Today was my first full day at my new “job” as a porter here at D&E. The work is easy enough and it does get me out of my cell quite a bit but that has both pros and cons. Pro, well, I’m out of my cell more. Need I say more? LOL Con, I don’t have as much time to do reading or writing and I’m going to have to figure out when I’ll be in my cell for at least an hour straight so I can do my yoga. Today I did it after lockdown at 9PM but that’s kind of late. I’d prefer to do it during the day so it loosens me up for at least part of the day. I am going to get to use the alarm on my watch to wake me up early enough to be groomed and dressed when they call us between 6Am and 630. Today I woke up before it went off but it’s good to have it for when I don’t wake myself.
I’m a shower porter so basically I clean the showers and restrooms 3 times a day and then help clean up after each meal. It’s because of the help with the meals that I am out most of the time. Since A and B side don’t eat together we have to set up, serve and clean up twice for every meal and most of that time we shower porters just stand around waiting for a table to clear so we can wipe it down. Tomorrow I’m going to take my radio with me and listen to NPR news while I’m just standing around. Though Mike (Colorado), the other shower porter, really likes to chat so I’ll have to engage him enough to be diplomatic. LOL One nice benefit is that we have some downtime after lunch where we get to stay in the day room but we’re usually done cleaning. During that period we can ask to clean our own cells which means we don’t have to negotiate with the other cells to get in line for the mop in the morning and we can get our own clean water and use some of the good cleaners in our cell. I did that today and the floor, sink and toilet were nice and shiny and the cell smelled better than it does when you use the water that several other cells used to mop their floors already. *chuckle*
The CO Cherry was on the floor this evening and he was over the moody funk he was in a week or so ago so he talked and joked more. At one point he was walking with me back from the cleaning supply closet and he asked why I hadn’t been a porter before now, which I thought was an odd question because they choose the porter. I said they hadn’t offered it to me till just this past week and he said I should have been a porter from the day I arrived. I’m not sure if he was complimenting my compulsive cleaning behavior or sympathizing that it would have been good for me to be getting out of my cell from the start, or maybe a bit of both, but it was a moment of genuine human connection and I appreciated it. Nothing like that would have ever happened in CA. Again, Cherry, the CO he defended my taiji practice from heckling from unit 2’s yard, earned my respect for making a small but significant effort to connect as human beings.
At yard today I tried to listen to Radio Lab, and episode on chance and randomness, but Tanner, Jackson’s cellie, came up and seemed to need to chat. He usually walks the yard with George but George was working out so Tanner needed a talking partner. How that fell to me I’m not sure but oh well. You can’t expect any quiet private time anywhere while you’re in prison…well MAYBE in the shower. *chuckle* Tanner is an early 20s white kid from Kearney I take it. He’s into automotive repair but that makes him sound like some cool auto-mechanic type but he’s actually pretty geeky and kind of awkward, though not as nerdy and uncoordinated as Josh whom the unit has taken to actually calling Nerd. LOL Tanner and I talked about nothing of significance but he seemed to enjoy it. I would have prefered to listen to Radiolab but hey, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, when in prison, you’d damn well better make an effort to get along with the other prisoners. LOL
At gym tonight I didn’t play any handball because my achilles tendon is quite sore. I think playing in ankle high boots is the cause so I took a break to let it heal some. George had also injured himself playing handball yesterday, he twisted his ankle when he stepped on Tanner’s foot. *chuckle* So we were both benched with injuries.
I decided that if there was anyone I’d like to talk to it would be George so I sat on the bench near the handball court with him and we watched the games and talked. George was quite a handball player in his youth, he’s 29 now I think, He went to nationals while he was in highschool, but it was real handball not using a racquetball like they do here. He also did Scuba diving and had told me earlier that he wanted to go to an underwater welding program in FL but couldn’t afford it. Towards the end of the gym time we got into discussing MMORPGs, or online roleplaying games, like World Of Warcraft. He played WoW some but mostly did Sci Fi games. I told him I used to play EverQuest (or EverCrack as we called it because it was so addictive) but he had never heard of it. I guess I’m just too old school. *chuckle*
My new cellie, Jerri, and I are getting along OK, though he still insists on talking more than I’d like. See, I can’t even get quiet time in my own cell. At least he’s coherent, though EXTREMELY Christian, so every conversation eventually comes around to God. I will say that he can discuss current events like the election which is more than I could say for Dennis and he doesn’t seem to have incontinence problems like Dennis did. Yay! As I said, Jerri is here from Lancaster county jail on the Safe Keep program and he had actually been here for 5 days up in a cell in medical before he was moved in with me. Tonight he opened up and shared with me why he was moved here from county and why he was in medical for 5 days. While being held in jail, not for a pending criminal charge but rather for a civil commitment hearing, he was assaulted in the showers and beaten up. Poor guy is small and older than me so he couldn’t defend himself and they must have beat him up badly enough to warrant being in medical for 5 days though I haven’t seen any bruises or signs of the assault. After he was beaten up they took him out of the jail and moved him here, and I guess they figured I wouldn’t be likely to hurt him so they put him with me. I kind of feel like a baby sitter, first for Dennis and now for Jerri. LOL