Journal Entry: Eduardo Ledesma-01/29/2020

Journal Entry


Date: January 29, 2020

CLEAR! It was January 29th, 2020, and a typical day in Florence where the mornings are ordinarily filled with yesterday’s drama, uneasiness, and routine. Like fish flowing in their determined direction, you can see prisoners emerging from their cells walking to and from the hot water dispenser with coffee mugs in hand ready for that first revitalizing sip, others are marching to the ice machine carrying plastic bags and waste baskets to collect ice for sodas and what have you. Amidst the traffic, lines rapidly taking form to utilize the computers and telephones, in the background you can hear the sound of chairs smacking against the floor facing towards a display of 26-inch screen T.Vs mounted across the day-room.

Similar to a cash-out line at the grocery store, I stood in line awaiting my turn for hot water. WATER UP! People usually say this when you are up for water, but you aren’t paying attention as most of the time people stare off into the day-room. Snapping back to the situation, I walk up to the dispenser, press down on the nasal, and watch as the coffee grinds in my mug dissolve, and turn into liquid coffee.

Coffee made time to begrudgingly show face. Walking over to our area I look for a spot to sit just until I finish my coffee. Good morning, Good morning, I say to a few guys who I decided to sit by. After I adjust myself in my seat I take that first sip of sunshine, then look around the day-room. Amazing I thought to myself— Mexicans, Blacks, Whites, Natives divided into sections of their own race with no exception of outer-racial groups. This is truly another world the thought crossed my mind. Ahhh, as I lower my mug after taking the last sip, I simultaneously look up at the clock in the day-room. Six-fifty, (6:50), chow call can be any minute I thought to myself, so I went to place my mug in my cell, then headed for the unit entrance.

When I arrived I noticed Jimmy was already waiting at the entrance door. Do you know which unit is going to chow right now, I asked? OB (Otera Bravo), he said. We should be next I said out loud as I walked up to the windows along the side of the entrance door to look out at the compound. WAAAIILL!!! Suddenly, we heard the wailing of sirens, then saw prisoners on the compound get on the ground, as guards ran toward a dropping (fight).

Anticipating a delay due to the disruption I strolled off towards the day room where I scanned the area for familiar faces. I saw Jose was sitting in our area, coffee mug in hand seeming to be transfixed on another T.V. Let me see what he’s watching I thought to myself. As I approached him I could smell the rich coffee creamer emanating from his mug. Just as I was walking up to him, it’s as if he was reading my mind, LOOK…, he pointed to the third T.V. Fox News was harping on some outbreak, but at this point in time Covid wasn’t identified as Covid, and a pandemic had not been promulgated yet, so I dismissed it as sensationalism. What do you think it is, he said? Probably just a flu, I said. CHOW!