Originally written 07/15/14
How are you? Fabulous, I hope! I hear that many of you are enjoying summer— taking a break from the nitty-gritty normalities of life. I’m glad. I hope the rest of the year is restorative and full of cheer. J
There’s been plenty of updates on my front. The biggest is that I signed my plea deal. I took a three-year prison sentence, which (after factoring in overcrowding policy and time served) will amount to 15 months of actual time. If I successfully am admitted into a work release program, I will serve 9 months. I will be hoping for that, obviously. :) Or even better, an early parole exception. I will most likely leave from here on July 28th or august 4th. Since I have already signed, all I have left to do is reaffirm my plea bargain in front of the court and judge. That’ll happen July 25th. Wish me luck, or better yet… wish me strength.
Signing was emotional, for a wide variety of reasons. I am grateful for the honest, grounded presence of my lawyer. I could sense her faith in me. After, I went back to my housing and was grateful for my recent move, for the first time since moving.
That was another update! I was moved from my two-gal cell (called ‘IRC’) to a dorm with 39 other women. It’s called ‘The Main’ or ‘The Tank.’ IT has been a major adjustment! Even now, I am holding my notepad at an angle in my left hand, leaning it against a pole. It’s not easy having limited to no desk access. We’ve also had to change our ‘programming’, which is jail-speak for the routines and systems we live by.
I don’t have much positive to say about my new living situation, except perhaps that I am proud of myself for continuing to find ways to improve it Just right now, I learned how to make a pencil extender and writing with a full-sized pencil fills me with joy! Seriously. It’s the little things. :) Our particular tank is filled with a few girls I know as well, so that’s nice too. I’ve been here so long though that it’s rare to be somewhere (even court) where I don’t know someone. Every time I run into someone in an odd place, I shake my head and say, ‘I’ve been here too long.’ In fact, I’ve been here SO long that 2 of the 40 girls in my tank are ones I said goodbye to already. Many say the door to jail is a revolving one, but I certainly hope that isn’t the case for me.
Some of the downsides of the tank are:
- Super raunchy girls who share my space. If I had a nickel for every girl who pulled a stripper move on the poles of my bunk bed, or wash their panties in my sink, I could make bail.
- Group punishment.
- “Tossings”—which is jail-speak for when the deputies come in and throw our stuff everywhere. We’ve been tossed 5 times in the two weeks we’ve been here.
- Loop deputies. The deputies who I’ve had no contact with since my first two days here are around. It’s stressful. The IRC deputies were very human. The deputies here can be. Others are out of line, but for now I can do nothing but make careful note of the details.
- It’s almost impossible to get into the groove of one other woman, let alone 39.
Originally, all of my friends from IRC moved to the same tank with me. It was an unusual thing to do so we should’ve been less shocked when they decided to move us around again, rather than another tossing or extra-duty situation. Still, I was in shock. I was prepared to say goodbye, but not in the middle of the night, in the dark, with my stuff strewn all over my bed, at the last second, over the sound of yelling on the intercom.
But, as far as punishments go, it was mild. We’re really not supposed to make friends in here, though it’s necessary if you want to keep your wits about you… And I’ve always been obsessed with keeping my wits. :)
People keep asking how I am feeling about prison and the truth is—I feel fine. It’s not the stressful feeling of waiting for a probably-negative medical report, or the frenzied excitement of a first day. It’s the flickering readiness of a Monday morning meeting that you are absolutely prepared for, even though it’s true that you at your most prepared is only 20% prepared. In other words, I feel fine. Ready or not, prison, here I come.
Because I won’t be here for too much longer, I feel a sort of zen that calms my need to stay busy and involved. For the last 73 days, I’ve been skating between two worlds, but now, I am where I am. So if you have been carrying the burden of worry for me—let it go. I will be okay. Thank you for carrying my troubles as far as this. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the day when I can carry yours—or when the troubles I dump on you are minor thinks like writer’s block. :)
I wrote a goodbye letter, but I here I might be able to stay better in touch in prison. There’s too much unknown to check out mentally so I won’t disappear quite yet. Still, just in case…
Thank you again, for everything. I hope the remainder of 2014 brings your most fabulous dreams to life, and that 2015 is twice as spectacular as the best you’re able to imagine.
As to 2016, well…
Hopefully, we’ll be celebrating that year together.
You are loved. Always.