Tag Archives: gangs

Static

We were in the chow hall eating lunch, chili dogs with packets of brown ketchup, when we looked up to see the Paisas abandoning their tables mid-meal, as though all at once they had received a covert transmission ordering them … Continue reading

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Weakness

As a nonbeliever, it’s more unsettling than I care to admit the many sermons I’ve sat through in which I’ve felt the preacher was speaking directly to me. It happened again last night at Bible study when Chaplain Barlow, reading … Continue reading

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Locks, Canes, and Vaseline

There was a rash of fights this Thanksgiving. The first occurred on Wednesday between two whites, a Floridian and a Texas. The Floridian refused to pay a thirty-dollar debt, so, as is the customary procedure in prison, the Texas went … Continue reading

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Bring the Hot Sauce

The trick to making friends in prison is simple: bring the hot sauce. Technically, outside condiments are not allowed in the chow hall. But this rule, like so many others, is not typically enforced. Inmates regularly sneak in all sorts … Continue reading

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More Complicated than Cheese

Rooster wasn’t understanding fractions. It was the simpifying he was having trouble with. What number goes into 10 and 26 without a remainder? He stared up at the classroom ceiling rummaging through his multiplication tables, but the answer was nowhere … Continue reading

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Voodoo

When a corrections officer came by to pack up my cellmate’s belongings this afternoon, my first reaction was joy at realizing I’d have the cell to myself for one night. This, of course, is a euphemistic way of saying I’d … Continue reading

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The Divide

I have my father’s lips, full and pouty, and my mother’s nose–a Roman nose that’s roamin’ all over my face, she’d say jokingly. I also have my mother’s dark eyes and hair which, at the age of 25, is already … Continue reading

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