: Febuary 2002: Zen Dolls
adjusting to F-pod. Unlike the first few days in the 16-man
cell, plenty of paper and pens here. Goodies from the
commissary delivered to the pod once a week. A $40 limit
on candy and snacks, including Snickers, Butterfingers,
Hershey bars, Tootsie Twins, Oreos, Sour Balls, Chee-tos,
potato chips, Moon Pies, and best of all, Cup-o-Noodles,
which can be cooked in F-pod's microwave. Also available:
deodorant, shampoo, Noxzema, Afro Pik, Rolaids, and some
stunning orange sneakers ($10.50) to match our wardrobe.
pass on the tennies, since my Serious Tactical Boots bought
last year at Stompers have proved a hit in the pod. Fashion
is paramount everywhere these days, even in jail. With
orange everybody's permanent uniform, only two fashion
statements are available: footwear and haircuts. My boots
receive many compliments. Locked up, shoes are like flags
for a country. They say who you are. Cool shoes, you are
haircut for me, but the inmates buzz each other nightly
with two sets of shears. F-pod style leaves the top uncut
with the sides skinned all around about two inches above
the ear. Thus the head looks like a clenched fist popping
out of the neck topped off with a mushroom.
"Fashion is paramount everywhere
these days, even in jail."
else making life easier in the pod: Two book shelves filled
with a lot of donated junk also yield Tender is the
Night, even better the second time around, and Romeo
and Juliet, a great improvement over the Classic Comic
book version I skated by with in high school. Only behind
bars would I crack Anthony Trollope's The Vicar of
Bullhampton and Jane Austen's Emma, books not
in the least pernicious, a wonderful word both authors
favor and appropriate to my crime of moral turpitude.
winner, Propaganda and the American Revolution,
by Philip Davidson, explores the role of ideas disseminated
through pamphlets, broadsides, and newspapers in determining
the outcome of the revolution. The book examines propaganda
from both sides, including this stanza from a poem by
Jonathan Odell in support of the Crown:
George's fam'd shield,
Washington, Jefferson, and Madison were pimps, too, working
for the French.
want out of F-pod, but I gotta admit jail allows lots
of time to read. And write. On the outside I do write,
but many diversions during any given 24/7, uh, reduce
my output. But in here, the words flow off sheets of office
pads which float down on my plastic mattress in a lovely
not the only one reading and writing. Turns out the pod
is a school with required courses for those doing longer
stretches of time. Classes in English as a second language
for the Hispanics. A GED course for those who have not
completed high school, a huge wedge of F-pod's demographic
pie. A computer class. Even an art class to pass the time.
too. I feel like a gambler with a dead man's hand when
I attend Dr. Kure's Safe Space sessions, but my recent
love for speed cries out for action. Dr. Kure has a wild
head of hair, and his nose quivers like a rabbit's. A
soft-spoken former alcoholic, he marches through the 12
Steps with ease, prods me not to dwell on the past or
the future, but concentrate on the present, which is a
gotta be kidding, Dr. Kure. F-pod joyful? "You like to
write, so write down all your resentments," he suggests.
think about that carefully and can only come up with one.
I really hate Bob, the guy who wrote the famous blue book,
Alcoholics Anonymous. Millions of copies of that
piece of repetitious crap are in print, while my manuscript
has yet to find a home with a publisher.
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