I'm cool in the pool and it's good in my hood. It's all perspective, all of it, all of it.
Every flippin morn, I go outside to smoke around 6AM. It's often the same thought, "Oh, this day reminds me of being in prison." It's a cool crisp morning here on the Island but I've thought this when it was warm but not too cold, when it was snowing and blowing, when the leaves were falling, it has infiltrated my psyche and I don't like it.
I wouldn't call it trauma, anymore. Prison has a way of changing a person for the good or for the bad. There may be a middle road there too. For 3 1/2 years, I was property of DOC and I have only myself to blame. I can look back, now and see choices in every genre. I could choose to fight it, choose to allow it to overcome me, choose to learn from it, choose to never go back and on and on.
3 1/2 years is a long time. I was Moore OF6708, not Barb or Babs, just a number. I never in my life, saw such disregard for feelings. They could give a fuck how you felt and even less of your opinion. The only emotion they might pay attention to his homicide or suicide and actually, they are one and the same. I saw girls cry out, in desperation and they were not coddled but thrown in the hole for "Protective Custody," to protect them from themselves.
I had to put things into perspective for myself. I had nothing to look forward to except going outside to smoke a cigarette. I made, at the height of my prison career, .42 cents an hour, the most you could possibly make. So I rolled my cigarettes, smoking Kite, a menthol tobacco that will smack your lungs right out of your ribs. But I looked forward to that smoke in the AM and I do believe I noticed nature and would think and contemplate life as I smoked. There was no sitting down for a smoke unless you went to the yard later in the morn. You had 5 minutes to get to chow hall and you'd be stopped on the walkways if you were lolly gagging. They could write you up for it along with giving them a reason to pat search you. So, you smoked and walked, spitting out tobacco as you went. I am not an AM conversation type but I'd be deep in thought.When I worked in the dining hall, as I did when I first arrived, they'd escort us, under guard, at 5am, when it was still dark. It is at this time, those moments that come through even today. I enjoyed going to the yard on my day off or in the evening, smoking and joking and playing Spades, talkin' smack. A good fight got your blood pumping and was even more exciting as the guards rushed in, flying from all directions to break it up. Other than that, there was not much excitement and I often wondered if they didn't fight just to create some chaos in a mundane world.As some chick whipped up on another, you often forgot that they were women. They cut their hair and dressed in a manly fashion. Too-Sweet was doing baby life and I woulda swore she was a dude. She could bench like a dude, walked like a dude and the girls hung around her like she was all that. Same with my celly, LR, Hispanic, in every sense of the word. She called me Loca la Cabeza, crazy in the head. I might have believed she was a dude, had I not been taught how to make tampons outa sanitary napkins and knew she had the same flow chart as myself. It's true, you get a bunch of women together and eventually, they all get on the same or close to time of the month. A very volatile situation, living with a bunch of women, year after year, will certainly cause you to hate them or at the very least never want to be locked up with them again. All this alone, will cause you to want to get out for some peace and quiet and enjoy a smoke and try to think. Women do not shut up, did you know this???