27 April 07

Update on Joe Arpaio's Cockroaches

One of my neighbours, Hound, recently stayed at the Maricopa County jail.
“How bad was it?” I asked.
Towers has that same funk smell they can’t get rid of.” Hound said. “It permeates the walls. It’s like Arpaio had 'em take some of the rotten meat they serve us, and use it as wallpaper.”
“Are they still serving red death?”
“How did you deal with it?”
“I didn’t deal well. I was on the toilet a lot of the time I was there.”
“What was the cockroach factor?”
“Out of control. I spent one day at Madison St jail. I can’t even explain or tell you how many cockroaches there were. It’s like it’s their turf. You get a sense of intruding on their environment. We walked in, and they’re sitting on old rotten apples just looking at us with what-do-you-think-you’re-doing? kinda expressions. Everyone starting asking for TP. I’m thinking, Did the shitter peanut butter go through them that quick? Then I see them making little balls out of the paper. I’m wondering what they’re doing. I notice them sticking the paper in their ears and noses, and then vying for positions to lie down on the floor. The TP was to protect themselves from the cockroaches.”
“The cockroaches I lived with loved earwax.”
“They bunged their ears up. Then, when they would lie on a spot on the floor the cockroaches would literally move out in, like waves to give room to the inmate. But the cockroaches got pissed off that an inmate had taken their spot. So the war was on. It started with the cockroaches that had moved out with the wave. They grouped up in regiments to figure out how they were gonna handle the invasion. Some crawled up the walls. Now, I’m sitting on a picnic bench, sick of listening to people go on about how they were wrongly accused and how they were gonna beat their cases; so, I turn to the cockroaches for entertainment. I figured they’re crawling up the walls just to find a crack to return to their houses, but that wasn’t the case. I saw a huge one, maybe an inch long, crawling up the wall looking behind him, trying to set himself up for the right angle of descent.”
“He was a jumper?”
“Yes. You knew it from the way he kept looking behind himself. The guy lying on the floor below the cockroach was a snorer with his mouth wide open. I knew what was coming. At the perfect moment the cockroach lined himself up. I swear I heard it scream banzai! as it released itself from the wall and did an Olympic diver back flip. It missed his mouth by inches, and landed on his cheek. With the big roach on his face, and the ground troops crawling up the inside of his pants legs, I knew it was time to wake the guy up and let him know he was being infested. Then there was the mouse.”
“A mouse?”
“Yes. At Towers, despite the lack of food – the rotten meat and two slices of bread to last us all day – a mouse came in every night as soon as the lights went off like she had a reservation at a restaurant. She would stare at me in the dark looking for scraps I may have left. As starving as I was I figured I’d rather feed her, and have her leave than to have her company all night long.”
“That was good lookin’ out.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

1 comment:

bram said...

really disgusting that those things still happen in our time, i thought it the first time when i read your experiences while being in jail in Texas, really, respect for what you've gone through and you still came out a healthier person.

keep your hopes up