Journal Entry: Robert Reyes-06/22/2023-SHU

Journal Entry


Solitary housing unit, a place where one day feels like an eternity. Before we get into the details of ‘The Hole’ as inmates call it, let’s discuss the route to Lompoc and the gut wrenching goodbyes. It was a beautiful route, accompanied by mountain range scenic seascapes. My sister, Lisa and I made the three and a half drive and did not know what to expect. We arrived to the sight of a few men in green inmate garbs casually walking around a dusty track and another group of others playing a game of baseball. With this said, the view drastically changed as we approached a clay colored, fortress looking building layered with rows of razor barb wire. Something you’d see out of a movie. We said our goodbyes which was a gut wrenching moment, to say the least. Tears flowed and emotions were high, it was something I’d never envision doing. I waved good bye one more time as I walked down towards the gunner tower to self surrender. Terrified of what’s to come, although mentally prepared. I went through typical processing and intake where they check every orifice, literally. After inspection, I was placed in a very small holding cell with only a small, very small stainless steel stool. This is where my senses became magnified, the distinct smell of starch coming from the garbs, the sight of the bland concrete walls and distinct noise of the keys shackling as the guards paced back and forth. I immediately began conducting several sets of pushups to alleviate the stress. One set, two sets, so on and so forth. Every attempt to distract myself from the absolute reality that I found myself in. After several hours, I was sent off to my room at the SHU. Best way to describe this experience is walking down a long, cold corridor as seen in the movie ‘The Green Mile’. A two-story corridor where inmates began yelling expletives and ‘fresh fish!’. Thankfully I was placed in a unit by myself, I was horrified to be in another cell with one of these individuals. BOOM! – The distinct noise of the heavy, clay colored door slams behind me. I proceed to immediately doing push ups, one set, two sets and more. I find myself in my cell reflecting and have a stark reality of where I am at.