August 19 06
Minimised (Part 2)
The blood splattered on the floor, ceiling, walls, bunks, windows, toilet, sink, door, table, shelves, and corkboard in my new cell would likely cause a practitioner of feng shui some concern.
"There was a fight," Piggie said.
"The cops half-assed cleaned the blood. Dude's cheek got bitten off. It ripped his face wide open. The other dude was talented with his fists, elbows and head buttin'."
"It looks like the guy who lost all this blood must have needed a transfusion afterwards," I said.
"I'm a porter. I'll getcha some cleaning supplies," Piggie said.
At least it's a single cell, I thought. I can clean the blood up. But there's no mattress, lightbulb, trashcan or chair. How's a writer supposed to function with no chair? I'd better go and get permission to get my mattress from Yard 4.
Thirty minutes later I returned with my mattress and discovered my new cellmate, Midnight, throwing up blood in the toilet.
"Shouldn't you be at hospital," I said. "That's a lot of blood."
"I just spent four days at the hospital," Midnight said. "Morphine IVs. A CAT scan. A GI tube down my throat. A cancer biopsy. They said there's a cancerous lump closin' one of my intestines. After I drink fluid it all comes up bright red like this."
"That's rough. Did they give you anything for it?"
"I'm on Vicodin, Elavil, Omeprazole, Acetaminophen, and stomach-nausea pills." Midnight faced me. He displayed a chin covered in blood.
A wood entered the cell and said,"Jon, can I speak to you outside?"
"Yeah, sure," I said, and exited."What's the matter?"
"Look, your new celly just got beat up. I've been asked to tell you not to get involved."
"Yeah, he owes money. Stay out of it, OK? He might have to move off this yard."
"If he owes money, I'd rather not be involved."
I went back inside and said,"Someone here beat you up?"
"Yeah, I've had two fights today. One on Yard 2 before I left and another one just now."
"In this cell?"
"Yeah, some dude just came inside, asked me for the time, and sucker-punched me."
"That's a lot of drama. Will there be more problems like that coming to this cell?"
"I think it's squashed now."
What have I got into? I thought. They say Yard 1 is mellow yet a guy just got his cheek bitten off and my celly got beat up as soon as he arrived. All this blood is a bad sign. And no chair. A writer with no chair. Calm down. Would Marcus Aurelius be phased by some blood? Try not to be affected by what is happening externally. This is good stuff to write about. Whatever will happen next?
"I gotta tellya upfront, celly," Midnight said.
"What's that," I said.
"'Cause of my medical problems, I hafta pee through the night. Wouldja rather I flush the toilet and make noise or just leave my pee in the can?"
"The flushing will wake me up," I said. "Let's leave it in the can."
Midnight and I spent hours cleaning up the blood. We still find spots of it here and there.
Coming soon: How an accident led to Midnight losing his family, home and job as a heavy-machine operator. And the cocaine, crack and meth addicitions that led to his imprisonment.