You might ask what do we do all day. So often in here one can simply be drawn into their own world and not interact with others. Thinking or daydreaming is always available.
Some pass the time by sleeping all the time, or acting like they are. Now I can understand that as no one bothers you, save the CO’s when it’s count time. (yeah, they count us 4 times a day to make sure we are all here – that despite the double perimeter 15’ high fences, sensors, cameras and constant patrols around the outside) Then it’s back to bed many times with a blanket, sheet or coat pulled up around their head, a sure DO NOT DISTURB sign. It is easier to do all that, even when not sleeping, than to answer a stream of questions or make small talk with someone you do not know and probably do not want to know and will most likely never see again after you leave.
Others hide by reading. Even trashy novels seem better to them than conversation with real characters – and there are sure real characters in here!! Again, it passes the time, and depending on how long your bid is, can expedite its ending. When not into the books they are pursuing new ones at the library, which also serves as a genuine destination and can make you feel almost “normal” because it is similar to any such facility anywhere in the country – periodicals, books of all kinds, even computers to use for looking up selections.
Some are tubers – constantly watching television, depending of course, on which facility you are in and what the dorm rules are for having the idiot box turned on. Most have certain hours for viewing, and then it’s consciences’ viewing. Of course to most guys in here, the what is not so much a concern as to something that can take their mind off their surroundings and away from here.
I’ve seen others in constant litigation, against a) the system, b) their charge c) some perceived (or actual) slight done to them either before or during their day here, or d) a combination of any of the above. They become “legal eagles” even if only in their own eyes, walking authorities on Article 73’s or Habeas Corpus or 440’s or whatever, spending every waking hour in the Law Library, if they do not already work there. (called ‘frequent fliers’ by the law library workers) Nothing against these types of folks, as much has changed in here for the better because of some of their findings. It just is another time passer for those particular individuals.
Some are physical fitness junkies, whether basketball, running, or weight lifting in the gym or omnipresent weight pits. It seems to occupy every waking moment so that they are either doing it, planning it, talking about it, watching it or getting ready to do it yet again or coming down from it. Some really have something to show for it, with muscles on muscles. I wonder what will happen to these gentlemen when they get out.
Now do not get me wrong , I am not judging but simply reporting some various diversions of those here inside. There are others – the suck-ups, the isolationists, or ones bordering on real or feigned mental instability – that I have witnessed in one form or another. Me? I mix a variety of many, but am quite focused on staying focused on Christ, putting Him first so that when I get out I’ll have a template to follow in my daily life. Maybe I can lead by example, though that is not why I do it. Jesus is my role model and it is important to me to follow the many examples He gave to me through His life deeds and word. To date I have a long road ahead of me to emulate The Master.
I was not always this way, definitely not before entering here. Oh I claimed the Lord and worshiped Him, especially on Sundays. I acted as a Christian most of the time, especially when someone was looking. Was I always filled with love for my fellow man? Hardly. Did I return anger with anger? Absolutely. I sure did not want someone getting the better of me or “one upping” me, eh? I guess I was like so many others that talk a good game, especially on Sundays, but then forget my walk much of the week. I also let the liberal media and viewpoint taint my ideas on what is acceptable and would be pleasing to my Lord. As my friend’s song says, “On Sunday I was shouting for revival, but on Monday could not find my Bible.” Basically I was a fair weather religious person, lukewarm, or a smorgasboarder – picking and choosing what I wanted to believe and do depending on my mood and attitude, not on His word.
So now I read and study the Bible to ensure I know what is wanted by Jesus. I attend studies and discussions of it many times a week which really ingrains it in me and reminds me I am not alone. That one book – the constant best seller every year and of all times – offers great examples of what to do when happy, sad, hurt, tempted, humiliated, sinning, giving and everything in-between. Where? Everywhere. I am finding references now for what I believe. It definitely is Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth.
In fact when I return, get out of corrections, though I will never be free of the need of inside corrections, one of the many plans I have is to make a line of greeting cards with specific verses and references on them for such occasions – when you are feeling left out, overwhelmed, down and out, or grieved in some way for example. So you’ll have to watch for those “spirit cards” as I think I call them to come to a store near you – or maybe an e-store by then. But I digress.
Or maybe I don’t. Anything that keeps me on track on my path to follow my friend Jesus is putting me right where I am supposed to be. I’ve had to make several inside corrections, a shift from my self-centered and arrogant ways and away from the direction in which I was headed. It is no wonder I had a train wreck. (and everyone loves to look at a train wreck, just not get involved or too close to one) Now my direction is clear, and hope is alive. And that is such a change from a couple of months ago.

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