5th August 04 David and the Grim Reaper
David's fluoxetine prescription commenced on Tuesday. David divulged some things about his life that may have contributed to his mental instability.
When David was thirteen one of his friends put a bullet into a drinking straw and threw it into the air. When it landed it exploded. David watched his friend die as the bullet entered his chin and exited through the back of his head.
At age 17 David woke up to find his fiancée of four years dead. He was arrested and interrogated about her murder for two weeks. An autopsy revealed that she had died from toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon.
David’s father was murdered – shot dead by a biker gang in Sunnyslope – when David was in his mid-twenties. Last year, his wife, the mother of his five children suffered a rollover car accident. Her spinal chord snapped and she died. His thirty-four-year-old brother is looking after his five children, while David serves a two-year sentence after being caught with a ten-dollar bag of speed.
This week David received a disciplinary ticket, which may cause his stay at SMU2 to be extended. The cover of his decrepit mattress was peeling, so, for comfort purposes, David removed the rest of it. Our cell floor became littered with pieces of what looked like blue confetti. The mess attracted a young Chicano guard. A cell search followed.
The guard instructed me to strip naked and to show him my hands, teeth, armpits and feet. I was ordered to raise my scrotum. Finally, I had to bend over, spread my cheeks and cough. David was instructed to do the same. We were handcuffed through the trap in the door, and moved from the cell in our boxer shorts to a small recreation pen where we played handball.
Upon our return, David was ticketed for destroying state property. He may be charged up to $150 restitution to replace the mattress. Several tickets can jeopardize an inmate’s eligibility for early release. David has pleaded not guilty and he has a hearing next week.
An inmate directly above us tried to commit suicide. The method was not disclosed. He was escorted to a suicide watch room, where, according to David, he will be bound by leather handcuffs and have his legs chained down. One arm will be unbound during meals so that he can scoop the food into his mouth. David has been to suicide watch rooms on two occasions. He once tried to kill himself at the county jail by drinking bleach.
I received the peanut butter I ordered. I’m only allowed twelve ounces per week. The Diet Request Form finally arrived so my vegetarian diet should be up and running soon. David got so hungry that he traded his library allowance (one book per two weeks) to me, for half of a twelve-ounce bag of Granny Goose Dip Chips (more commonly known in England as "plain crisps").
I have many insect bites on my head, legs and arms but they are not too uncomfortable – only mild suffering. I’m not sure if the black earwig that I found in my bedding caused them. The variety of insects here is far more enjoyable to look at than the cockroaches at the jail. Some of the louder inmates have moved on so things have quietened down a little at nighttimes. I expect that I’ll be here for at least two more months.