8 Sept 2007

The Double Murderer (Part 3)

The only way to diffuse the situation was to go back to my cell. As I left, I said to the guard, “I’ve got to go home, my mental-health problems are kicking in and I don’t want to snap and end up with more prison time.”
“Mental-health problems?”
“Yes. I have a few personality disorders. I was issued a waiver from an ADOC doctor exempting me from kitchen duty, but CO3 Wilcox rode roughshod over it because you guys are so desperate for kitchen workers.”
“Show me the waiver.”
I showed him the waiver, and he said, “Well, this doesn’t mean much to me. If you go home I’m gonna hafta write you up for refusing to work.”
“That’s fine. It’s the least of two evils right now. I have no choice but to do what will cause the least harm.”
“You’re on report then, Jon.”

Later that night, Magpie stormed into Weird Al's cell, and said, “I got your friend mad today.”
“I’m mad at you,” Weird Al said, “ 'cause he got a ticket.”
“I never did anything.”
“You fucking liar.”
“Well, all he did was write shit down.”
“It’s ain’t none of your business what he does. You got my friend a ticket.”
“Well, I’ll go over his cell, and kick his ass right now.”
“You ain’t gonna do a thing.”
“Why, what are you gonna do?” Magpie yelled. “Are you gonna kill me?” Are you gonna kill me? Are you gonna kill me?”
“I’m gonna kick your ass.”
“I’m gonna go kick England’s ass right now,” he marched out, hysterical.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
05 Sept 07

Odds & Ends

Phoenix has had thirty-one days of 110 degrees or higher. Guards and prisoners are spending most of the day indoors – except for Iron Man. Citing my imminent release, Iron Man is justifying us working out harder than ever. So far my injuries have been limited to a torn chest muscle (it felt like I had a nail stuck in my chest for two weeks, and when I sneezed it felt like I’d been shot in the chest), and some heatstroke following a thirty-minute run at midday – what Iron Man calls endurance training.

A swarm of honey bees descended on the yard, panicking prisoners, and attached itself to the chow hall, causing the exit to be closed for two days. Toads, horned lizards, and rattlesnakes have been appearing. Over the weekend, rattlesnakes bit six people in Tucson. But affecting us most are the flies. The chow hall is teeming with them. They land on my food and tickle my hands as I eat. One dived into my rice, and wallowed in it as if it were a pig. A guard hung a fly strip from the ceiling in the chow hall, and many fly corpses are now stuck to it.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
03 Sept 07

Two Tonys on Friedrich Nietzsche

Woman is unspeakably more wicked than man, also cleverer. Goodness in woman is really nothing but a form of degeneracy.

“What kind of shit is that! Is Nietzsche sayin’ women are tradin’ vaginas for rabbit meat 'cause they can’t go huntin’? That they’re layin’ in caves pregnant boilin’ up rabbit guts? Things have changed, brother. How’re you gonna tell me that Margaret Thatcher is weak? Look what she did to the Falklands. She sent her Limey sailors, and they pulverised the Argentinians - left ‘em floating in the South Atlantic Ocean.”

The thought of suicide is a great consolation: with the help of it, one has got through many a bad night.

“No question about it. I’ve been down and gloomy, and spent lonely nights in dark places after doin’ terrible things, and I’ve thought, ‘Man, if this happens, here’s what I’m gonna do.’ If I get cancer, am I gonna lay up in this cell, rottin’ away an inch at a time, with some quack Venezuelan DOC doctor tellin’ me to take two aspirins and kite him in the mornin’. Fuck that! There ain’t many motherfuckers on this planet whose minds haven’t thought about suicide.”

Without music life would be a mistake.

“I’ve got my Walkman and my new CL10 headphones. All music ain’t for me though. Don’t give me no country and western with some hillbilly whinin’ about how some granny got drunk and ran over him in a pickup truck. Don’t gimme no rap with egotistical ghetto stars singin’ about their bitches big booties, how much jewellery and money and dope they’ve got, and how they’re drivin’ around in Benzes with a bottle of Crystal in one hand and a crack pipe in the other. Gimme Schubert’s Ave Maria. Gimme Handel’s Messiah. Gimme Strauss’s Thunder and Lightning - anyone who doesn’t like that is a fuckin’ animal, sacrilegious. Nietzsche was right: life needs music.

The weak and defective shall perish.

“Should the little chunky Lebanese boy on a stretcher, full of shrapnel manufactured by Dubya and Rummy’s war contractor buddies be allowed to perish? I took my glasses off and got all teary-eyed when I saw that on CNN. Who in their right mind would follow what Nietzsche is sayin’ here other than that Nazi clique? And look what it got them: chompin’ down on cyanide caps.”

So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: “What is truth?”

“When I turn on the TV set and see a fuckin’ ass-hole like Robert Schiller of the Cathedral of Tomorrow sittin’ there in his big glass palace in elaborate robes, takin’ people’s money, tellin’ his flock what is right and wrong, I see a high-class motherfuckin’ flimflammer, a snakeoil salesman. From Schiller to Billy Graham to the guy in Vatican City who used to ride with the Nazi Youth Group, they’re all fuckin’ scammers. They’re not interested in truth. They’re interested in de bizz-ness.”

Live dangerously. Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius.

“In the navy, I lived on the USS Vesuvius for three years, seven months, and ten days. Vesuvius is the volcano that destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. They found bodies of motherfuckers sat at tables and layin’ in bed who had died quickly 'cause a pyroclastic cloud swarmed their lungs. There’s somethin’ to be said for livin’ dangerously. And I’m not knockin’ employees of Wal-Mart, Sears or KFC. It’s not easy goin’ into a heavily armed hotel room at two in the mornin’ and blowin’ a guys face off, but it gives you a feelin’ of livin’ on the edge. Look at Pat Tillman the Arizona Cardinal, an NFL player, a college grad. He gave up a multi-million- dollar contract to join the army, went to Afghanistan to fight the Mujahideen, and got his ass blown off by friendly fire. Some say it was patriotism, but I say it was for fuckin’ excitement.”

It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author and not to learn it better.

“You’ve gotta be a stupid motherfucker to think God wrote the Bible. But for the motherfuckers with eighty-year sentences, comin’ through the prison gate, shattered motherfuckers – especially young one, the Bible gives 'em somethin’ to lean on. I don’t think for one second that Pope Benedict XV1 goes to bed believin’ God wrote the Bible or that the walls of Jericho tumbled down or that Moses turned the Nile into blood and had it rain frogs. Of course the Pope doesn’t believe that cos he’s in de bizz-nezz. The Bible’s a hormone-releasin’ remedy for the blues.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

1st Sept 07

The Royo Romance (16)

Click here for Part 15 A.

From letter to Royo Girl:

Thanks for coming to visit me. I had fun and hope you did too. You brought just the right amount of food. It was delicious.

Again we had good chemistry, but rather than babble on, I’d like to express how you made me feel with a quote from Tolstoy’s love story
Anna Karenina:

“But what struck him like something always new and unexpected was the look in her sweet eyes, her calm and sincere face, and her smile, which transported him to a world of enchantment, where he felt at peace and at rest, as he remembered occasionally feeling in the days of his early childhood.”

It’s uncanny that I just read this quote.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

31 August 07

The Double Murderer (Part 2)

Being bipolar, my moods can change at a multiple of a normal person’s rate. When I lose it, I lose it. Although outwardly I had remained calm in the face of Magpie’s threats, inwardly, I was about to explode. There are cameras in the kitchen, and I suspected Magpie of trying to get me to throw the first blow – an act that could have led to additional charges and another prison sentence.

If he attacks me, I thought, I’ll be forced to defend myself. In the meantime I’ve got to ignore him, and try to stay calm.
I was led outside by Cage Fighter, one of the toughest men on the yard, a pro wrestler who works out endlessly.
“Look”, Cage Fighter said, “Magpie just came and complained to me about you. But you know what?”
“What?” I said.
“He’s full of shit. He tried the same tricks with me when I was in the clipper room. Look man, you’re about to get out, don’t let him get to you. Whatever he says, let it slide off your back.”
“OK. I’ll try. Thanks.”
Sitting on the crates, Magpie said, “England, people are complaining about you. That you’re not a team player, that you work too slow. The head white shirt's here today. He’s gonna get you.” He pointed at the kitchen supervisor, a Nigerian the inmates call Blood Diamonds.
“I already had it out with him over the gloves.” I turned to Blood Diamonds, and said, “Where’s my gloves at?”
“I’m gonna get you them. I’ll go order them right now.”
“Yeah, right. It’s been three days already.”
Blood Diamonds walked away to talk to another nonprisoner Nigerian.
I looked at the maintenance workers trying to fix the dishwasher, which was gas-powered, and was prone to exploding.
“I don’t know why it’s doing this exploding stuff,” said one of the prisoner maintenancemen.
The grey shirt (a supervisor) said, “It introduces the gas before it ignites it.”
When the maintenance crew had left, Magpie started up again. “You ain’t gettin’ gloves. You ain’t gettin’ shit.”
I continued to ignore him and started writing.
“I’d better not find out you’re puttin’ shit on the Internet about me, dude. I’ll scalp the rest of your head off. You think you’re crazy, you’ve got two crazies in here, motherfucker. I’ll show you some shit you ain’t never seen.”
He stood up, walked up to me, and we stared at each other for what seemed like a long time. He walked away, and I started to pace up and down.
“Look at England, “ Magpie said, “he’s tensing himself up to come and beat this Indian down.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
29 August 07

T-Bone's Stress
“British Crumpet,” T-Bone said. “Wattup wanker!”
“Wattup T-Bone!” I said. “How’ve you been doing?”
“Same-ol’ same-o, just a different day. Maintainin’, campaignin’. Dealin’ with people who don’t have strong minds.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Dealin’ with homies who think they’ve gotta act tough. Wannabe tough guys with gangbanger mentalities. If any of these gangbangers walked down an alley alone and met a seven-foot-tall five-hundred-pound dude who demanded their wallet, they’d give it up. They’re only tough when their homies are with them. Then, when they act tough around someone like me, and they get their butts kicked, everyone starts sayin’, ‘You’re bigger than him, it’s not fair.'”
“It sounds like the homies have been stressing you out.”
“I came real close to mud-stompin’ a homey.”
“Yeah. Makin’ him a puddle of mud. Faeces and blood combined. You know what I’m sayin’.”
“Yeah. So just one homey pissed you off?”
“No. Quite a few of them.”
“So how are you handing that stress?”
“I don’t have stress.”
“We all have stress.”
“I’m not a wanker though.”
“Well maybe you should be.”
“I miss our conversations, man. With some of the dudes in here it’s like talking to a stone.”
“That’s why you should talk to people you have good chemistry with.”
“True that. Well, I gotta go. Love you, brother.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
27 August 07

Happy Shitting

“Imagine,” Two Tonys began, “you’re a young gung-ho twenty-one-year old right outta boot camp. Your job – or so Bush’s shills tell you – is to fight insurgents and terrorists. You’re a front-line trooper. Chest out. Eyes alert. They tell you you’re on a mission for your country. You find yourself in a stinkin’ back alley in a Humvee with six of your pals. It gets dark, and you’re in the bowels of Sadr City. It stinks. It’s loud. And all at once – bang! – three of your pals are dead and you wake up in Walter Reid hospital minus your asshole, your balls and part of your leg. You’re in no pain 'cause they’ve got you doped up real good on morphine. But they tell you you’ll never take a good healthy shit again. It’s all about the colostomy bag on your side from now on. If you’re lucky, you might walk some day – with a prosthetic leg. Now, as you’re recoverin’, you’re watchin’ CNN news, and your mind – fucked up as it is – thinks, Hey, maybe we’ll be on the news. Perhaps a decent mention of our sacrifice. So you scope in on the news. Maybe old Wolf Blitzer will show a picture from when you still had an asshole and balls, or a picture of your pals. But guess what the lead story is? Not only Blitzer’s but on all the other fuckin’ channels. Guess what it is? It’s Paris fuckin’ Hilton - again - this time on her way to jail, and what kind of fuckin’ cell she’s gonna have for twenty-three days. It’s about her toothpaste, and whether she’s gonna be allowed Wet Wipes or Charmin fuckin’ toilet paper to wipe her ass with or - heaven forbid! – be forced to use L.A. county jail one-ply. Fuhgeddabout your asshole. It’s back in that alley in Iraq with the blood of your three pals. But who gives a fuck? Your dead pals and your missin’ asshole ain’t worth a fuck to the news mooches slobberin’ all over their selves to get the drop on who’s givin’ Paris a snatch search, or which bulldykes are lookin’ to turn her out. Fuck your missin’ asshole, it’s all about poor Paris. Wolf and all those other newscasters couldn’t give a rat’s. They wanna sell insurance, cars, condos. You might getta mention in your hometown, as long as it don’t interfere with the real lead story. Yeah! You’ve been had. The realisation brings on a bowel movement. It’s not your fault, but you’ve been had. Happy shitting!”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
25 Aug 2007-09-09

The Royo Romance (15 B)(food visit continued)

Click here for Part 14.

“I’m just checking,” Royo Girl said.
“It’s not such a bad thing to check on actually,” I said. “The longer I’ve been down, the more I’ve found out about how many people do mess around in here. It’s easily the majority, including some of the biggest, baddest prisoners. My sex drive has decreased. But I think it’s because I'm not around women. It’s every prisoner’s worst nightmare to get out of prison to discover they’re sexually ruined. Hopefully my reproductives are in good working order."
“Oh yeah,” she said.
“I’ll find out soon if a certain someone follows through on her idea of deflowering my re-virginity.”
My idea!”
“OK. Maybe it was a joint idea of ours.”
“Huh! But I will be in England for certain other reasons when you are due to be released.”
“I like the sound of that.”
“So are you nervous about getting out?”
“The only nervousness I had was when I worried about not getting out. I can’t wait to get out. I’m filled with excitement. There’s all kinds of books and stories I’ve drafted that I want to re-write and start submitting. I see all kinds of opportunities ahead of me. I’ve got family and friends supporting me. It’s the poor guys in here like Midnight who have nowhere to go and no family or friends, and are released with fifty-dollars gate money, that have good cause to be concerned. How can I fret when there are so many people in Midnight’s situation? Last time Midnight got out, the police even took his gate money. These guys are turned loose with next to nothing, expected to make their way in the world, and end up taking the easiest route to feed and cloth themselves: committing crimes. Nearly every blog character I’ve written about who has been released has come right back.”
“Are you coming back?”
“Hell no! I’m going to focus on becoming a writer. And if I make money from that I’ll use it to trade stocks online. That way I’ll be able to stay at home with the good woman who helps me settle down.”
“You’re too wild to settle down. You’d grow bored with someone like me.”
“That was the old me. The kind of stuff I used to laugh at – watching plays, listening to concerts, reading books other than stock market books – that’s all stuff I don't mind doing now. I still want to have fun, but I’ve realised fun is a state of mind. When you’ve had your life taken away, you are up to try anything. And there’s nothing wrong with partaking in the funnest thing in the world: making love. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“We’ll see about that.”

I kissed Royo Girl goodbye, and joined the inmates waiting to be strip-searched in an outdoor cage.
“We saw you mackin,” a homey called Fat Boy said to me.
“Englandman’s not lost his touch,” said Big Vato, one of Frankies compadres, a massive man with a bald, tattooed head.
Fat Boy pointed at me and said, “Homey’s got G-A-M-E. England’s a pimp. A mad pimp.”
The cage quickly filled with food talk and gasses passed.
Burp. Someone call me a fuckin’ ambulance,” an Aryan Brother said, rubbing his belly. Fart. “Isn’t burpin’ good manners in England?”
“I think you’ve got the wrong country, mate,” I said.
“Maybe it’s Germany.”
“Today sure beat motherfuckin’ state food.”
“Whatchu eat?”
“Lobster, steak, shrimp, some Mexican food. Every fuckin thang.”
“I had chile rellenos, fried squash and zucchini, chefs salad, and homemade pear pie.”
“I ate Chinese. Shrimp fried rice, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls. That motherfucker had octopus.”
“Yeah. Octopus in wine sauce.”
“I had linguine, brownies, a fruit salad, a spinach salad with jalapeno ranch dressing and kolacy.
“Whathafucks kolacy?”
“It’s a shortbread cookie with…like…er…apricot, peach, and prune preserves on top, covered with powered sugar. From Czechoslovakia. It’s Bohemian.”
“Y’all some fine-dinin’ eatin’ motherfuckers. Gimme a pound o’ bacon and some homemade hash browns and I’m one happy motherfucker.”
The kolacy man added, “And for ice cream I had Vanilla Heath Bar and Cherry Garcia.”
“I had Rocky Road ice cream,” Lurch said.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

23 August 07

Encounter With a Double Murderer

I had been put to work in the kitchen. There were no dishes to wash, so I put two crates at the foot of a wall and sat down.
Magpie, a chunky Indian who has stabbed to death two separate inmates, came up to me and said, “I put those crates there. That’s my seat.”
I ignored him.
Magpie looked at the youngster we were working with in the clipper room, and said, “Tell him whose seat that is.”
The youngster said nothing.
“I always sit there in the corner. Look, England, I can see that we’re gonna bump heads already.”
I started to take notes.
“You can’t be writing shit down in here. And if I find out you’re using my name, I’m gonna fuck you up.”
“I’ll write whatever I want to write. Everyone knows I never use real names.”
“Well get off your ass, man. That’s my seat.”
“I put those crates here.”
“I’m telling you now, that’s my corner. I've got that corner. That’s where I sit. I can see it now, I’m gonna have a problem with you. I’m not bullshitting you, I’ll put you in the garbage disposal head-first.”
I ignored him.
Holding a scraper with a long blade, he came at me and and said, “Now talk some shit, England.”

To be continued.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
21 August 07
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood
19 August 07

Dear Mum

After reading your blogs, I was so moved, that I’ve stayed up way past bedtime writing this. I hope it makes sense, and that I don’t sound like I'm preaching to you.

I created the situation which has caused you pain and suffering for the past five years, and you know how sorry I am. But your therapist is right: my incarceration is almost over. This is a period for celebration. How you choose to look at it will determine how you feel. I’m also at fault for your anxiety in the sense that I’m prone to offloading my anxieties on you. The fact that my venting upsets you is apparent from your writing; so, I must set about doing my best to temper my rantings. I shouldn't be transferring my anxiety to you. Until I read your blogs, I didn’t realise how much you were being affected. Although I should have, and I apologise for my insensitivity.

Having been through various treatments and therapists since I’ve been in here, I can see that your therapist was slowly laying down steps to guide you toward more positive thinking. You may not realise it, but learning to deal with your anxious thoughts will accelerate your personal development and you’ll became stronger.

Try looking at some positive facts about my incarceration. I haven’t been shanked, raped, or had my nose flattened. It’s been the education of a lifetime. I feel as if I have shed the excesses associated with my former immaturity. The situation has not only brought our family closer together, it has also brought us closer to many kind people around the world. I’m not emerging from this now, sadly, as so many others emerge, addicted to hard drugs, infected with diseases, institutionalised, unemployable. I have so many plans for my future, which will make you proud.

I’ll try not to pass my worries on to you as part of a pact whereby you agree to think about these positives when you feel the worries coming on. From your therapy, you've learned that how you think determines how you feel. Anxiety exists for a reason - to make us act. Accept some anxiety, allow it to pass, but don’t allow it to escalate into neurosis.

As you condition your mind to think positively, you’ll unlock the happiness within you. Perhaps the horrible things you’ve experienced or thought about have put you on the path to freedom, a path along which you’re learning to surrender your negativity. What’s going to happen is going to happen – irregardless of how you view it – so don’t add any more to your burden.

So what if there are some delays in my release – I’ll deal with. Don’t worry that I’ll give up. What I’ve endured so far has made me strong. Any extensions are more time for learning and personal growth. So please work on worrying less, and maybe you’ll find peace of mind. It sounds simple, I know, but it's not easy. It takes practice and determination – you can do it, Mum.

Sorry for the pain I have caused. I love you and couldn’t wish for better parents. Your support has kept me from insanity. The future will be my opportunity to show you what a better person I’ve become.

All my love,


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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood