24 Mar 07

Psychotherapy with Dr. T.

Amid an array of stationary and personal effects on Dr. T.’s desk were Power Plays by Tom Clancy and an Arizona Highways magazine.
After discussing my ups and downs, and what progress I’d made with Dr. O., Dr. T. asked where my level of self-understanding was at.

“Before my arrest I was unaware of my character flaws. I was oblivious. I never took time out to think about the reasons behind my behaviour. Since then, the psychotherapy sessions, and my studies of psychology have enabled me to better understand myself. I realise all humans are imperfect and carry the seeds of psychopathology. We all have dual natures: good sides and bad sides. In prison, I see people going to the bad by immersing themselves in drugs. And I see people purporting to go to the good, but, like Dorian Gray, keeping their bad sides hidden. Instead of going in those directions, I’ve tried to learn about my bad side and my character flaws, and how to channel my energy into positive directions such as yoga and writing. My goal is to become a better person, instead of being a sex and drugs maniac, and having my life crash again.”
“Out of the disorders you mentioned,” Dr. T. said, “your bipolar and anxiety problems are classified as Axis One major mental disorders. Bipolar is thought to be genetic, and although I’m against meds, ninety-nine-point-nine percent of psychiatrists would recommend treatment with meds such as lithium and Depakote.”
“I’m against meds. I prefer the holistic approach. By changing the way I think I’m trying to address the root causes of my problems instead of just masking the symptoms.”
“Borderline personality is an Axis Two personality disorder. Out of all the personality disorders, it’s the most difficult and painful. In the past were you impulsive?”
“Did you drive recklessly?”
“You already mentioned sex and drug abuse. Did you have intense relationships that went bad?” “Yes.”
“Did you feel devastated afterwards?”
“Did you fell totally alone to the point were you would do anything to avoid being avoided?”
“Sometimes I liked being alone. Other times I threw parties so that I’d be surrounded by thousands of people.”
“Do you experience emotional ups and downs on the yard?”
“Not like before. It’s tapered off.”
“Were you abused as a child?”
“No. I had a model upbringing.”
“Does anyone visit you?”
“Yes. My parents usually come at least once a year.”
After discussing my post-release goals, Dr. T. said, “It sounds like you have good plans, and you’ve come a long way in understanding yourself. It’s obvious that Dr. O. had a big impact on you. That’ll be all for now. If you’d like to continue psychotherapy just put a HNR in and I’ll schedule you.”
“OK. Thanks.”

After this session, I read some of Meeting the Shadow by Zweig & Adams, and I was moved by the following quote:

The great epochs of our lives are at the points when we gain courage to rebaptize our badness as the best in us.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
20 Mar 07

Xena V Bones

“How do you know if your celly is gay?” Xena asked.
“I dunno,” I said. “How?”
“’Cause his dick tastes like shit.”
“That’s foul.”
“I heard you’re gonna be banned from America,” Xena said.
“Hopefully, I’ll be banned from America too.”
“You guys are only being banned 'cause you’re gay,” said Bones. (Red’s partner, not Bones the South Side Posse Blood.)
“Bones ain’t gay,” Xena said. “He’s bisexual, but he only likes the female gender that walks on all fours. If he were an Iraqi, his girlfriend would have two humps. But for the moment he’s willin’ to settle for a ground squirrel.”
“My Auntie Lily, “I said, “claimed that sheep are the best fit.”
“Your Auntie Lily,” Xena said, “knows what’s up, but Bones doesn’t like sheep 'cause they’re too hairy and remind him of his celly. Besides, for someone of Bones’ delicate proportions, a ground squirrel is the right fit.”
“Fuck you, Xena,” Bones said. “I’m gonna kill you.”
“If Bones had a second penis in the back of his pants, it’d look just like another haemorrhoid.”
Argggh!” Bones said.
“What did Bones just say?” I asked.
“He said they’re not piles, they’re pimples. But he’s wrong 'cause if they were pimples, they wouldn’t be speaking to me. If you’ve never heard a haemorrhoid talk, just ask Bones to bend over. He does it all the time for me, and the last time one of the haemorrhoids said, ‘Lady Xena, you are the ruler and love of my life, and you can talk about me however you so shall choose.’ Bones still misses his squirrel [Bones once had a pet squirrel], and he misses it 'cause he can’t get blow jobs no more.”
“Is that right Bones?” I asked.
“Shut up! Both of you,” Bones said.
Slope joined us, and said,"It's the fuckin' pond skipper."
“What would you like Bones’ response to be, Xena?” I said.
“If you put this on the Internet,” Bones said, “I will pay people on Yard 1 to bend you over and get your guts. Arrrgh…”
“I’m lost, Bones,” I said. “Can you elaborate?”
“He’s sayin’,” Slope said, “you’ll be getting’ a cream-filled donut.”
“Xena, do you have my back on this?” I said.
“Your fuckin’ backside,” Bones said.
“You goddamn fuckin’ Limey fuckin’ inbred fuckin’ aristocrats needta quit inbreedin’,” Slope said.
“You’d better watch yourselves,” I said. “Xena’s got my back.”
“It’s too bad,” Xena said, “that I’m a homosexual 'cause Bones wants to hit it. He has lurid dreams about me. ”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
Flashback to Yard 4

The Distaste Harboured by Two Tonys for TV Mourners

“Yesterday,” Two Tonys began, “I turn on my TV set, and all I get is this fuckin’ Gerald Ford guy. They’re showin’ his fuckin’ life, his fuckin’ wife, his fuckin’ kids – on every channel: Ford – Ford – Ford. And everybody’s cryin’ over this fuckin’ guy: wah – wah – fuckin’ - wah. Whatthafuck am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to be mourning this motherfucker who never put a penny on my books? And I look at these fuckin’ schloughs, the people in line lookin’ at Ford’s body, wahin’ away as if their own mothers had croaked, actin’ like they know the motherfucker when they don’t know shit from Shinola. And I’m thinkin’: Ford was probably a nice guy who didn’t fuck his page boys and had his fuckin’ moments, but I ain’t gonna spend my afternoon mournin’ the motherfucker. Whatthafucks wrong with these fuckin’ people?
And it’s the same with James Brown. They’re mournin’ that motherfucker’s ass down there in Georgia. He never put no cash on my books either. And at his eulogy, I don’t hear 'em bustin' out with how he beat his old lady, and how he had fathered bastard kids all over the universe. Give that motherfucker a space-shuttle ticket to Mars, and he woulda had kids up there too. I didn’t hear the Reverend Al Sharpton mention how James fucked everything back stage that wasn’t tied down. And guess who shows up at his funeral? The world’s fuckin’ ugliest chomo: Michael Jackson with his fucked up face.
Death usually comes in threes, I’m told. First James Brown. Then that fuckin’ punk Ford who pardoned the biggest crook next to Dubya to ever get in the White House: Richard Nixon. So I said to myself: who’s gonna be the third? And lo and behold they kill the motherfucker who thought he was the second comin’ of Nebucadnezzar: Saddam Hussein. They put a noose around his neck, and hung him yellin’ ‘Burn in hell, motherfucker.’ Now don’t get me wrong, if ever a motherfucker had a good killin’ comin’ it was Saddam – especially for killin’ all those Kurds with the WMD and chemical weapons Ronald Reagan and Henry Kissinger sold him to attack Iran with. But I liked the way Saddam didn’t snivel. I’d like to go out like that – with no fuckin’ hood. Saddam went out on a strong note. He was a killer and a thug and all that shit, but ain’t they all? Bush is a fuckin’ killer: sixty or seventy thousand dead in Iraq ain’t no collateral damage – it’s straight up killin’, it’s genocide. I like how when they put the noose around his neck, Saddam was yellin’ Mohammed is his messenger, Allah is great, and all that Koran shit. Attaboy Nebuchadnezzar.
When John Lennon got whacked by that fuckin’ nutcake, they were lined up outside his and Yoko Ono’s fuckin’ apartment singin’ Imagine, Give Peace a Chance, and all that shit. Now did I like his music? Yes. Did the motherfucker ever put any money on my books from all his fuckin’ millions? No, not one single penny. Would he have come to my fuckin funeral if some fuckface had shanked me in the fuckin’ windpipe? Definitely not. How many of those motherfuckers out on the streets and at his funeral ever get to have tea and crumpets with the Liverpudlian? Not fuckin’ many. Yet they were out on the streets mournin’ like motherfuckers.
People need to getthafuck over the deaths of motherfuckers they don’t even know. Even if someone’s mom dies, shed a few tears, bury her, and get on with your fuckin’ life. 'Cause lemmetellyasomethin’: death is a part of fuckin’ life. Life and death go together like pork chops and apple sauce. Death ain’t nothin’. True believers in the Pearly Gates can’t wait to die. Same goes for the jihadists and their virgins. I ain’t been, but I’ve sent a few motherfuckers to the other side. But if they were alive today, they’d probably be trailer-park trash eatin’ outta Chef Boyardee cans, so I did 'em a favour. But that’s what I do, I do favours.
These TV mourners have got no fuckin’ lives. All this wah-wah-wah buisness is a cry for fuckin' help in a world that’s slowly becomin’ an insane asylum.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

07 Dec 06

Frankie in Trouble

Frankie sent a note summoning me to Yard 4's fence. During rec, I went to the fence, and a guard let Frankie out of his cell to speak to me.
“They’re tryin’ to supermax me, homey,” Frankie said. “To send me to SMU.”
“You must have got a lot of tickets,” I said.
“Yeah. I’ve had two for dirty UAs, one for hooch, three minors for bullshit, and they tried to get me for tryin’ to start a riot in the kitchen. They wanna override me all the way to supermax.”
“So you’d have to do the rest of your time at SMU?”
“How long have you got left?”
“June of 2008 is my minimum and my maximum is seven or eight months later.”
“Two years at SMU would be rough.”
“It ain’t nothin’, homey. I’ll do that motherfucker jackin’ off.”
“When will they decide what to do with you?”
“I’ve got a max-package hearing. My homey, Jay’s, gonna defend me. We’re gonna try and get the warden to agree to a contract, meanin’ I won’t get in no more trouble if he lets me stay. That’s gonna be real hard.”
“What’s going to be hard: getting the contract or staying out of trouble?”
“Stayin’ out of trouble. Hey, if they roll me up, don’t forget about me – especially when you get out.”
“I don’t think I could forget you if I gave it my best try.”
“Don’t make me fly over to England, foo’. I’ll carve you up and feed you to the sharks in the ocean.”
“That’s cheerful.”
“I’m gonna give you a drawin’ before I leave.”
“Of what?”
“My cock.” Frankie cackled and slapped his thighs.
“So there’s no hope of you staying in Tucson?”
“Nothin’ can save me from those fuckin’ cops. They hate me.”
“’Cause I don’t suck ass. Anyway, I gotzta go, Englandman. But I’ll send word about the hearing, so you can say goodbye to me.”
“Alright. Good luck my friend.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
10 Mar 07

A Brief and Inconsistent History of a Beef Between Two Tonys and Wall Basher

Two Tonys came to Yard 1 to supervise the paint crew on the basketball court. With him from Yard 3 was Wall Basher, an inmate who has punched walls so many times his hands are deformed.
Someone snuck up behind Two Tonys and put their hands over his eyes.
“Whothafucks behind me?” Two Tonys said. “I know those fuckin’ hands. And I know that fuckin’ buffalo tongue.”
Two Tonys hugged Jim Hogg and said, “I heard you’ve been talkin’ a lotta shit about me. Is it true?”
“Yeah,” Jim Hogg said. “I always do.”
“That’s alright then,” Two Tonys said.
“Why doesn’t Wall Basher tell Jon about the time he fell out with Two Tonys?” Jim Hogg said.
“’Cause Wall Basher doesn’t know shit from shinola.”
“Sez who, motherfucker?” Wall Basher said. “You tell the story as a lie. It started in ’98 with Rob, my celly, bein’ in debt for three-hundred dollars, and the guys holdin’ me responsible. When Rob rolled up, I had to pay the debt. Three years later Rob shows up livin’ with Two Tonys. I tell Rob, ‘Hey, dude, you owe me three-hundred dollars and you’re gonna fuckin’ pay me.’ Then Tow Tonys comes flyin’ out the house sayin’, ‘You sorry-ass motherfucker, I’ll fuck you up - ’”
“Then Two Tonys really went off,” Jim Hogg said, “sayin’ he’s a killer, and nobody ain’t gonna do nothin’ to Rob. He said, ‘If you wanna fuckin’ piece of me, grab your shit and let’s go to the shower, and I’ll stab you, motherfucker. Does this big motherfucker think he can come up to my fuckin’ house and put his fuckin’ hands on me? Can I get some escina?’ Then everybody backed up Two Tonys and no violence happened. And Wall Basher and Two Tonys didn’t talk for a week.”
“Is that how it went down?” I asked Two Tonys.
“Is it fuck,” Two Tonys said. “Lemmetellya whatthafuck happened. This youngster, Rob, moves in my cell like a deer in the headlights. He’s gotta lotta cheddar, so I see a chance for me to get a few fifty-dollar store bags outta the motherfucker. Then this big-handed motherfucker, who’s been tryin’ to pick my pocket since he’s known me, steps on my game by comin’ up in my fuckin’ house and callin’ the kid out. The kid comes back with sad eyes and a sad look on his face, and says he’s bein’ extorted.”
“But I wasn’t tryin to get in your fuckin’ store bag!” Wall Basher said.
“So I say to Wall Basher,” Two Tonys said, ‘Whatthafuck are you doin’? Staythafuck outta my house! Don’t be tryin’ to shake down on my fuckin’ celly.’”
“That’s a crock o’ shit,” Wall Basher said. “Two Tonys let money come between our friendship.”
“Hey, Wall Basher,” Jim Hogg said. “Why don’t you tell Jon how you got your name?”

Coming soon: How Wall Basher mangled his hands.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
07 Mar 07

The Royo Romance (Part 7)

Click here for Part 6.

Today there were food visits. Inmates descended upon Visitation like packs of hyenas joining a fresh kill. If the visitors hadn’t brought food their limbs would have been gnawed. After devouring home-cooked and restaurant meals, many inmates felt ill afterwards. Waiting to be strip-searched, some inmates fought hard not to throw up.

Royo Girl had stopped by one of my old haunts, Gandhi’s in Tucson, and picked up a box full of Indian food: vegetable samosas, aloo parantha, garlic naan, bhegan bharta, aloo gobi and lots of rice.

After the visit I wrote:

Thank you for allowing my stomach, that has shrunk from nearly five years of living off skimpy portions of prison chow, to overindulge in Indian food. The meal was so scrumptious I am yet to brush my teeth. The taste lingers in my mouth, and lingering in my mind is how sexy you looked dressed all in black. As I didn’t know you were coming the surprise was all the more magical.

We have the opposite problem of two people who run out of things to say: we have so much to say that we keep losing track of what we are talking about. We have good chemistry. I enjoy how you take me to task with your sharp intellect. You did it skilfully today as I suffered the handicap of having a mouth permanently full of food, thus reducing my ability to respond.

Earlier today
Weird Al teased that you wouldn't show up. So after the visit, I boasted to him about what you'd brought. I told him you remembered to put the food in clear containers, and he said you only did so because you had already visited five other prisoners today. When I said you were considering coming to the May food visit, he said you would be married with two kids by then. He said that DOC has him so hungry that if someone brought him food he would rugby tackle them.

In questioning you, I’m trying to peel back layers of your personality to get closer to your core. I sense you’re holding back and there’s still lots to learn. I want to learn more. That may be a lifelong task, albeit an enjoyable one. I’ve discovered from analyzing myself that it’s hard to fathom who we are because we are always changing. But I shall continue to study you, and hopefully, after I’m released, we will continue our friendship. I at least owe you a romantic dinner at a restaurant in England.

There's something about you I haven't figured out yet, something that seems to be bringing us closer together despite the peculiar circumstances.

Thank you for coming today, and bringing food. I’m forever in your debt.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

We're back!

Sorry there have been no blogs for a while. We (Jon's parents) have been on holiday for two weeks, the first for six years, other than visiting Jon. Thanks for your patience.

D & B