Never Hurry, Never Worry, Never, Never, Never Complain.
My first weekend in Federal prison which means I have been here exactly one week. Is that right? It’s only been one week? Anyway, I’m starting to get in the groove. Wake at 0600 go to breakfast, back to the housing unit, change clothes, go workout, back to the housing unit, shower, change clothes, eat lunch, read, write, eat dinner, go to class, walk the track, and finally go to bed.
I started walking/jogging at the prison track, which is made with a packed bed of crushed red brick (brick dust). When it’s dry everything from your knees down turns a rust red color. Looks like I will have to buy a second pair of commissary Reeboks to use as “house shoes”. That purchase however will have to wait until after the first of September. As a federal inmate here at Seagoville, I am allowed to spend $305.00 per month in the prison commissary. This month I have already spent $290.00 purchasing all of the “essentials “and my spending limit doesn’t renew until the first of the month.
The prison commissary is like a supply depot for a lot of the extra, not issued to an inmate items. You fill out a commissary list by placing a quantity number next to an item you want and then on shopping day you insert your list into a tiny mail slot where someone on the other side receives it. Then you stand around and wait for “Charlie Browns teacher” to call your name over the P.A. At which time you go behind the door and grab all your stuff as quick as you can. Grab and Go! No complaints and no delays. Oh well, it could be worse, right?
Speaking of no complaints, I have joined the “Never Worry” club. There is an older inmate that just so happens to be from my home state that has befriended me and he is the club president. So the gig is you recite, at least 10 times each day,
Never, Never, Never Complain
This old man is constantly challenging me on this. He seems to be everywhere all the time. Popping up seemingly out of thin air sometimes, kind of weird but cool. He tells me once I’ve done this to his satisfaction for 30 days I will get some kind of certificate? He’s a really nice old guy and we talk about the same places at home all the time, so I’m playing along. What the heck, slow down, no worrying, and no complaining? I should give this challenge to my kids.
I have also taken a few of the classes being offered at night and one in particular made me laugh. The class is titled “Effective Time Management” and was scheduled to start at 6:00pm. I was locked in my housing unit until 5:50 (remember the whole controlled move thing?) and I had yet to eat dinner. So, at 5:50 I speed walked to chow and arrived at 5:54. I inhaled some sort of meat cake with beans (that’s a whole other blog) and was out of chow at 6:01. I then speed walked to class and arrived at 6:04. Phew! I walk into the classroom to find that I was the first and only one there. Everyone else trickled in until about 6:20 followed by the instructor at 6:30.
So much for the whole time management thing! Not to mention the whole “No Hurry” thing. I’m glad I didn’t run into old man Oregon!
All in all I’m starting to get a semi-routine and mostly I’m just trying to stay busy. If I stop for even a second my mind goes straight home, to my wife and kids. Tears well up in my eyes and I get a lump in my throat.
Speaking of moving, as I mentioned previously I have started a walk/run routine with a goal of losing 15 pounds by the end of September (I’ll keep you posted). I am out of shape!! I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating since I got here. People look at me as if to say, “Man, are you alright?” “This dude sweats just brushing his teeth.” I think it’s the humidity backed by 100-degree heat, brutal!!!
My wife also sent me the first of hopefully many books, “1776” by David McCullough and “What on Earth Am I Here For” by Rick Warren. (I love that title) I received them Thursday and today is Sunday and I’m halfway through both. I do not watch any T.V., which again people think is weird because that is what most people do ALL day. When I get up at 6:00 am the same people are watching TV that were there when I went to bed? I vowed day one to watch zero T.V. but rather devote my time to exercising, reading, writing, calling home, and taking a few classes. Besides, I really do NOT care what Kim Kardashian is doing or how to bow hunt from a tree stand! It’s mind numbing just walking by.
Another interesting thing is housing unit food. At the commissary you can buy all sorts of food items, crackers, cookies, soda, you name it they probably have it. Some of the guys (mostly the diehard TV watchers) do not leave the housing unit to eat, but rather they cook and eat all day out of their lockers with the food purchased at the commissary. I’ve seen the most elaborate meals, for instance a guy next door makes pizzas on Saturday. I’m talking full-blown made to order 15-inch pies with all the fixins’. He makes his own crust from God knows what and they smell delicious. These guys could make a million dollars publishing a book on microwave cooking, simply amazing. That being said I have also committed to eating only the three meals provided at the chow hall and not purchase any “extras” from the commissary. Wish me luck!
With all this talk of walking and running and trying to eat right I bet you’re thinking “he must sleep good at night” well, not so much! You see my mattress was used by a soldier in General George Washington’s Continental Army, circa 1774 and has seen better days. Its a whopping 1/16 of an inch thick and is placed on a solid steel bed pan (no springs). I think I have slept better in a folding lawn chair than I have since I have been here. I know I know, Never, Never, Never Complain. I better say that mantra a few more times or that certificate is history.
I hope someone is actually reading these blogs and if not, well, that okay. It’s still fun for me to put my thoughts and observations into type and because I’m not worrying anymore it’s all good.
Till next time remember,
Never, Never, Never Complain