Journal 04-28-16 Thu DEC

Before breakfast this morning I had heard the door pop so I got up too look but they weren’t calling us for meal time. Instead, a CO opened the door and announced “Hawks.” Jeff was still asleep since we were scheduled for late breakfast today but he sat up on his bunk and rubbed his eyes. The CO said “You’re going to NSP. Here are bags to pack your stuff.” He put 2 clear garbage bags on the table and closed the door. I walked over to Jeff, still on his bunk, and patted him on the shoulder and told him “I’m sorry man.” He had really wanted to go to OCC because it has smaller dorms, NSP’s is a 96 person single dorm, and because OCC is known to be very laid back and less prone to violence. As he packed it became more and more clear that it was the possibility of violence, specifically because he’s a sex-offender, that was causing him stress. I tried to reassure him by telling him I knew a guy in the dorms at NSP, Joseph, who said that he had no issues there as an SO but that seemed to do little to allay his fears. Though he was packed before breakfast was over (I tried to tell him to eat) they didn’t take him until after morning dayroom so he got to say goodbye to others and even got some details as to what the dorms at NSP are like from an older guy (James) with whom Jeff played pinochle. It was clear he was still quite nervous and I could relate. I remember that anytime you change institutions it’s nerve-wracking but I kept trying to focus on the positive: More freedom of movement, better and more food, 2 visits a week, better canteen. Bottom line is time will pass faster there. Plus, he has only been here 5 weeks but that’s what happens when you can go to minimum custody. Jacobs was here 4 months before Jeff and Jeff has left but Jacobs is still here. Since I’m max custody I know I’ll be here AT LEAST 6 mo before I’m assigned to a prison. *sigh*

 

Last night I got through the first half of The Revenant, one o Jeff’s books, and he had started The Magicians, one of mine. We had to trade back and we’ll have to have the books sent to each of us now since we were getting into them. I’ll miss Jeff. We were discussing each other’s books, movies, criminal “justice,” and life in general. (cont)

 

Without him the cell is already very quiet. Jacobs sleeps all day and Dennis is more into strolling down memory lane than talking about anything in current events. *heavy sigh*

 

I’m happy for Jeff but a little depressed to see him go. He was very helpful in settling in and was a good conversationalist. I hope I can find more like him but while I’m here at D&E I think that’s unlikely.

 

-break-

 

Just in from yard. Boy, what a cold, wet, dreary day. It’s adding to my depression over Jeff’s leaving. *pout* I walked the yard with Travis for a while, 25yo geeky drug dealer from Sarpy Co with tattoos all over, even up his neck. He’s into Fantasy lit too and used to go to gay clubs with his girlfriend (soon to be his baby’s moma). He’s a nice enough kid but not too bright. Eventually, Jacobs got too cold just sitting at the table on yard like he usually does so he started to walk with me and Travis left. I like Jacobs. He’s a good cellie because all he does is sleep and he’s very mellow when he’s awake but as we walked I was working hard to kindle even a spark of a conversation but with no luck.

 

-break-

 

During yard I asked Jackson, the former History teacher, if I could borrow some of his magazines to read. I had heard he as receiving Scientific American and I could usually find something fun to read in it in the past. He warned me that it was pretty dense reading, which I already knew, and when we came in he game me a Scientific American, a Foreign Affairs and The Atlantic. Plenty of reading for a while. Woohoo! I just finished the first article in The Atlantic, Why Luck Matters – Much More Than You Think. It makes a very good case that as people are more and more successful they tend to ignore the advantages and luck they had that got them there and take more and more credit for their success personally. This tends to make people inclined to support the common good and more inclined to keep what they’ve “worked hard” for (as if most people in poverty don’t “work hard” just to feed themselves). It ends with a bit about gratitude, not only does it increase ones charity but it also has many psychological and even physiological benefits. That made me stop and think…and snapped me out of my funk.

 

I am grateful for:

– The love, support and dedication of my parents.

– Finding someone as sweet and sensitive as McKarious to love and having him love me back.

– The friendship I’ve been able to form with my cousin Justin.

– My friend Roz and all the memories she gave me to help get me through my incarceration.

– The support of friends like Dave, Phil and Jim who have been in my life for so long and whom I know will always be there for me.

– Gary’s opening up to me and including me in a select group he calls friends…or even family.

– The acceptance and support and friendship of the taiji group and all they’ve done for me from KK to Marty to Bruce and Sanae.

– Friends like Vithaya and Diane who were even willing to travel to NE to see me before I came in here.

 

And that’s just some of relationships, there are far more and then there are things like being in an affluent country and having decent financial support due to my parents, my relative health, my education and mental faulties and so on and so on. I’m actually very lucky.

 

-break-

 

After my “attitude adjustment” the rest of the day was pretty good…for prison. LOL We lost our evening dayroom so the CO could hand out canteen orders. I only got half of what I ordered because I ran out of money on my books but what I didn’t get was just the food items and I know I can get along without them if I have to (which I guess I do. Ha!). Since we lost our evening dayroom I didn’t get to call anyone but I don’t really need to call someone every night. *shrug* We went to gym and I did some good taiji, including the Chen 18 short form. I wish I could remember the Chen long form that Jim had been teaching us. I’ll have to dredge my memory and try and recreate it. I did get Roz’s letter today with the summaries of the forms and the comparison of the Chen and Yang long forms so that should help. She also included a lot of her photo mantages which were nice to see. I nearly cried when I saw the pictures of the “going away” party before my sentencing. I still havent cried since my sentencing. *deep sigh*

 

After lockdown at 8, Jacobs, Dennis and I all talked until 9:30, which is unusual or those 2, but helped me to not miss the evening conversation I’d usually have with Jeff. After they passed out I then read some more out of The Atlantic, an article on grit really caught my attention. It made me think that with enough determination maybe even I could learn to draw. LOL! I’m tempted to cut that article out and send it to McK. *smile* I also switched bunks to the one over Jacobs. It’s a frame with springs as opposed to a solid sheet of metal so I think it will be easier on my back and hips but since there are only 3 of us for now I still get to use the bunk above Dennis for yoga. The best of both bunks. Hahaha. Dennis and I also split Jeff’s locker, for me, and his toiletries’ shelf, for Dennis, so I’ve arranged all my stuff in the small gym style locker that is 1.5’x1’x3.3′

 

Tonight Jacobs told us about how at his sentencing the judge said 10-15 but when he got here the Sentencing Order from the court said 15-20, a considerable difference. Tomorrow he and I will compose a letter to the court clerk requesting a transcript of the hearing to attempt to clear up if there was a clerical error or not. I’m shocked he hasn’t already tried to clear it up but given the clear signs of depression (sleeping virtually all day except for meals and mandatory yard and gym) it shouldn’t be that surprising. After that I’ll settle in to read all those magazines that Jackson so graciously lent me. *big smile*

 

Now to try out my new bed. *another big smile*

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