Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-05/18/2024-Journal #19

Journal Entry

Sunday, May 12th

Writing this on Wednesday the 15th as we were locked down all Sunday into Monday. Hard to really explain to someone what it’s like to be in a 54-foot cell with 2 people that long. One person(me) sitting /laying on the lower bunk all day, my cellmate on a chair next to the toilet, and sometimes on the toilet just to switch it up a bit:) Other than standing, lying, or sitting, nothing else to do and no space to do it in. Psychologically you wake up at 6 only to see the door not open. Then the poor guard( who hates having to do this) delivers another meal, breakfast. Your mind then goes to 11 and whether the door will open for lunch. And when it doesn’t you hope 5 pm and so forth. Meanwhile, all you can do is talk, read, write standing up, organize your work folders, and do it again. By evening it’s 6 empty meal containers in your cell, stinking it up, most of the food you didn’t eat anyways.

There I feel better writing this!

I really feel bad for the moms who made a special trip for Mother’s Day and couldn’t see their son, and all the moms at home not at least getting their phone call wishing them Happy Mother’s Day. You know they spent another day worrying about what’s going on as opposed to being joyous. Just sad.

Monday, May 13th

6 am, the door doesn’t open. All you think laying there is Damn it! Here we go again. At least I was having fun teasing our guard, who is really good to us, about how much we were enjoying room service or sorry we couldn’t tip, etc:)

Finally, at 9:30 they let the cleaning crew guys out to come around and get our food containers and so forth, and then let us out around 10. We were kept in the unit the rest of the day but at least we got email and the ability to walk up and down stairs. We had to have lunch in the unit, but for dinner, we went to Chow Hall and they even let us out on the Yard that evening which was a breath of fresh air.

Out of books I picked up a book that I hadn’t really gotten into yet, and was very glad I did. It’s amazing how God’s timing is sometimes obvious like tonight, and other times it’s so painful waiting on Him. The book, Mostly What God Does by Samantha Guthrie of NBC’s Today Show, is her attempt to discuss God and His impact on her life and the various ways faith operates. She is a nice lady on TV and the book reads the same way. There are a few fluff spots, but tonight I hit some real substance on speaking to God and hearing from Him, and it just felt right reading it tonight.

Tuesday, May 14th

Started at the library from 7:30-9 making copies of my statement for the Hearing this week. At some point, I’ll journal about this process but I’m at peace that I’m ready, regardless of all the hurdles to know the BOP policies even exist and where to find them to read. Really can’t make this stuff up.

Was back at my table in the Unit afterwards, emailing for 15 minutes and then writing and back and forth. An inmate who is a few cells down and has been in for 30 years in 10 prisons, wanted to speak. He asked what I was writing and I told him about my cellmate’s appeal, my book reports and so forth. He wanted me to know that he was writing a book and really thought I’d be better served writing a book as well. So I took out our table of contents and asked him his advice as an inmate and he really liked it. He may even offer some ideas in time he said. At first, I thought, here goes again, someone telling me what I’m doing wrong again, but after reading Guthrie’s book last night, I really took his encouragement on the book as God speaking to me that I should pursue it and an answer to prayer about writing it being God’s will for me or not. Can honestly say it doesn’t happen very often, but it’s nice when it does!

Skipped going outside tonight and went back to the library from 6-7:30 reading the Email policy I didn’t know existed and discovered that the BOP was supposed to train us on email at our orientation but never did. Adding that to my statement:)

Wednesday, May 15th

Woke up this morning to some good news- at least for my roommate. He has lost his appeal, and when he asked the Appeals Court to appoint a new attorney they declined, so he was stuck. But out of the blue, the prosecutor in the case must have seen that ruling, and put in a motion at the trial court level to get him counsel and the judge agreed. So the motion got posted publicly yesterday and his ex-wife saw it and notified him. Now he has counsel again, and as importantly hope. Especially when last week the 9th Circuit Appeals Court issued a huge ruling which will help drug offenders who had a gun. They got 2x a sentence, so 10 years became 20 years. but with this ruling, if they were nonviolent in their charges, they can have a gun under the Second Amendment and reduce their sentence. Apparently a big deal.

Spent the morning doing my normal quiet reading 8-9, email every other 15 minutes all morning. Finished last week’s journal, did this week so far, issued another Blog and one tomorrow as well, all on preparing for prison and the First Day in prison. The next blog will be Day 2 and thereafter.

Thursday, May 16th

Was expecting my hearing today, but still nothing on my callout report to meet up. Well, that lets me not worry about commissary then:) For some reason, the commissary took from 8:15-12:30 with a 30-minute lunch break, but got most of what I needed and have the best pantry I’ve had so far! Even suntan lotion and mouthwash for the first time:) But it soaks up the entire morning almost. With 180+ Hispanics in our Unit, commissary is like a flea market environment. When they get back there is a constant flow of trading and swapping and screaming and running around. Every time! I do feel sorry for some, as I observed some get like 3 items in their bag for maybe $10, some bags have 3 people going together into half a bag, and so forth. Poverty even in prison for some, is a sad but realistic statement on what we see on TV everyday at the border.

On the bad news front, my poor cellmate got some. His new attorney wasn’t appointed for helping on his appeal, turns out the government is now going after him on back taxes and got him an attorney for that. So much for the prosecutor trying to help out:)

Guess it’s back to helping him again on his en banc appeal request. He mailed in a request to the Appeals court today requesting a 6-month extension to make the filing as his own attorney. Amazing how many guys have to do their own legal work once in prison. I’m quite blessed that way!

Afternoon was spent on normal stuff and went at 5 to work out and skip dinner(hot dogs:(). Tried to go to library at 6 :30 but there was some guy missing and the Movie kept getting delayed so I skipped and just read the rest of the evening. I even got 2 envelopes mailed off after a week of trying, it’s a long story how strict the guard is on return addresses…….

Friday, May 17th

So far so good. Productive email start, and just finished census where we sit in a cell for 30-45 minutes while guard comes around and confirms who’s here. That’s when I do my quiet reading on Bible and other books, chapter each in those. Today Purpose Driven Life, Day 20, about the balance of reconciling and healing relationships while being disciplined and not being a pushover. Really struck me how my son has done very well at this, both at work and also with his Mother these past few years. Makes me proud of who he is becoming and has become!

Still nothing on my incident report hearing, so focusing on my legal filing that Derek is helping with. Since daytime Yard has been shut down all week due to concrete repair(very slow I might add) for the water project earlier, we can only be outside 5-6 or 6-7:30. Thankfully on the weekend it’s morning, afternoon, and evening so we can get 2x again.

Saturday, May 18th

Typing this date reminded me it’s my Mom’s birthday today, so Happy Birthday Mom! Thinking about her it’s amazing how many wonderful memories come flooding back, I was blessed having her for a Mom that’s for sure!

Something about Saturdays that are nice if you have to be in prison. Mornings are so quiet as many sleep in or stay in their cell. Computers are wide open till the 9:30 lockdown as well. And at 11 the fun begins….. With the quiet, it’s so much easier to think and reflect as well. One doesn’t appreciate how nice it is to sit at home in peace and quiet and be on their PC until you sit in prison with people screaming and yelling at each other (normal in their mind) while you’re trying to think and type. Just brutal to be honest. Poor Derek, with his wheelchair, is stuck on the first floor with one PC, and the noise is nonstop loud. And that’s his environment to type each time. Brutal is all I can say.

Praying for Freedom and Liberty and to see my Family and friends soon! BJ