Journal Entry: Robert Reyes-06/23/2023-Camp

Journal Entry

“Bam, Bam!” I awake to the sound of the door being banged on by an officer. I scurried up from bed to the sound of keys rattling as they open the door. It was a sight of relief as I imagined they would forget about me in the room. Thereafter, the officer proceeded to walk me through another steel corridor for one last round of inspection. I was introduced to my counselor, a jolly fella with a good sense of humor. He then asks me and the other inmate, Alan, a well educated Armenian from Los Angeles, a few more questions. The officer states, ”walk down the long dirt road and meet me at the camp”. We proceeded to follow the instructions. Once we arrived at the meeting point, I was startled at what I saw. A full operating camp completely run by the residents (I don’t like the term ”inmate”). We saw inmates riding tractors, big trucks, regular vehicles etc. I was provided my military garbs, mattress and went through a quick orientation by a nice, docile man named Dave. Dave is a former public official based out of Santa Monica who has been down for 6 months on a 36 month bid. A bit bizarre, from appearance, he has the appearance of a sweet, doting, well educated father. How did he end up here? Was my immediate reaction. After receiving our starter kit, we were lead to our bunk bed. I was assigned the top station of A11. I was alarmed at the level of casualness around the other men, a social club of sorts. Some were coming back from their “jobs” and others were studying in the library. I immediately went into the library and immersed myself with the healthy variety of books. After picking up a book that I found interest in, I went to the “weight pile” as the others call it, otherwise known as the gym. I picked up a few weights and started. It’s been months, if not years since I’ve been around any type of weight. One rep, two reps etc. For a minute, I forgot where I was.