I made a huge mistake in giving away that rock of a mattress for this dilapidated worn-out thing. Instead of sleeping on a rock, I slept on a whole pile of them! My back is killing me–again– only not so much my lower back, but now the upper back. I woke up at 3:30 AM in a great deal of pain, and couldn’t sleep. Somehow I was able to get a couple more hours of sleep before wake-up call. Chow was called and everyone headed over to the mess hall. I walked in to find that they wer serving that same cardboard and watered-down milk. I felt like puking and headed out the way I came in. A prison guard stopped me and asked why I was coming out of the “In” door. I explained that I couldn’t eat that meal, and she scolded me to use the Exit door next time.
I went back to my cubicle and thought I should go to the pharmacy for my prescriptions that they haven’t released yet. A line had formed and I was probably the 10th in line. I waited patiently to see if my meds would be ready. After about 45 minutes, I was finally up, so I popped my head in the door and noticed a sign that read “Pharmacy 1600 hrs. – 1800 hrs.” I headed back to “A block. As soon as I got back, I heard my name crackling on the worst intercom system ever made. Most of the time you can’t understand anything the person is saying. I somehow understood the page for me to report to Medical. Again I walked back to the medical room where a nurse was waiting for me to read the TB results from the shot I received at Admissions. Test results were negative. I obtained some Band-aids from the nurse after telling her that I had developed a blister from the boots that were issued on Tuesday. I hobbled back to “A” block and started to put the Band-aid on my left toe. I then put two pairs of Prison- issued, made-in-China, tube socks on to try to eliminate the painful blister. Just before I put on my boots, Luke, who I met yesterday, came by and plopped down a really worn pair of mid-black sneakers, size 10. I was very happy to see these old soles, and immediately tried them on. They fit! Eureka! Luke told me the guy who donated them wanted $15 worth of goods from the commissary. I agreed and headed out to the exercise yard with a spring in my step! I started to walk around the concrete path used for either running or walking. I walked about halfway around and saw a bunch of guys with softballs, gloves and bats. They had a lot of guys there, so I headed over to see if I could get involved. Initially I thought we were going to play catch, but all the Spanish-speaking guys asked me if I wanted to play. They asked me what position I played, and I said I plated shortstop and center field. I think I was kidding, but they gave me a mini-tryout. I did ok at both positions, even though it’s been about 15 years. My arm isn’t the same, but the glove works ok. There were 2 teams of 10 guys, and they wanted me to play 2nd base. I agreed and the game was on. The first couple of batters wanted to hit the ball “at the gringo” to see if I had any skills. The 1st batter hit a line drive that went through my glove. I thought I had caught it, but the glove was too flimsy and it got through the webbing. The next few batters also challenged me with some hard ground balls. The couple of times I made the play on the ball I slipped in the dirt with these old sneakers I was wearing, almost falling to the ground. Each time they hit it to me, I made a play, and they stopped hitting it at
I then had an opportunity to bat. The 1st two attempts, I was way out in front of the ball, and grounded out rather easily. The following at-bats went as follows: single, triple, single, triple. The last at-bat (triple) I pulled a muscle, but it was worth it. We played two games, the last we were down 17 points and came back to win. I think I now have some respect in the yard. What I may have accomplished was building a bridge between old white guys and young Hispanic kids, knowing this is a start of things to come.
I came back and took a shower before chow. Dinner was edible; salad with turkey and bread, beets and some collard greens soup. After the meal I headed back to the “A” block and asked the guy who swapped mattresses with me if he had some pain reliever. He obliged and I feel better now.
Tonight, one of the head honcho guards told us that our restrictions have been lifted. We were able to go outside the courtyard gate this evening and I wanted to check my emails. I also wanted to see if I could type my journal entries into an email. I saw that Teresa had responded to the BOP request, so I started typing an email of Tuesday’s journal. The system timed out after just one page. I decided to stay and see if I could finish one day’s worth of writing. I’m only allowed 30 minutes in the email system before it kicks me out. Afterward, I have to wait 15 minutes before logging back into the system. After logging back in, I wasn’t able to complete the task, so I gave up and headed back to “A” block to write another journal of the day’s events.
My roommate just gave me a candy bar that was excellent. I owe a lot of people stuff.
After softball, I was walking toward the exit, trying to get back to “A” block. I heard someone say my full name, so I turned around to meet David. He apparently knew who I was because he’s a J6er and he said that there are at least 5 others here at Jesup. He said he’d learned through someone on the outside that I’d be arriving. We talked for a while and he said he would introduce me to the others. He said that he attends the prayer group that meets in our building. I’m about 5 steps from this area. He said some very encouraging things that I’ll have to see come true or are true, but I”m feeling much more welcomed now, especially after the softball game. I seem to be the buzz of the town and I met some other guys that I normally would be afraid of, but were really nice. Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep well tonight knowing that I think God is sowing seeds of unity.
Last night we had a prayer meeting. I was invited to the meeting by an intimidating, tall bald guy. Come to find out, he’s very nice and is a godly lawyer. He works with the BOP and the guards here at Jesup, and is fighting for prisoners’ rights. He is also trying to expose our corrupt legal system and the courts, which is probably why he’s here. He gave a sermon about keeping the faith through our suffering and imprisonment. He spoke rather boldly and read scripture referencing his points. Afterward, he asked for prayer requests and praise reports. One guy got a ruling in his favor which we all acknowledged. I asked for a blessing for Ihla and my family to bring peace and comfort to them in this time of suffering. We prayed and closed the prayer session with the Lord’s Prayer. It is comforting to have brothers in Christ in this time of need