by Brian A. Wilkins
This day corresponds with Thursday, August 14.
It was about 2 a.m. when the night guard was doing a round and I had finished filling out that inmate grievance form. I told her about the guard crumpling up my letters, one of which was a court motion, I had handed to him for mailing. “You’ll have to address it to the 1st shift sergeant,” she said, while handing it back to me. My mind will be more at ease if I knew those letters had been sent and not damaged beyond conveyance.
The cellblock is on lockdown because of the fight yesterday, so I have plenty of time to write and sleep. But I’m having a hard time mustering up the energy. The only thing I can think about is the fact it is August 14th…the middle of a month. In two weeks, I have a ton of bills due, including rent. I’ve lost a recession-proof job in education and am closing in on losing much more. There’s no way I’m getting out of here alive. Justice has a price tag too steep for an average (maybe below average) guy like me. I’m trying to hang in, but the steady diet of literal chips, donuts, and pork rinds; and figurative bullshit amongst the inmate population, makes for poor overall health. I can’t even watch the community television anymore, as seeing all those free people is painful to watch. All I have is loud, slamming, heavy metal doors; fat, sloppy female guards watching me take a shower like I’m a porno movie; annoying personas; smelly, disgusting striped clothes; with at least 38 more days of it to go. I don’t even know what day it is half the time.
Good god! S.R.T. strikes again! I’m not sure, and don’t really care what SRT stands for, but they are the Sheriff’s Office goons who bust into cellblocks like Rambo, “STRIP DOWN TO YOUR BOXERS! STRIP DOWN TO YOUR BOXERS! NOW! NOW!” they yell, while throwing anything you “own” around like a lottery winner would a pile of money. Several of them looked like they needed to give the steroid syringes a rest and all of them carried guns…unlike the “regular” D.O.’s. One of them finally got to my cell, as Juan and I stood there only in boxers. “Get naked; lift your dick; lift your sack; turn around; bend over; spread your cheeks!!!” the guy ordered me to do. “You could use a trim down there,” the guard said. Now I didn’t know which was worse; having to sit outside on the burning hot concrete dressed only in boxers, around 70+ other half-naked dudes; or this freak half-of-faggot guard commenting on my butt hole.
You’d think nothing could me more humanly demoralizing than that, but I noticed several friends are no longer here; most notably Train. I assume, being he was the “black head” and the fact these Maricopa County people recognize that as a legitimate “position,” as the U.S. and Western Europe believe Kosovo is a legitimate sovereign state, he was automatically rolled out of the cellblock. But at least three other guys who’ve been here since I got here are gone too, as a result of that fight. As S.R.T. finished destroying everyone’s cell, they filed everyone back inside. While walking back to the cell, I heard several people talking about the guy who got beat up last night. Apparently, he had several broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a concussion, and a broken orbital bone. I didn’t believe it at first until I walked past Chino’s cell, to see that same guy back in there…and he looked pretty bad; pretty beat up. I heard a bunch of yelling, several guys saying “roll him up or its gonna be worse next time!”, referring to the beat-up guy. There was a ton of commotion the rest of the night, and it finally quieted down a couple hours later.
Man I really want to take a shower; after having to sit on that ground where several people spit, puke, and urinate. But I will have to wait until this lockdown is over. They actually brought clean towels by each cell today, but because the block is locked down, I can’t use it anyway. Taking a shower every morning as soon as the doors open is about the only thing I have left to keep me feeling human, considering how some of these people smell. I vow to appeal any guilty verdict rendered on me. This is ridiculous! I can’t believe this can really happen in the United States of America. But it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing I can do about it.