1PM – So far this has been an excellent day. Dad came to visit and since he was here before 8 they gave my unit CO the heads up before I was even sent out to yard so I just dressed and waited in the day-room. Visiting is just a room with chairs lined along the sides and a double-sided row of seats down the middle. One wall is all windows looking out to (or in from) a control center. Dad was already there, seated by the door waiting for me after the strip search I went through to get into visiting. There was only one other inmate visiting his wife and baby so it was really uncrowded. They were in one corner so we of course went to the opposite corner. We had a nice big hug and sat down next to each other. You can’t face each other, you have to sit side by side so after a while we switched sides to even the neck strain. I was afraid we’d run out of stuff to talk about but that definitely wasn’t the case. Dad started off by telling me a long story about how mom got herself so stressed that she literally spasmed her heart and caused it to become misshapen though only temporarily. She was in the hospital for tests and observation and was being released while we spoke. In a month or two the heart muscles will return to their normal shape and she’ll be fine. The layman’s term for this is “broke heart” syndrome. So I guess I broke my mother’s heart! 🙁
We talked about his plans and attempts to purchase a bigger Airstream motor home. And we talked about how much nicer it was for a visitor here instead of CA. The guards actually were polite and friendly here and even said good morning to him when he showed up. CA set a low standard when you’re impressed with a “good morning.” I told him that doing time here in D&E was much easier than Reception in CA too. I may get out of my cell for only 5-6 hrs a day here but in San Quentin it was 2 months before we even got to go to yard. When I mentioned we go to a gym each day he said “and it’s not full of bunks?” The gym at Avenal was turned into a dorm. LOL .
The visit started at just past 8AM and we went all the way till 10:50 though I did go through the strip search first to give the other inmate a couple more minutes with his wife and daughter. When the COs and we 2 inmates stepped into the elevator one CO said to the other inmate how precious those first times walking with your baby daughter can be…and he wouldn’t want to lose those moments, would he? Then the whole conversation went sideways. He was trying to give the inmate a friendly warning not to walk around during visits because he had walked his little girl back and forth a few time. They didn’t stop him because visiting was so empty and he was walking his baby girl but the CO wanted to warn him he’s not supposed to be walking during visits. Well, the inmate, who was from unit 9 where they house the killers and who was probably in a delicate emotional state due to just having to say goodbye to his wife and baby girl, went off on the CO telling him to say what he meant and not to talk like Mr. Rogers. Then the door opened and we walked out of the elevator, otherwise I wonder if the inmate might have gotten violent. Lesson: Be careful around inmates coming back from visits and watch yourself (and others) in the confines of an elevator.
It was a good day today…for being in prison. I got a visit this morning and got canteen tonight. Now I have envelopes to send visiting forms to more people. *cheer* Plus I have real soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. I’ll actually be able to shave without attempting suicide. LOL! I made that joke in front of one of the COs and another inmate (RJ) warned me that they have to take even jokes of suicide seriously and report them. The CO had been just relaxing and chatting with me but then he started to get a little nervous so I had to quickly explain it was a joke and I didn’t want to get put in one of the small, cold, observation cells in medical for a week’s worth of suicide watch. Another lesson learnt today: don’t joke about suicide in prison. *chuckle*
I actually got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in my order today so I’ve restarted my habit from CA of having a half of a Reese’s each night. Oh, and I got a little $8 radio so now I can listen to NPR again. It isn’t HD of course so I only get NET’s channel 1 but mornings and evenings I’ll get NPR programs. I’ll have to figure out the weekend schedule of programs to hear Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and This American Life. I wonder if they have Radio Lab on NET on the weekends?
It was a good day. *smile*