Weasel

“Yo, Weasel, you like eating pussy?”

That’s the nickname Rooster appointed me. He’s a member of the Pisas, the largest of the Mexican gangs, and he has a wrinkly shaved head with blonde brows and a paunch. Occasionally, Rooster stops by to probe my sexuality in hopes of confirming what everyone else here suspects: that I’m gay.

“Sure,” I lied. “I like eating puss.” I’ve never so much as kissed a girl.

“Oh yeah, Weasel?” Rooster cocked his blonde brows. I noticed one eyelid was droopy, perhaps the result of an old gang-related injury.

“Tastes like oysters, huh?” He grinned up at me in my bunk where I sat reading.

I considered this for a moment and wondered if eating a girl out was similar to eating a guy out–something I am experienced in. Do women really taste like oysters? The thought was nauseating.

“Yeah, I like oysters,” I said. He accepted this response with a nod and went back to ogling a copy of King Magazine, a popular prison rag that glorifies luxury cars and black women with large asses.

It’s been one month since I arrived here, and I can’t seem to decide whether time has moved fast or slow. Perhaps it’s too soon to tell.

I just finished reading The World of Normal Boys by K.M. Soehnlein about a young gay boy’s coming of age in the 1970s. It’s my tenth book to read here, and I figured if I keep this pace, I will have read over 1,200 books by the time I’m released 10 years from now.

I’ve been keeping a record of each book I finish. It’s silly, but in a place where accomplishments are rare, it’s nice to keep track of personal feats no matter how small.

Unfortunately, getting my hands on 1,200 books will be difficult. The library here isn’t so much a library as it is a lost and found for books not worth claiming. The room consists of only 10 partially filled shelves. Most of the books were donated, and as a testament of the collection’s small worth, no check out is required; inmates can take whatever books they’d like and bring them back whenever, if ever.

While browsing one day through such titles as Improving Job Attendance and Comparing Theories of Early Childhood Development, I was excited to stumble across a copy of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; however, after reading the first chapter, I flipped to the middle of the book and discovered someone had carved a compartment into the pages the size of a shank. Near the back of the book was a second, smaller compartment the size of a razor blade.

Also amongst the rubbish is an obscene amount of cat detective mysteries, each with cutsie titles like Murder, She Meowed and The Purrfect Murder. I had no idea such a genre existed.

Surprisingly, I did discover a small handful of gems including a charming mystery series by M.C. Beaton, which follows the chronicles of Hamish Macbeth, the constable of a small village in the Highlands of Scotland.

To compensate for its local selection, the library has an interloan program that lets you request titles from the public library in Jackson, Mississippi. I’m a huge Michael Crichton fan, so I requested Jurassic Park and chose The Lost World as my secondary choice in case the first wasn’t available.

Three weeks later, my book finally arrived: The Lost World by Sir Author Conan Doyle–the large print edition. It’s like reading a book of headlines.

Thankfully, my parents are sending me books.

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