Stephen Newman

Loveline by Stephen Newman

(Originally written February 6, 2016)

So the day started with my usual mug of coffee. We have two varieties to choose from: Blue Bag (no) or Yellow Bag (yes). I added on a chocolate honey bun, warmed for 20 seconds in our new microwave. We went nearly a month without a microwave. Josh burnt popcorn in it, and the guard took it away claiming it was broken, but really she got sick of smelling burnt popcorn. I can’t say I blame her. After my protein packed breakfast, I proceeded to the dayroom, where two people made it a point to tell me I look like I just woke up. I checked my JPay email on the kiosk. No new mail. It’s a rejection reminiscent of 1996, when “Welcome” wasn’t followed up with “You’ve got mail.” Ahh, that friendly AOL voice. I wonder who that guy was. Wonder if he’s still alive.

The new kid was talking too loudly on the phone, making obnoxious animal noises. Cows, pigs, chickens. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Then I brushed my teeth and overheard the barber and his customer discussing their mutual dislike of Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew, though they noted they both used to like Dr. Drew on the Loveline radio show.

I began listening to Loveline in 1986, when it was a local show on KROQ in Los Angeles. Poorman and Dr. Drew, Sunday nights at 10. It was where we kids went for sex-ed, in the pre-internet era.

Dr. Drew taught me, at age 12 or 13, about pearly penile papules, and about the herpes drug, Zovirax. And Poorman taught me the true meaning of “eating at the sushi bar” and verified, on the air, that pineapple juice actually does sweeten the taste of semen. But I digress.

All of that teenage sex-ed was for naught. I didn’t even have my first kiss until age 19. I don’t kiss and tell, but…Hi Sharon! You’re awesome!!

Let me get back on track. I walked laps with Randolph. He’s a laundry worker, so he taught me the secrets to getting the cleanest clothes possible. For instance, turn your sheets in on the first and third Sundays of each month, because extra bleach is used. Turn your blankets in on Sunday, not Saturday, because then they won’t be washed with other people’s dirty underwear. You know, just some tricks of the trade. As we sat on a bench, a guy approached us and started telling us how good the rotisserie chicken was. He got his today I get mine tomorrow (and I can’t wait). But as he spoke, he kept spitting. Not at me or on me, but close enough to me I was half-disgusted, half-nervous it might hit me. We’re not talking “say it don’t spray it” spitting. We’re talking full blown hacking up loogies.

“I’m gonna walk some more,” I said, and slyly slipped away. I’m the master of escaping awkward social situations. When indoors, I usually grab my toilet paper roll and soap, and pretend I have to go to the bathroom. Though, on occasion, I’ve had people follow me there and continue the conversation. Awkward.

The Presidential debates were coming on at 8 pm. It was only 6. So I wandered around for an hour. Then Larry told me the debate had already been on for an hour. Then I learned it had actually been on for two hours! Crap. The TV Guide meant 8 pm Eastern. So I watched the last 45 minutes. It was the part where Trump talked about how we don’t win anymore, how he was going to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it, and how he is going to make America great again.

I was planning to shower at 9:30 tonight, but as I was grabbing my shampoo — garnier fructis in the green bottle — I heard over the loudspeaker, “Total recall, total recall. All inmates, return to your housing units and cell up.” So, as I often did during my month-long tour of Europe in 1996, I skipped a shower. I got in bed and read the first 54 pages of “Walking On Water,” by Richard Paul Evans. It’s the fifth and final book of his “The Walk” series. I haven’t read a book in months. It’s bedtime. Superbowl Sunday tomorrow. Yay! Go, Broncos!

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843


Categories: Stephen Newman

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