Gold Rule

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Ronald Del Raine Writings

Prison Daily Fare

8:07 A.M. Clang! The door unlocking lever is pulled. Shall I go to breakfast? No, they're serving grits and Yankees such as me weren't raised on such fare. I'll eat my Granola in my cell since the new gaggle of prisoncrats has now forbidden us from taking anything to the mess hall (my administrative remedy complaining of this newest harassment was denied with my master using the usual shibboleth of "security" as their excuse). Every two or three years a new Warden and his crew arrive here. In order to prove their "efficiency" (and chances for promotion) they find lapses of "security" that their predecessor overlooked. The cons and guards all thought that the last Warden had enacted such a plethora of measures designed to deprive us of what few amenities remained that none were left, but this new lot of overseers have dredged up new deprivations, i.e., for thirty years the windows could be opened in the unit, but now they've been screwed shut so we can breath the recycled air again. After leveraging myself out of my seven by three foot concrete bed and prooping my perpetually aching. back into an upright position, walking to the mop room, and then pouring hot water on my Granola, I ate it while again bitterly contemplating the Bureau of Prison's recent policy of cutting off half the cons' needed, prescribed medications, bran included. However, since our veternarian states that Granola-- purchased with my factory earnings--can replace the banned bran, then surely I can rely upon his expertise.

Now for a mug of coffee with a dash of ice cream substituting for coffee creamer which I've kept on ice since last week's commissary draw. Yes indeedy, this B-Unit is luxurious: open cage door most of the day, hot water, etc. (Hope I don't get put in the "hole" again on more trumped up charges and be forced to progress through the two two stages endurinq many more years of lockdown before I can be moved back to B-Unit--as happened twice before.) Also, this morning, no prolonged, painful sinus headache nor neck pain from that .38 slug ricochetting off my spinal column. But what's this? No melted ice cream in my ice bucket. Damn, the goon squad took it during that all day long search and destroy mission on our cells. I knew part of my Tang and cocoa had been taken, but I hadn't missed the ice cream. Oh well, my fault: I should have zigged instead of zagged in 1967--act like an idiot and they'll treat you as one.

After hurriedly reading part of my buddies pablump nap USA TODAY, I CLEAN MY THRE STEP BY TWO STEP FLOOR SPACE, adjust my small TV set and seven inch radio, line up my personal items on the three small concrete shelves, dust off my locker,and then walk back and forth in the hallway under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother's surveillance camera.

At about 8:00 A.M. the hack calls "work call" which means the grille gate at the end of the hallway and the front door are open in the main hallway. I do the two-step routine--stand on one foot, lift the other to be scanned by a hand-held metal detector, and then reverse the procedure. Then its through the walk-through metal detector with your hands by your sides (no more "beating" the detector by extending your arm with your watch in the middle of the detector we were recently informed); then a pat-down search and cross the hallway to the UNICOR factory. Working here is mandated if you are to ever be transferred from this "end of the line" camp in the "Murican" Gulag.

After checking out my hand tools, I cut and trim the five foot electrical cables until 9:30 when we get a fifteen minute break. I drift over to continue my Nature versus Nurture debate with Kenny Como, a lad who somehow survived being flushed through the California commodes (San Ouentin, Folsom etc.) and still retained his ability to logically reason. Put since I partially disagree with his advocacy of the genetic theory, we discuss the AVA (ANDERSON VALLEY ADVEPTISER~) an iconoclastic Mendocino County, California newspaper that irreverently prints considerable truth.

Back to work untill 10:35 when we check in the tools (and don't lose one on pain of the "hole"). After repeating all the shakedown, detector routine we pass through three electrically operated doors in the hallway before filing into the mess hall where we're given fifteen to twenty-five minutes to eat. Food is okay as far as I'm concerned.

Another shakedown leaving the mess hall and through the metal detector again before work resumes; another work break at 1:30; at 3:20 it's clean up time. I retreat to the end of the factory hallway with a fellow worker (one of the thirty-eight) to try to escape the yipping and yowling, hopping and hollering, babbling, barking and braying of tbe cons' caterwauling cacophony. There we do a few push-ups, squats, and so forth, but mustn't get carried away with this strenuous exertion though: best to recall W. C. Field's comment that he once thought of exercising, but laid down till the thought went away.

Back in the unit for the 4:00 P.M. count, I close my door,which is solid except for a bean-hole and an observation port, and read my neighbor's New York Times.] This may be the last copies I read as he was placed in durance vile when they "found" a piece of his locker "gone." Another false, fraudulent, frame-up, or, everything is normal. I forego the 4:20 call for chow as my skinny, creaky, cadaverous carcass is developing a pot.

Since there will be no night yard-out untill next spring, I ignore the 5:3P. chance to play basketball or handball in the gym for two hours. I agree with H. L. Mencken who wrote, "I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates reason." Could it be that sports are the toy department of life? (Courtesy of the AVA.)

9:35 P.M. Lock the door door count. Spread a few wet towels around to try to get some moisture in the air, hit the kip and fall asleep with my earphones on the NPR music station--what more could a human-bean want here in the Little Big-Top? As A. E. Housman wrote, "Another night, another day, I heard the bones within me say."

1,084 words.
Ronald Del Raine
Box 1000 Marion, IL. 62959
(See home page for current address)

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