It was quite a day of changes today. Last week they took Jacobs to NSP which left Dennis and me in the cell and looking for a 3rd so we wouldn’t get a random guy put in here. This morning the CO (we call him smiley because he never smiles) popped our door and said “Pack up, you’re going to NSP” but he didn’t say who and since Dennis was told he would be sent to Tecumseh and I was told I would most likely go to NSP, at first I thought he meant me. Then he handed Dennis the garbage bags to pack up his stuff and I went from excited about getting out of here to realizing I was now a single person in a cell so I’d certainly get some new, random cellie soon. *sigh* Of course I was happy for Dennis, who was in a bit of a daze (thought that’s kind of normal for him) and when it sunk in that he was going to NSP he became a bit nervous, much like Jeff had. He knew me as a cellie, and liked me, but now he was going to a completely new prison with a new cellie and new routines, of course it made him nervous. I tried to calm his fears and reassure him. He had to move eventually and better sooner rather than later. He was going to NSP where it would be just 2 men to a cell. He’d likely see Jacobs there. He’d even be able to get personal clothing and a TV so what’s not good about that? Of course he’s going to general population now, from our semi-segregated unit here, so he may have to deal with a cellie or other inmates who disapprove of sex-offenders. But I have my suspicions that the reason he went before me and to NSP to boot, along with Blue who just turned 59 last week and another older guy from B side, is that they have an “elderly” housing unit at NSP so I think Dennis will be just fine. Mind you, that’s only a guess, but the evidence supports the conclusion. I also suspect that whatever the age cutoff for this unit, I am below it, which is why I didn’t get to go. 🙁
As soon as the CO gave Dennis the trash bags to pack in (no Louis Vuitton (sp?) luggage in prison LOL) he turned to me and asked if I wanted a porter position. Blue, this older Latino guy with no bottom dentures so he always walked around looking like he was swallowing his lower lip,was a porter and was going to NSP too so they had an opening.
My immediate response was to tell him it should go to someone who is in more need of the money (something like $1.20/day Ha!). Then I hesitated and he was kind enough to offer to let me think about it to which I said I’d let him know by our first dayroom, after we went to yard. I help Dennis pack, which was good because he was rattled and had not paid attention to everyone who had previously left so he didn’t know what to put where or how to pack. *rolls his eyes* We packed up all his state clothing, sheets, blankets, etc into the big trash bag and then started packing his personal items into the little one. Dennis, being a religious man, had asked his son to send him a Bible. His son obliged by sending him the last Bible anyone would ever need. It had annotations, appendices, commentary and even maps and all bound in a fine leather cover. Such a Bible as to be a family heirloom in generations past, or an academic theologian’s most prized possession. However, it’s suitability for an inmate is somewhat in question. It weighed probably a good 5 pounds and was quite sizable. Add to that the fact that Dennis had been baptised while here and the church that sponsored the baptism had sent him another Bible, one with extra large print for the easy or reading by an elderly man such as Dennis. It too was quite large. And Dennis had also asked his son to send him some other literature to read. And what kind of literature do you think Dennis’s taste gravitate toward? Why biographies and histories of course (that seems to be the prefered literature of most significantly conservative persons I’ve met in my life) and those are tomes with some serious heft, both literarily and literally. *chuckle* After putting all his personal library in the little trash bag 2 things became clear: One, there was no room for the rest of his personal effects, like hygiene products or food item. And two, the poor, thin trash bag was not created to contain such weighty words. Jacobs had been accidentally given an extra small trash bag when he packed and had no need for it so I had kept it. I offered it to Dennis to allow him to finish packing but he still needed to request another from the bubble to double bag his ponderous pages.
Typical to all transfers I have seen, they were rushed to get packed…and then sat and waited. They weren’t called for before we went out to yard at 8AM so Dennis got to say goodbye to everyone here. He even transferred some of the debts owed to him (he was a virtual pop token bank and loan) to me so it is now incumbent on me to collect in his memory. LOL While out at yard I made a point of walking with George. Now that I was in the cell by myself, I didn’t need to run potential cellies by anyone else and I think George and I would get along well. He’s mild mannered, a voracious reader and seems to be one of the sharper knives in this drawer of cutlery. *grin* So we were discussing the idea of him moving into my humble cell. He’s quite open to the idea, but never took any action on it all day today so I’m not quite sure we ended on a mutual understanding. We were interrupted by Rj who almost seems infatuated with me. You know how a young boy, not knowing how to express his attraction to a girl with pull her ponytail, or bump into her rudely in passing or some such thing? Well RJ does that with me. I’ll be walking the yard and he’ll bump into me then start walking with me. Or I’ll be sitting watching TV and he’ll walk by and knock off my shower shoe from the foot of my crossed leg. I don’t think it’s a physical attraction, more likely just the fact that I’m nice to him when most write him off as slightly mentally deficient. So while I’m discussing a cell move with George, Rj tags along and interrupts our private conversation.
To start a new topic of conversation I brought up the offer to be a porter figuring that RJ would give me some inside info on the job as he is a porter. I told him I hadn’t accepted it yet and that I thought it should go to someone who could use the money more than me. RJ made 2 very good points. One, that if I turned it down they wouldn’t necessarily give it to someone else who needed the money more. And two, that accepting the job now would put me in a better position to get another job when I get to my final prison and would look better for the parole board. Ok, cudos to RJ, he may not be too wise but he is definitely prison-wise. I decided that even if it cut into my reading and yoga time I had better accept the job.
Unfortunately, after a few laps with RJ in tow, George decided to peel off (and get away from RJ ha). That’s when RJ launched into his hard sell for me to ask to be moved into his cell with him and Casper, this small, kind of strange (they’ve called him ET) kid. There’s just a sense that something is not totally right with Casper. He’s short but pretty fit, receding hairline at the age of 20, he’s exceedingly pale, freckled and has reddish-blond hair, there’s something about his facial features that makes me thinks he’s mixed race. He’s very respectful toward me but he seems kind of desperate to “fit in.” Well, RJ wanted me to move in with them. *sigh* He made good points. The COs would like having 2 porters in one cell so it would be easier to wake them in the mornings and to unlock to let us in and out for work. Having 3 people in a cell would make it very unlikely that they would assign some random new cellie to our cell since there are so many 2 person cells still. We could “take care of each other” by which I take him to mean we could watch out for each other, have each other’s backs. But honestly, I do NOT want to be in a cell with those 2. RJ is constantly interrupting my reading or TV watching in the day room or my walking on yard while I’m listening to the radio, I can’t imagine how impossible it would be to get any peace and quiet if I lived with him. I was trying to get quiet George to move into my cell and now RJ is trying to get me to move into his. Things went a little sideways at yard. LOL Eventually, at dayroom when RJ kept pressuring me to talk to the CO I told him I didn’t want to be in a cell with a young guy like his cellie, I needed older, quieter cellies. That deflected the issue nicely without insulting him. *wink*
After that, it was time to start my new job. And my first time working was going to be over lunch. I’m a bathroom/shower porter (same as I was in CA, it is my calling I guess) so while the food serving porters set up lunch I went around and cleaned the 4 restrooms/showers at both ends of each tier. Archuleta, the lead porter, worked on the restrooms with me, I cleaned the sink and toilets and restocked the toilet paper and he mopped up afterwards. That went well enough, then I helped spray and clean the tables after A side ate.
There is a lockdown and count between the 2 sides being served lunch. When I came out to help with B side I got bored waiting for them to set up, serve, and finish eating so I went around and sprayed and cleaned all the cell door knobs and door windows, the windows to the yard and all the railings on the second tier and stairs. I’m just an over-achiever, for prison that is. LOL
My second shift working was over dinner. Normally, there are a couple of porters from each side working but today I was the only A side porter. All the others had their day off today. That usually isn’t a problem except today was the day that B side went to gym in the middle of the afternoon so they wouldn’t be around to set up before dinner as usual. As B side was lining up to go to gym Archuleta came to my door and was running through all the things I would need to do. I’d have to get the food service cart out from its storage compartment, set it up in the proper place, plug it in, fill the 3 right most chafing dishes with an inch of water, turn them up to 4-5, get the floor mop (not the bathroom mop) out of the utility closet and fill it with water and set it out. Hmm, I took mental notes and figured I could accomplish all of that without ever having seen it done. They left for gym and the CO did the 4 o’clock count then let me out to start setting up. Somehow RJ got his attention and told him he’d come work on his day off to show me how to set up, after all, it was my first day and I would be doing it alone. That was very helpful, because there was a lot of other set up of the food station that needed to be done that I wasn’t told about. However, RJ did confuse the floor and bathroom mops so Archuleta did have to correct that when he got back. Overall the dinner set up went very smoothly, thanks to RJ’s help. To show his gratitude for RJ stepping up to help, the CO game him extra fortune cookies which we had for dessert. After dinner I also got to help hand out clean laundry which the porters make fun by throwing the laundry bags hard against the cell doors to “announce” that you’ve got a bag. LOL Then after the 8:30PM lockdown we had a final bathroom cleaning and floor mopping to do. I’d say it’s a pretty easy job but then again it doesn’t pay much. *chuckle* I’ll just have to reorganize my routine so I have time for yoga, reading and writing but I’m sure I can make it work. *smile*