9. Every time you are passing someone, are they going to shank you? Are they going to cold cock you in your face?
“Day 1. Everything is just scary as can be. You don’t really know where you will be safe, if anywhere. Every time you are passing someone, are they going to shank you? Are they going to cold cock you in your face?
Chow time was total panic mode. Hundreds of violent thugs in a close group outnumbering the guards, 25 to 1. If something went down, you would be dead before order was restored. When incidents happen, you have to hide, but not cower. You have to keep your back to the wall so you can fend off any incoming attacks. So the first chow time a fight broke out was the scariest time I was there.
As days went on, you become more aware of when to be alarmed but there are plenty of sneak attacks that come when all is calm. Just don’t go.”
10. I was labeled a race traitor by the whites and was told someone would be coming to slit my throat.
“The first week of my 12-year set was the worst. I was a skinny 20-year-old with no criminal history, and it takes a while to learn that most people are mostly talk. I accidentally sat at the black table at chow, made a point of staying there and eating with them when they showed up to avoid offending them, was labeled a race traitor by the whites and was told someone would be coming to slit my throat.
Nobody came, as most people don’t want to be inconvenienced with a long stint in the hole for killing someone for something so small, but I slept with a pen cap hooked to my watch band holding a sharp pencil against my wrist in case I had to stab someone in defense. Living for days with the crippling fear of imminent death fucked with my nerves. My hands shake a little now.”
11. When I entered the cell, my cellmate said jokingly welcome to hell.
“The first time the metal doors slammed, I am in eastern Europe, we still have heavy, solid doors. That, combined with the jiggle of keys was nerve-racking.
When I entered the cell, my cellmate said jokingly welcome to hell; I was terrified.
But per total it wasn’t that bad.”
12. Waking up at 4am covered head to toe in sweat staring at my cubicle wall.
“Dreaming about being free; being with family, playing in my backyard. Then waking up at 4am covered head to toe in sweat staring at my cubicle wall. That was on day 3 of 1,945.”