By now, things were almost seeming normal. Business as usual. I met a fat redhead, nicknamed Sprinkles, and we became good friends. He was an incredible chef and used to make some delicious items, including bean dip, popcorn balls, devilled eggs, and apple pie. He was also a great basketball player and he got me outside, playing basketball, on a daily basis. He would sweat profusely, though, so it was always difficult to guard him. It was kind of like guarding a hairy slip ‘n slide covered in vaseline. Still, I got into great shape. I rode the stationary bike for an hour each day, and walked an average of eight miles a day, as well. (I had to exercise this much to compensate for all the extra bean dip I was eating).
This was also the year I discovered the myriad prison pen pal websites and other inmate services companies, many of whom advertised in the back of the Prison Legal News magazine. I began signing up for everything imaginable. It was fun! You send them a SASE, and weeks later you receive information about their services. Prison is the only place where one actually HOPES to receive junk mail.
I was living with a strict Christian who had a cleaning obsession and a poor sense of humor, and with a Mormon man in his 70s who read Louis L’Amour books all day long and liked to pour hot sauce on other people’s food while they were eating, then laugh at their reactions. The poor old guy — he was allowed to leave prison but was never able to. The house he had owned for 40 years was deemed too close to a school, so he wasn’t allowed to move back into his own home with his wife. He died of a heart attack in the cell a few months later. As my Dad would say, “He’s one of the lucky ones.”
Categories: Stephen Newman