[This comes straight from the journal I kept in prison. To see the previous installment (and get a bit of context) please visit my blog Incarceration Chronicles, 17-21 February 1994 (first days in prison). I posted that one in May, intending to get back to it soon. Better late than never, eh?…
The unabridged installment I offer today (I’m resisting a temptation to smooth out the rough edges) picks up where the last one left off in the middle of 21 February 2004 at Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, Ohio. These are journal pages 313 through 317 – written in pencil on a gray legal pad. I never intended for anyone else to read these words. I thought my mom might – since I mailed my journals to her for storage. But she never did. When I was reunited with them over ten years later, the envelopes containing my journals were still sealed.]
Mon. 21 Feb. 1994
I hope I go to my permanent institution soon. I am anxious to return to my college studies. I hope, hope, hope that I won’t be prevented from getting financial aid due to my student loan default. If I have to, I’ll beg them. Will it do me any good? It can’t hurt to try.
Dad says he thought they’d send me too Chillicothe, but it isn’t on the list of institutions they have posted on the bulletin board. There are only two on it that I would really hate going to – Mansfield and Orient. Of the other twelve L.C.I. transfers to, I’ve heard only good things or nothing [from the other inmates] . From everything I’ve been told, the three I’d most prefer to be sent to are Lima, Allen and Ross. But who knows? I haven’t been classed yet.
* * *
Here are three quotes from my reading of the past few days that I wanted to remember.
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, sense control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity, simplicity, nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, peacefulness, aversion to faultfinding, compassion toward every living entity, freedom from greed, gentleness, shyness, determination, vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, and freedom from both envy and the passion for honor — these are the transcendental qualities….”
[Bhagavad-gita As It Is (16:1-3), attributed to Sri Krishna, translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada]
“There are three gates leading down to hell — lust anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.”
[Bhagavad-gita As It Is (16:21), attributed to Sri Krishna, translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada]
“As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even so one of the senses in which the mind becomes fixed can carry away a man’s intelligence.”
[Bhagavad-gita As It Is (2:67), attributed to Sri Krishna, translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada]
* * *
Here is a preliminary list of what I need to remember at commissary:
deodorant, soap, stamped envelopes, writing utencils, legal pad, nail clippers, lock, cough drops.
I can wait for everything else, if need be. But if I can afford it, I also want to get:
baby powder, coffee, Tang, Rolaids, dental floss, salt, pepper, ketchup
At the dining hall there are no condiments, such as salt, pepper, ketchup, et cetera. If one wants them, he must purchase them at commissary and bring them with him to meals.
* * *
Mom said that poor Pam sat all evening on Thursday awaiting my call. When Mike was here, they let him use the telephone on the first day. I miss her. I wish I could hear her voice. Maybe I’ll get a letter from her soon, now that she knows my number.
And [my alleged victim] was told I wouldn’t go to prison…. They’ll do anything to keep her from feeling guilty for what she’s done.
My cellie got five to twenty-five years for rape. There were ten counts against him, but they reduced it to one as part of the plea bargain. He was accused of masturbating his thirteen and nineteen year old nephews and having them masturbate him. At first, I believed him when he said he was innocent. Now I don’t know. But is that rape? They should have convicted him of corruption of a minor or gross sexual imposition, I think. Then again, maybe it was considered rape because the one was only thirteen. Anyway, if he is innocent, he should have gone to trial.
Who is my cellie? Gary [last name expurgated] is about thirty-seven years old. He has been married for seventeen years and has two children. He just found out that his wife lost their house, which he had to refinance to pay his attorney. He usually lives in Kentucky. The nephews were on his wife’s side of the family. Needless to say, since she stands by her man, the only family she has left is his. He is a devout Baptist and sang in a gospel group. He was so scared of jail that he had them put him in protective isolation for the four days he was at the county jail.
I must write a letter of thanks to Mrs. Springfield [one of my attorneys]. I appreciate her efforts immensely.
Back to Gary…. He’s overweight, soft-spoken and has a strong southern accent. His wife’s name is Pam, too.
In the bunch that came from L.C.C.F. [the county jail: Lorain County Correctional Facility] with me Thursday were three people I know. Eito Moon was one of my poker pals. Tiko Harris, who was on our side but was moved to the felony side a month or so ago, was in the joint with Mike over a year ago. And ______ Shannon was my happy-go-lucky cellie after rat-boy and before Jeff; they let him out on his midemeanor case about a week before his sentencing on the felony rap.
One more thing that is better here than at the county jail is that we are allowed to have a whole toothbrush.
I can’t wait until I get to my parent institution. I have to look at the good side and not dwell on the bad. I’ll get all my necessary dental work done free. I’ll get plenty of reading and writing done. And best of all — I’ll get to finish my college education [or so I thought]. I should try to get my transcript from LCCC [Lorain County Community College] sent here, so I’ll have it when I need it.
* * *
post 10:15 p.m.
I wish I could have books from home. If I could have ten, I would pick these from my collection:
- Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
- my one volume of Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam commentary
- Sartre’s Being and Nothingness
- Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
- I-don’t-remember-who’s A History of the Jews [the author is Paul Johnson]
- Hitler’s Mein Kampf (just to finish it)
- Quale’s Eastern Civilizations
- Dickens’ David Copperfield
- Blake’s Complete Poems
- Websters II dictionary.
* * *
Damn! I wish I had a Lotus Sutra. Buddhism is closer to Truth than Krishna Consciousness. Perhaps I can get one when I go to my permanent institution.
* * *
Damn! I wish this tickle in my throat would go away.
* * * * *