Aug. 31, 2020

Rhapsody

by Kelly Jones (author's profile)

Transcription

"One must always be careful of looks, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us." -Cassandra Clare, 'Clockwork Angel'

Thurs. 08/13/20, 8:26 p

Dear Reader,

Howdy! I'm sitting here in bed as Abba sings "Super Trouper." Don't judge. Abba is great.

Lately I've been reading "Rhapsody," by Elizabeth Haydon. It's a fantasy novel & so far it's pretty good. It appears to be part of a series.

This was one of three free books I got from one of those "free books for prisoners" places. They're really great & I've gotten books from these places for years. If you ever want to donate some books, please consider sending them to one of the following groups & let them know a grateful prisoner referred you: DC Books to Prisoners @ DCBOOKSTOPRISONERS.ORG; Books to Prisoners @ BOOKSTOPRISONERS.NET; NYC Books Through Bars @ BOOKSTHROUGHBARSNYC.ORG; or Prison Book Program @ PRISONBOOKPROGRAM.ORG.

As promised, the lockdown/quarantine changed this past Monday, the memo on the computer seems to suggest that this is supposed to be a loosening of things, but it's clearly not.

What they did was split the two tiers in each unit up so that only one tier is out of their cells at a time. Plus, we're now out at night & on weekends. That part might sound good, but because they split the tiers up, we're actually out less time.

Here's how it's worked so far (the word "worked" should be thought of in a really snarky, sarcastic way). First, the bottom tier (where I am) is let out around 6:30 A. We wait a few minutes & then walk to Chow to pick up our trays & bring them back. Then we're locked back down & the CO lets out the top tier.

The top tier then picks up their trays & stay out all morning until lunch, when they pick up the lunch tray & bag dinner (usually around 11 A - 11:30 A). Then the top tier is locked down & we're let to go pick up our meals. We're then let out until 3:30 P when we're locked down for the 4 P "stand up" count.

At about 5 P, the top tier is let out again for 1 1/2 hour, then locked down and we're let out from about 6:30 P - 8 P, when we're locked down for the night.

Next week we're supposed to switch so that my tier is out during the morning & the top tier is out in the afternoon. Also we're supposed to be following he same schedule this weekend so this'll be the first time I've been out of my cell on a Sat. or Sun. since March. They do have a 10 A "stand up" count on weekends (and holidays) for which they'll lock us down at 9:30 A. That's going to cut into the morning tier's time.

This may sound like an improvement, but we're actually out of our cells for less time. We were previously out for about nine hours per day Mon. - Fri. Now we're out between 5 - 6 hours each day. Plus, it really sucks that we can't socialize with the guys on the top tier now. My friend Dakota is on the top tier, so now I can't hang out with him, plus he was paying me $3 to give him a footrub once a week or so & now I'm cut off from that income.

This shit sucks.

There are two rumors going around: one is that my old case manager (or someone) in B-South & one inmate there tested positive for COVID: the other is that they are gonna start up the transfers again. Both of these have been brought up as reasons for the change, which, by the way, is supposed to last until Aug. 31, when they do another review.

I believe I forgot to mention that I got a letter from "Junion"/Eric, my old cellie from the Hole last Jan., (thru his Mom), and he had finally been transferred to Lexington, KY. So, they did start doing "SHU-related" transfers then, but not regular transfers.

This also screwed up the law library schedule 'cause now they have to take guys from different tiers separately. I finally went this afternoon & I was the only guy to go from my tier, so I was alone in the law library. I'm sure we'll only be able to go once a week now.

Does any of this make sense?

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Fri. 08-14-20 4:45 p

Hey y'all! I'm sitting here at the deck completely alone again in Club 12. Donna Summer just finished singing "Heaven Knows" on C3PO as "Take Good Care of My Heart" by Whitney Houston, Goddess bless her, comes on. I love Whitney.

I forgot to mention before that they are now giving us three hours of Rec per week now, one hour each on Mon., Wed., & Fri. Again, the times for my tier are not ideal. One week it's from 2 p - 3 p, which means you only have 1/2 hour before lockdown to shower, & I'd rather not wait until later. The following week it's from 6:55 A - 7:55 A. Ugh. Mornings are evil.

Now, I'm alone currently 'cause I.P. is in the Hole. He has a bad habit of speaking his mind when it's not advisable - to the Warden - and was put in the SHU. It's just the Warden being petty & childish & I.P. should be out next week. He's been wanting to leave this place - like me - and it wouldn't surprise me if he refuses to leave the SHU until they transfer him, but I suspect he'll be back.

OK... more news. If you've been reading this a while, you'll remember my old (???) "Josh" from a couple years ago. Quite the shock. Even more shocking is what he's been up to. I got a letter.

He says that only two weeks after he got out he was in a high speed chase. He's currently in a mental hospital being evaluated to see if he's competent to represent himself in his murder trial. It appears he murdered his aunt that he was living with & at some point burned down their house.

He was quite the catch.

I'd like to send a picture, but these assholes here won't allow us original pictures anymore & I don't want to lose the original of him.

He did say that he won "Newcomer of the Month" award on PornHub & he adds the following: Truck City on Cookiesncream 711. I'm not sure if that's a reference on that site or not.

I'm sure he's just writing now 'cause he's facing time in state prison & he's remembering how good he had it when we were cellies. He sure was fun & I definitely miss cuddling, etc.

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Mon. 08/17/20 8:25 p

Howdy! I'm sitting at the deck on a rainy evening listening to T'Pau sing "Heart and Soul." I really love that song.

I'm taking a break from reading "The Quincunx" by Charles Palliser. I read it before years ago & wanted to read it again. It's very Dickensian. The bad things that keep happening to the main characters is a bit depressing & frustrating.

Today was such a screwed-up day! We switched schedules yesterday so that now my tier is out in the morning & first in the evening. First, we had the "relief" CO working the past two days instead of our own regular five-day CO. This other guy is a rookie & too scared to think for himself. Instead of letting the top tiers out to get breakfast (or wait to get breakfast & then get locked down after) at 6:30 A like our regular CO, this guy waited till 7:10 A or so yesterday.

Today was a huge clusterfuck. Part of the reason was because there was fog this morning.

So, the CO lets out the top tier at about 6:45 A prior to breakfast. But...my tier had Rec at 6:55 A & we're not supposed to mix - oops! - plus, we should have gotten breakfast before Rec.

The CO unlocks the bottom tier & whoever wanted to go to Rec left. The rest of us hung out. They finally called the top tier to Chow to pick up their trays at about 7:20 A. But on the way back we had to stop (yes, we, I left with the top tier - I'm a rebel) because the bottom tier was called back from Rec due to the fog.

Then, they forgot that both tiers had Commissary today, supposedly the top tier at 8 A & the bottom at 9 A. More mixing 'cause the top tier would have to come out of their cells during our free time.

So, half of the top tier went to Commissary at about 7:30 A - I think they did only half 'cause these idiots figure out we can't stay six feet apart when the whole tier is locked in Commissary.

Well, I was told that only three people got their Commissary & they recalled everyone else due to the fog. Again, idiotic. We're in an enclosed area surrounded by buildings or fences and can't go anywhere without being escorted, plus, there's two outer perimeter fences beyond that. No one's going to go anywhere but Commissary & back to the unit.

Nevertheless, that half of the top tier came back & they didn't call the bottom tier to Chow until 8:17 A. The fog was burning away by this time & was completely gone by 8:30 - 8:45 A or so.

But...at 9:16 A we got locked down for a "fog count." <insert facial expression> We were finally let back out at 10:19 A till lunch, sometime shortly after 11:30 A.

While coming back from breakfast I did see my old case manager from B-South, so apparently the rumor about his having COVID-19 was fake - unless it was actually my old counselor.

Aho...they brought in a digital scale today while Medical saw a few guys. I waited in line just to see how much weight I'd gained. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

I weighed myself while waiting to leave to pick up lunch, so I had on the full uniform & clunky shoes. I came back from lunch & stripped down to my shorts, T-shirt & shower shoes & checked again to be sure. I said 1-freakin' 90 (190). 190?!? WTF?? I'm usually between 170-175 pounds (sorry to my friends in Europe, I don't know kilograms).

Only twice previously have I topped 180 lbs. & that never lasted long & my weight dropped back down. But 190?? I'm still in shock I've gained 15-20 pounds during this lockdown which, granted, still just makes me look normal 'cause I'm tall & lanky, but still...

Well...as I wallow to my bunk to continue reading, I will wish you all...

Love & Blessings,

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Replies (4) Replies feed

tenzintenzin Posted 3 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Hello Kelly
So what if you’ve gained 15-20 pounds. That just means there’s a bit more of you to love!!!!
Glad to read you are behaving yourself, and playing nicely with others. I’m a Brit and I sort of hate ABBA, I was young enough to remember how they were inflicted on us in the seventies. Still, the scene in the movie, Muriels Wedding when she walks down the aisle towards her apoplectic groom to the refrains of I do I do I do I do. If you get a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.
Hope you get your cellie back
T

Kelly Jones Posted 3 years, 8 months ago.   Favorite
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tenzintenzin Posted 3 years, 8 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years, 8 months ago   Favorite
Hello Kelly.
Been reading your posts for a long time. There are many inmate blogs on the internet, some more popular than others. Between the Bars strikes a good balance between them. The state of America’s prison system and the captives that fall foul of the law system are laid bare now for the world to read. Some of the conditions and issues bloggers reveal here make conditions in third world countries with despotic rulers look like Club Med.
You seem upbeat and clearly determined to negotiate the passage of time with Euro Pop and a touch of ironically placed schadenfreude. It must be difficult in the prison system as an openly gay man. Even though, I suspect, ‘The odds are good, but the goods are odd’ numbers of potential companionship in your favour.
I wouldn’t do well in a double or more occupied cell. I don’t play well with others.! Also I’m old and grumpy now.
Being once part of Europe, now separated for them via Brexit I hope our divorce will be amicable. In that they can keep their music. I did enjoy Plastic Bertrands rendering of Ca Plane Pour Moi, which was an amusing little ditty I hope you heard. We have been blessed with American music for a while now, and ai much prefer this. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, who I saw in concert, Earth Wind and Fire etc. Pretty much soul, R&B Rap too. Whenever my kids chide me about my age and preference for rap I remind them the Snoop Dogg etc are all in their middle years too. .
I have seen Priscilla Queen of the Desert several times. It was actually a West End show for a while, still might be, it ages well. I take my daughter to London Pride every year. It’s always a good vibe. Pretty much anything happening in London always is, it’s a great city. What cities in your country do you think have a good energy about them?
Hope you are well and eluding the virus. Look after yourself.
T

Kelly Jones Posted 3 years, 6 months ago.   Favorite
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