Ed asks about my loved ones and the novel I'm finishing. I ask about his parole hearing. A guard yells for us to move along. Perhaps Ed will be ascendant again before summer's end, and we can improvise another back-and-forth before flying onward. Round and round we go — when we stop, nobody knows.

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Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.