Today was Mother’s Day so I made sure to call mom and tell her I love her. I just wish I could have been out to take her to a Mother’s Day dinner, or give her a back rub, or even just hug and kiss her while watching HGTV. *sigh*


It was a pretty decent day here. I woke up for the second day in a row to the African “song bird” in medical singing through the floor. I feel sorry for the poor guys on the second tier who’s cells are right under him because he has quite a set of lungs on him if we can still hear him on the bottom tier. In the middle of the night a couple nights ago I heard loud banging coming from one of the cells on second tier. One of the 20-something guys was totally pissed off that he couldn’t sleep because of the singing so he was pounding on the metal plate for the bunks which are bolted directly to the walls so it was sending reverberations right into the building’s structure. He was trying to silence the singer in medical but of course it didn’t work. If anything it probably encouraged him. Why is he singing? He’s locked up in a tiny cell with no cellie and I don’t even know if he speaks English or if he can communicate with anyone when he’s out of his cell. He’s probably crazy bored and lonely and wanting any interaction with another human being. So what does he do? He sings in solitude, crying out for contact and when he hears a response, any response, he knows someone heard him. He’s made contact and he’s been acknowledged. He does exist, he does matter, someone heard him… I wonder if that’s what my journal is? A shout into the void? Will anyone hear?


Well there’s the danger of writing while listening to Hearts of Space, you get very existential and melancholy (sp?). *chuckle*


I said I’d describe the other’s on A side. Let me go down the bottom tier as best I can. In cell 1 is Brian Marshall and Travis Swanson. Marshal is white, a bit older than myself I’d say with salt and pepper hair, is in about as good a shape as I am but is trying to get in better shape (I think because he feels he’ll have to defend himself once he gets to Tecumseh). He has a very long sentence of something like 30-50 I believe, also given to him my Arterburn. He and I talk quite a bit because we’re similar ages, both were professionals and he’s a fairly bright guy. He saw me reading Godless and engaged me in a theological/cosmological debate as he’s a Christian, attempting to be a Catholic. I really didn’t want to start debating theology with anyone in here as prison isn’t populated with the most open minded, rational and calm individuals, especially when it comes to their religious beliefs but I took Marshal to be better than the average inmate at keeping his temper and he engaged me after all. We’ve talk several times about religion since. He’s also interested in yoga as he has lower back and hip problems too so I’ve shown him some of the yin yoga stretches I do. One day at yard he was clearly depressed so I caught up to him as we walked in circles around the yard and asked him what was up. He said he had written his girlfriend (or ex girlfriend) because he had received mixed signals from her as to whether she wanted to keep in touch or not. He’s in for something involving her daughter after all but he’d gotten the impression she was open to the possibility of continuing a relationship. Well, she replied…to the warden asking why they let him mail her, didn’t they censor inmate mail and she didn’t want to every hear from him again. There was no “no contact” order so he wasn’t breaking any rules but with a response like that the warden sent an officer to talk to him and tell him in no uncertain terms that he was not to contact her again. I can see why he was depressed. So I tried to improve his mood by sharing what I like to do when I’m down: focus on those things you ought to be grateful for. I said it may sound corny but it is actually shown to work. We tried to come up with that he could be grateful for, which was hard since he was being sarcastic. I guess gratitude only works if you’re in a mind frame to acknowledge those things you should be grateful for. *sigh* His mood was better after our chat though. *smile* I’ve also been sharing Sci Fi books that I come across with him as he’s a fellow geek. LOL

Travis Swanon’s probably in his late 30’s, bushy reddish-brown hair and beard, fit and he used to work on a far so they call him Big Country. He does have a bit of a country drawl. He’s very sociable and nice. He’s probably the second most helpful person, after Jeff, when it came to learning how things work around here. I don’t know his charges or how much time he has. He plays a lot of handball and is very good at it. I’m thinking about picking up handball since I used to play racquetball and I’ll probably ask him to practice with me. He’s the typical handyman, fix-it, farmer type in that he is very mechanically inclined. Apparently at one point he even did work on repairing the magnetic locking mechanism like what are in our doors at some other prison or jail but that’s the only background he’s ever shared with me. I guess he’s sociable but private too. There used to be a 20-something kid in 1 named Josh that went out to the NSP dorms with Jeff. He’s the one that asked me about taiji and how to use his body weight, even though he wasn’t fat, just thicker build. He was a nice kid and treated me with respect though he was easily influenced and fell in with this annoying guy named Chuck that was in 1 for a while. Chuck used to be in our cell before Dennis and I arrived but he was sent out to Hall Co. jail. Grand Island hoses some state inmates and is the only jail that can take people from unit 1, though Chuck would swear that he wasn’t a sex-offender and had the typical inmate attitude about SOs.┬áChuck was short, probably in his 50s, in and out of prison his whole life to gauge from his attitude and how comfortable he was in here, and had an in your face attitude most of the time though never in my face at least. I didn’t appreciate that he felt like my cell was still his cell and he would come in and get hot water any time he wanted. One time he came in and hid Jacob’s pillow and stole our trash can as a joke but we locked down before he gave it back so it sat outside our cell door all night. He did come to me twice to ask for help writing kites to medical to try and get back on some anti-seizure and bipolar meds so that they wouldn’t send him back to Hall Co. When he needed something he was nice enough I guess. He was sent to NSP recently too.