17 Jun 04

Frankie’s Proposal

On Friday morning, the guards thwarted an escape attempt by two inmates, and the jail administration decided to punish everyone. We were placed on security override for four days, confined to our cells, unable to shower, make phone calls, dispose of our trash and dinner trays. Soaring temperatures and a purposefully low trickle of swamp-cooled air quickly caused us to reek like wet dogs. Our cell soon stunk like a cheap restaurant's dumpster on a hot day. The filthy conditions were received enthusiastically by las cucarachas. They launched their most aggressive offensive yet. Around the clock, they plundered the red death Mark had left. At night, they crunched under my shower sandles when I visited the toilet.

The lockdown and AK’s bop-bop-bopping undoubtedly contributed to the nervous breakdown of Eric (AK’s fifty-year-old cellmate).
Early Monday morning, Eric yelled, “Get me outta here!" repeatedly for fifteen minutes. His voice inflection ranged from that of a demonically-possessed man - worse than something from The Exorcist - to that of a sobbing child. The guards removed Eric from AK's cell, and after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, he was moved in with Blueberry.

On Wednesday morning, I was summoned to the Medical Unit. I had entered a Correctional Health Services Inmate Medical Request on the 1st of June:
“Blisters have formed on the bedsore on my left buttock. Requesting cream.”

Due to the amount of bedsores I've had while jailed, the medical staff regularly inspect my behind. But Wednesday morning's encounter with the new Filipino doctor was somewhat disturbing. After dropping my pants, the doctor perused my foresty posterior and stated, “You have scaling on both left and right sides.”
I thought the exam was over, but the doctor said, “How about the front?”
”The front?” I asked.
“Yes, the front. Just turn around,” he said, his eyes animating.
Wondering, Who am I to question a professional? I turned around. I was expecting a positive comment on the health of my reproductives, but he suddenly lunged forward as if to grab my them. I automatically jerked backwards. To fend him off, I grabbed and raised my scrotum. Shaking it at him, I yelled, “Look! The front's fine!”
”Yes. They look quite OK to me,” he replied, softening his voice.
I emerged from the doctor's with Clotrimazole Anti-Fungal Cream.
After seeing the doctor, the next patient returned to the Medical Unit holding cell and blurted out, “That doctor just grabbed my dick without any gloves on!"
”He tried to do the same to me,” I said.
The rest of the inmates either sniggered or exchanged nervous looks as the prospect of receiving the same treatment dawned on them.

On Wednesday night, Frankie peeped through my cell window when I was rubbing the anti-fungal cream on my left buttock. His eyes smouldered with desire. I received a love letter from him the next morning: "...looking forward to our upcoming gay marriage in San Francisco, and shampooing your hairy ass on our honeymoon.”

Frankie was delighted that the solitary witness in his double-homicide case was recently deemed "mentally incompetent" causing his proposed sentencing range to drop from twenty-five years to life, to six to ten years.
10 Jun 04

AK and Blueberry

Young AK was arrested after pointing an AK-47 at his stepfather. He is now my noisy neighbour. From Sinaloa, Mexico, he fancies himself as a troubadour. In Spanish, he is constantly singing romantic songs, but he ends each verse with:

Bop! Bop! Bop!
Gimme liberty or gimme death!
Bop! Bop! Bop! Bop!

His bop-bop-bopping has annoyed everyone. And usually, when everyone gets annoyed, someone gets hurt. I suspect he will be getting bopped soon.

On Saturday morning, the jail was placed on "security override," and all of our cells were searched. We later found out that a drug ring was arrested here at the Madison Street jail. It included one guard, one nurse and ten inmates. Supposedly a Mexican Mafia operation. The Mexican Mafia is one of the most powerful prison gangs in Arizona.

On Tuesday morning, Frankie hollered into the vent,"Got any jelly, cell 15?"
"I do not,” I said.
"Does your celly?" Frankie asked.
"I do," Mark said.
"He does," I yelled.
"Slide it under your door and I'll send Blueberry up to get it," Frankie said.
"OK," I said.

Blueberry climbed the stairs to get the jelly.
"Thanks, cell 15," Frankie shouted.
"You're welcome,” I said.
"Look out of yer window. Someone else wants to thank you," Frankie said.
Through the window, I saw young Blueberry bent over with his pants pulled down, his hands spreading his buttocks as wide as they'd go.
“Do you like it?" Frankie asked.
“Do you like it?" Blueberry said, imitating a woman's voice.
“No me gusta,” I responded in Spanish to Frankie, so as not to dampen Blueberry's spirit.
Frankie cackled impishly.
3 Jun 04

Wedded to Dope

In this Hades, the hobby of the majority is injecting drugs. Dozens of men eagerly share one syringe. Diseases, especially hepatitis C, are commonly transferred. They store ("keyster") their drugs, mostly heroin and crystal meth, in Saran Wrap, balloons or condoms shoved in their behinds.

The illegal drug use is only half of the story. Three times a day, a crotchety nurse goes from door to door dispensing "meds." Up to one third of the inmates are recipients of these pills. The most common are Wellbutrin, Klonapin, Prozac, Cojetin, Loxieen, Paxil, Haldol, Elovil and Seroquil.

The inmates snigger at how easy it is to obtain these free drugs. They simply tell the "psych doctor" they are hearing voices or are unable to sleep. Inmates use the pills to vary their highs, or trade for food and illegal drugs. Sheriff Joe Arpaio regularly appears on TV boasting that it costs the taxpayer a pittance to feed us society’s refuse, but he never mentions the millions of dollars being spent on expensive medications, which the drug companies are profiting handsomely from. I wonder whether these companies make political contributions to Arpaio.

It's been an infernally normal week. Outdoor temperatures are approaching 110 degrees. At night, I watch las cucarachas scurrying to and fro, convinced they are waiting for me to go to sleep to get at my earwax. Mark and I now catch one another chasing imaginary cockroaches.

The dirty potato peelings are back in the evening chow. Dry citrus fruit are the new additions to breakfast. The stench of filth and sweat pervades the air. The bedsore on my left buttock cheek is blistered and bleeding. My mouth and tongue are ulcerated. These conditions were designed to break the human spirit. As the periodic suicides indicate, death is a more attractive place for some inmates.

"What is important in life is life and not a result of life."
Goethe (1749-1832)
27 May 04

On Sunday morning, I awoke to find two cockroach corpses crushed on my mattress. I must have rolled on top of them in my sleep.

Two more inmates collapsed and were stretchered to the Medical Unit. Including Jose from cell 1, who, during a shootout over drugs with fellow Mexican Nationals, had received seventeen bullet wounds. The stitches holding his stomach in had loosened, and it appeared his internal organs were about to spill out.

Rumour has it the diabetic who entered a coma last week died, and the jail is under investigation.
We have been told for the past three months that the swamp cooler is "broken" and that a "work order" has been entered, but when the County Health Department inspected the jail on Tuesday and Wednesday, the air was blowing at gale force and the water in the shower was running hot enough to redden my skin. After the inspectors left the building someone immediately switched the air back to the broken setting. And it didn’t take long for the inmates to replace the semen that had been cleaned up from the shower floor.

Frankie is always in a high state of sexual arousal. He has solicited most members of our pod, including me, to be "boned down" and "turned out." His boldness has increased due to his followers egging him on. I am convinced that if all of our cell doors were simultaneously opened, half of the inmates would form an orgy.
Frankie now proclaims, "I'm takin' us back to the fuckin' Roman days! Call me Caeser the booty teaser!” One of Frankie’s new tricks is to have a neighbour throw him a "fishing line" (a long piece of string which inmates use to pass contraband from cell to cell with) so that he can tie it to his penis while his neighbour pulls on the string.

I received a large photograph in the mail. It exceeded the 4 x 6 inches allowed by the jail, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was not rejected by the mail officer. It was a picture of a bespectacled President Bush signing some documents. In the lower margin was a personalized message with my name on it: "Thank you for your support of the Republican National Committee. Grassroots leaders like you are the key to building a better, stronger, more secure future for our nation and all Americans... Best Wishes, George. W. Bush."

Now that the president has discerned my true nature, I am hopeful for a pardon!