Throughout my life, I tended to think the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. I suspect this thinking pattern was based upon my lack of gratitude for what I already had. I spent an inordinate amount of time setting goals and working to attain them. Once I reached a goal, I did not take time to enjoy my accomplishment, I simply set new goals.

One of my goals in prison was to transfer to a camp because I was “sure” it would be a better place to finish my sentence. The grass would be greener in Pensacola!

After spending a few days on the Pensacola compound, I will admit that the grass is greener but it is clearly not as green as I expected.

A number of things are better in Pensacola. The food, the library, the movie pavilion, and the recreational facilities are much nicer in Pensacola. I am sleeping on a real mattress with springs and they issued me my own pillow. You cannot imagine how good it feels to lay your head on a pillow after not having one for 19 months! In general, The prisoners in Pensacola seem to come from a higher socio-economic background. This promotes some interesting conversations. I know longer hear the two words I despise ( Mother F_ _ _ er ) every 60 seconds like I did in Jesup. Indeed, one day back in Jesup, a guy kept saying Mother F_ _ _ er in a conversation we were having. I stopped him mid- sentence and said numerous folks on the compound keep talking about this guy ( Mother F_ _ _ er ) and I have never seen or met him. He did not appreciate my attempt at humor but I did.

Back to Pensacola. My unit is not as clean as my unit in Jesup. The Corrections officers seem to write more prisoner incident reports than they did in Jesup. You are required to were uncomfortable steel toed work boots all day . In Jesup, we could wear tennis shoes. The housing units are very noisy. The lights in my unit come on at 4:45 a.m. every morning. In Jesup, they did not come on until 7:00 a.m. I had a great cellie in Jesup. My cellie in Pensacola is not so great.

I will adjust to my new environment in Pensacola. The grass may not be as green as I anticipated, but it is still greener. Not to worry, this is simply a temporary stop on my way home to my family.

Ken Flaska

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