Stephen Newman

The Pizza Party by Steve Newman

Here’s the thing about prison — you never know what to expect. Your best friend might be moved to another prison in the middle of the night, without you even having a chance to say goodbye. Or you might discover that your favorite showerhead has been ripped down by an angry old man. The prison might get locked down at 2:11 on an otherwise typical Tuesday afternoon. The power might go out in the middle of dinner, and you’re forced to eat in a pitch-black chow hall, with guards’ flashlights as the only source of illumination. Or a fight might erupt just a foot away from you, and your face gets smothered in pepper spray before you even have a chance to blink. But every now and then, something good happens, unexpectedly Something completely out of the ordinary.

On Tuesday morning, I went to the office to pick up my mail. There was a piece of typing paper, folded in half, stapled at the bottom, with “Newman #90843 B2” written on one side, in purple pen. What could this be? The last time I received a personal note like this was from the laundry officer, telling me I had too many pairs of socks and I needed to return three pairs immediately or else disciplinary action would be taken. But this time, the note was much more delicious. It read:

—–
A+ Pizza Party!!

Congratulations! You have been selected to come to the school’s A+ Pizza Party because you have exhibited an excellent learning attitue, excellent attendance, and excellent academic achievement. Plus, you’ve been DOR-free for six months or more.

The party will be held January 11, 2018, from 1200-1300 in the school. Come relax, enjoy a couple pieces of pizza and some soda, and celebrate being a great student! See you there!
—–

In the ten years I’ve been in prison, this will be my very first pizza party. For most of you, pizza is just another meal, a part of life. But prison has the ability to turn the mundane into something spectacular. It continues to teach me a much greater appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

Steve Newman
DOC #90843

Categories: Stephen Newman

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