Totally unvarnished – sometimes boring and sometimes far from it – this series comes straight from my prison diary – never really intended as a way of telling the whole story, which I always thought I’d tell long after my release (if I made it that far).  My brother used to joke that I wrote down “every time [I] took a shit.”  That’s not true – but reading these entries, you can see why he said it.  For your convenience and a bit more context, here are links to previous Incarceration Chronicles installments:

Part 1: 17-21 February 1994
Part 2: 21 February 1994 (continued)
Part 3: 22-23 February 1994
Part 4: 24 February 1994
Part 5: 25 February 1994
Part 6: 26 February 1994
Part 7: 27-28 February 1994

Now let’s resume where we left off:


Tues. 1 March 1994
6:20 a.m.

I just finished Wisdom and began Baruch.  Then I began to read the introductions to many of the books in the NAB [New American Bible].  I’ve always found the authorship of the Bible books interesting.

* * *

7 a.m.
I just read Philemon.  If nothing else comes up, I may just read the entire Bible again.  It will be good to read it without the blinders I had in high school.  In my first reading, I was blinded by my faith.  Now I can read with cynical, critical and open eyes.
    A bruise is still noticeable on my right arm from where my blood was drawn.  The cough is still with me, but fading; fortunately, it didn’t develop into anything worse.

* * *

7:15 a.m.
I just read the first and second epistles attributed to John.

* * *

7:30 a.m.
Tempest and turmoil
Planting their seed,
Making my blood boil,
Spawning my need;
Rage and rebuttal
Pressing the day,
Reaching the wretched,
Blackening gray.

* * *

8:35 a.m.
My cellie, Gary, is visiting with his family.  Since they are from out-of-state, the Warden is allowing them to visit with him during the morning and afternoon sessions.
    I hate being out here on the floor and having to share a toilet and sink with nineteen other guys.  Last night, the guards kept awakening me with their walkie-talkies.  I hope I get a cell when I’m moved.

* * *

8:50 a.m.
More ratings….
        Bhagavad-gita attributed to Vyasadeva                **** [out of five]
        Bhagavad-gita As it Is by A.C.B.S. Prabhupada      ***
        Wisdom, author unknown                                     ***1/2

I count the apocryphal books as separate books; the regular Protestant canonical books, I do not.  I include the latter in either the New Testament or Old Testament.  I felt it necessary to, at least partially, explain why I rated Wisdom, but not Habakkuk and the First Epistle of John.
    I now begin to read Daniel (167-164 B.C., author unknown).  It is one of my favorite books of the O.T.  This will be the first time I’ve read chapters thirteen and fourteen.  They are not included in the Protestant Bible because they are only found in the Greek Septuagint, not in the original Hebrew.

* * *

post 10:30 a.m.
I was just given a routine packet of information from the Office of the Ohio Public Defender.  It says I have credit for 139 days in the county jail (which includes my short stay [before getting out on bond] in 1992).  My first hearing date for the parole board is in August of 1998.  I am not eligible for any shock or super-shock probation or shock parole.  Five years incarcerated before I might get out!  I must not despair.  I had hoped I would only serve three-and-a-half or four.  Sitting in the county jail for four months only put off my possibility for parole for four months.  Four-and-a-half more years is a lifetime.  If I begin my bachelor’s program in the fall, I should be done by the Fall of 1996.  Then what?  I must be strong.  But will Pam be able to handle it?  I can’t expect her to wait until late 1998.  I was punished for standing up for my rights.  If I would have pleaded to the lesser charge, I would have had to serve nowhere near so much time.  But I would have lived in doubt; I would have always regretted that I didn’t fight it.  Now I have fought it… and lost.  My only hope lies in the appeal.  But I doubt justice will be served.  Prejudices in such a case are too strong, I believe.

* * *

1:15 p.m.
Unfortunately, Dude asked for his Bible back before I finished reading Daniel.
    Several fools were dicking off on the way back from lunch.  The Deputy Warden witnessed their behavior and chewed the guard’s and sergeant’s asses.  So we got ours chewed when we returned to the unit.
    I am depressed.  I’ll wait to write more.

* * *

1:40 p.m.
I’m sending a kite to the public defender to get an appointment and see what information he can offer.
    I also added to S’s letter.

* * *

late afternoon
I can’t see a clock from my cell.
    I am now in unit 9A, cell 213, top bunk.  I’ve a little Black cellie who so far is pretty quiet.  He’s in on a drug charge.  We’ll go to commissary [for the first time] on Thursday and be able to use the phone tonight.  I am very lonely and sad.  I hope I get a letter from Pam tonight.  I doubt I will, however, since I just received one yesterday.

* * *

early evening
I can’t believe how overcrowded it is here.  Where in 3B there were twenty people on the floor, in 9A there are eighty.  I was fortunate enough to get a cell.  My old cellie, Gary, is going nuts on the floor.  I don’t know why we didn’t go to the non-smoking pod with the other two guys.  I’ll send a kite to the Sgt. about it.  
    Before chow, I lost a game of casino to my cellie.
    I keep reading Pam’s letter and card from yesterday.  It breaks my heart.  It’s hard for me to believe anyone is as
unhappy as me; but I think she is.

* * *

I began writing a letter to Pam.
    My cellie has a New Testament which is translated into simple English by Julian G. Anderson.  At least it’s something to read.  However, I don’t like it for the same reason I don’t like Reader’s Digest‘s condensed books.  Instead of simplifying books, we ought to educate their potential readers.

* * *

I feel better after talking to S on the phone.  First, I tried Mom’s but got no answer.  [In case you’re wondering, S is Geri, my wife since 2005.]

* * *

Perhaps I judged this NT translation too harshly, due to my sour mood.  But I still don’t like condensed books by Reader’s Digest.
    This smoke is choking me.  This cell is so close; and I haven’t had to live with constant smoke for nearly five months.
    I began reading Matthew.

* * *

I received my permanent ID badge today.  It has a wretched picture of me, my right thumbprint and signature, and my date of birth and number.


-*-

Advertisements