by Brian A. Wilkins
This day corresponds with Monday, August 18.
Rodney strolled in the cell about 10 a.m., which was kind of early, since both of us usually slept until 1pm everyday. He had just called the public defender’s office to see if his attorney could bring him a copy of the police report. “Man they said my lawyer is at a different number. And the number they gave me doesn’t accept collect calls,” he said. Several attorneys had said they would represent him, but would back out a few days later. I tried to reassure him, saying it would likely end in a plea bargain because of the circumstances of the incident and his squeaky-clean record. “Yeah, for 10 years?” Rodney sarcastically asked. I paused for a second, before busting out laughing. He looked at me and shook his head, trying not to smile. Pretty sad when we’re finding humor in morbid prognostication like that. Again, guess that’s what jail does to you. “You didn’t kill anybody and didn’t want to shoot anybody. Those guys had attacked you before and attacked you again; you had no choice,” I said. The conversation for the next three hours changed from this junk we had no control over to wondering what it would be like to chill without a funky, nasty toilet sitting right in front us.
“Hey bro…we got a meeting…I don’t know what its about,” Smokie, the crazy pisa dude, said as he walked past the cell door. “Man I ain’t even in the mood for this bullshit!” Rodney said, basically reading my mind. We went down to the main area, where all the occupants of the cell block sat at tables, segregated by race. The two heads for each race stood in front of everyone and tried to call the place to order as if it were a court room. “Ok, we got a lot of business to discuss, so please be quiet,” the “wood” I called “Elvis” said. Funny I had never heard him talk until that moment…and then it was even funnier. He talked just like Adam Sandler did in “The Waterboy.” I don’t know much about him…except that he’s likely going to prison for a decade. “Ok, first we gotta talk about the 10-to-10 rule,” he said. Apparently there were people getting up early and being noisy prior to 10 a.m., which violated the 10pm-10am quiet rule mandated by the “heads.” The next 15 minutes would be like listening to a bunch of kids arguing about god knows what. Victor, the pisa head, and who I’d later discover was a child molester, then brought up the television. “We have to decide whether we want the TV on ESPN or the Discovery Channel,” he said in English, than in Spanish. I couldn’t believe I was sitting there listening to grown men argue about two TV stations. The “wood” head brought up the peppermint thief who got beat down a few days ago too. “Just don’t steal anything…everybody saw what will happen to you if you do,” he said.
With Train gone, someone had to take over as the de-facto “kinfolk” head, even though the “kinfolk” mantra was that no head was needed…all kinfolk were heads. Regardless, Monster assumed Train’s position, with Steve still being the other head. Things seem different without Train here. I think he either scared people straight or just had everyone’s respect. There seem to be more stupid stuff going on now than when he was here. Geez, how messed up would this place would be if Rodney was moved or if I was moved to a different cell block? The new people being brought in were getting crazier and more weird. And I have to be around this for god knows how long. I’m going back to sleep now. It’s the best way to deal with this.