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  • Life Without - A Memoir - continued

    Hello friends, allies, and fans.

    After many requests to continue "Life Without" I have decided to give a big "Hell Yeah!" and do so.

    I cannot continue it on the other channel and I am barred from even reading it that channel. I have saved all originally posted chapters in different places.

    So, I'll continue this epic saga here. Thank you Thailand Chatter! There are chapters already written that have not been posted, and I'll be writing more chapters and adding to the story.

    Twists and turns to come!

    As "Life Without" continues there will be no reference to any particular current forum, but the story will about a blend of the "real world" and the "forum world" and one inmates quest to overcomes the challenges he faces.

    Because it's been since Sept 21, 2018 since the last chapter was posted in the DH over there (you can still view it I assume) I'll repost the first 18 chapters here, and then continue the "new" or continuation from chapter 19.

    Thank you for all of your support - from the inside of my heart and soul to the physical forum incarceration....Life Without......


    Saluting!
    LWO Community strong!

  • #2
    Cool! Look forward to reading it, Boots!

    Comment


    • #3
      Gee, I wonder if 'boots' is the ever obsessed 'smeg'.
      As obsessed as ever. I wonder if his story will revolve around an ant like character.
      Wow I can't wait to cut and paste it to another forum for the entertainment of that forums members, where they can laugh at and deride without fear of repercussions.
      Carry on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by vendetta4real View Post
        Cool! Look forward to reading it, Boots!
        Thanks for the support, vendetta.

        As I noted, the first 18 chapters will be verbatim and re-posted here and to keep the story line and characters and then new chapters will continue the saga.

        We'll be adding soon.
        LWO Community strong!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cujo View Post
          Gee, I wonder if 'boots' is the ever obsessed 'smeg'.
          As obsessed as ever. I wonder if his story will revolve around an ant like character.
          Wow I can't wait to cut and paste it to another forum for the entertainment of that forums members, where they can laugh at and deride without fear of repercussions.
          Carry on.
          No, I'm not Smeg.

          Anyone who reads this or other forums knows this.

          I hope you do not cut and paste this story but I understand that you can and post and that site that banned me for basically no reason.

          Nonetheless, LWO will continue.

          the first 10 chapters will be identical, the next new.

          Peacw
          LWO Community strong!

          Comment


          • #6


            By, Grampa
            LWO Community strong!

            Comment


            • #7
              Chapter 2: Transition









              The ride:







              Sodum returned exactly fifteen minutes later.



              We were cons, prisoners, failures, throw-aways, the bottom of society wasting taxpayer money, getting fed three meals per day funded by those who pay the taxes.






              The driver, in his 60s, probably using this driving-gig as a part-time job started the diesel engine. A guard manned both the front and rear of the bus


              LWO Community strong!

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              • #8
                Chapter 3:

                Welcome. Come on in!










                He pulled out a black walki-talkie from his belt.





                Officer Rye stood at about 6 foot 2, with broad shoulders and puffy forearms. You could tell he was a weight lifter. He had a (balding) shaved head that had seen a lot of sun, silver-rimmed round-sloping sun-glasses and a dark brown handlebar moustache. He had a ponch. Easy to assume he liked cold suds in his off-time after work.

                He had volunteer high school American football coach written all over him.

                A former jock, I thought to myself.



                A hand rose in the middle of the bus, interrupting.




                F*ck, what a stupid question, I thought.













                There was dead silence.



                The bus made its finally crawl into the open doors to a dark and obscure warehouse devoid of hardly any light. As we fully entered it, the sliding iron doors shut in a slow methodical fashion by remote control. The bus stopped, its doors opened.



                My gut felt queasy.
                Last edited by Boots; 08-02-2019, 06:48 AM.
                LWO Community strong!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chapter 4:

                  Classification:




                  The handcuffs and ankle shackles were off now, since we were firmly inside layers of security. I started to feel (a little bit) like a human being.

                  Onto classification:




                  The wooden door with opaque marble-like glass clicked open.




















































                  I communicated to Mrs. Bavasi that I understood with my eyes.



                  I gave a visible sigh of relief.





                  Now I blew a louder and lengthier breath of fresh air that was noticeable. She knew what I was going through.











                  Footnotes.
                  LWO Community strong!

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                  • #10
                    Chapter 5:

                    The not-so-grand entrance



                    The mugshot, fingerprints and paperwork were finished.


                    I was issued 4 white t-shirts, 4 pairs of boxer underwear and 4 pairs of socks. All were white. Plain white. Were these new digs new? Hell no. Not in prison. You got used stuff. You can barely see the little stains under the armpits of the one of shirts, but they are there. Perhaps a coffee stain on one sleeve and who-knows-what on the other clothes issued to me.




                    2 bars of soap, a toothbrush, and a tube of toothpaste. All of these things were in a white cotton bag that you sling over your shoulder and carry to your new home.


                    I was given my new address:






                    I looked through the thick glass that separated me from General Pop, where I saw three stories or what they call tiers of corridors and rows of iron-barred cells. Dozens of inmates meandering about on the open bottom floor. sitting at tables talking, playing cards, standing, chatting, etc. It was a sterile and bland atmosphere of concrete and iron. The chairs and tables were anchored to the ground with bolts so there was no way of throwing them or using them as a blunt instrument against someone.

                    I looked at the small note paper for about 5 seconds.



                    He interrupted me politely knowing I had no clue, looking up, raising his hand and pointing to a far, across Gen Pop to the third story at the back.
                    I could barely see it.



                    rd













                    Holy F*ck, I thought to myself. My mouth was so dry I had cotton-mouth.


                    The long and steady BBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!! Came.



                    I pushed the door open and walked into General Pop.















                    LWO Community strong!

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                    • #11
                      Now pick up the soap, Grampa!
                      You'll get a cold pizza if you spread nicely.
                      “Don’t get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ch. 6 "The Walk" & Meeting My Cellie

                        I entered into the world of GenPop. With my first steps I took the advice I was given and walked with a normal rythm and gait with my head held up but not to high to not display any sign of arrogance.



                        The cat-calls, whistles and hollering started with my first step:


                        "Whooa!" Shouted one.


                        "Hey pretty boy! Wanna come into my cell for a good time!" yelled another


                        Whistles could be heard from different point of this concrete universe.


                        "You better have strong back!"


                        Another shouted, "How tough you think you are, huh?!"


                        I did not turn to look towards these shouts nor make eye contact.


                        Finally after three steps of stairs I reached tier 3 walked towards 326c.


                        Still hearing noises in the background I didn't try to recognize what was actually be yelled my way.


                        I reached 326c with my do bags in my hand. The cell was empty but it looked "lived in." Various small items and nicknacks of my cellie on one side of the cell. He was not there.


                        Just 5 seconds after entering someone walked in. This mas my cellie.


                        "I'm Mark" he said making eye contact briefly and then sitting down on his lower bunk bed.


                        The following will be in scrip-spec format. The writing style used in screen plays:



                        INT. JAIL CELL. A LITTLE DIM


                        MARK is sitting looking relaxed but confident and continuosly makes eye-contact to GRAMPA, who is standing.



                        MARK
                        (pulls out a cigarette from a pack and lights it, inhaling once).
                        So, flounce fail, huh?

                        GRAMPA

                        How did you know what I'm in here for?


                        MARK

                        Just about everybody knows everything in here, but I'll tell you later how I know. It's ain't important. You can put your stuff down (pointing to the laundry bag with his hand). Make yourself
                        comfortable. This side (waving with hand) is your side. Do what you want with it.

                        GRAMPA.

                        Yeah

                        MARK

                        If you have questions, just ask. You can ask anything you want. You have ta learn how things
                        work here from day 1. You have ta learn the rules. The are rules for everthing, even using the john
                        (toilet). We all have to learn the dos and don'ts when we come in. All of us.


                        GRAMPA

                        Yeah. I've got to learn a LOT.


                        MARK

                        Try to relax. I know it's easier sad than done.

                        GRAMPA

                        You can tell I'm stressed. You and everyone else in here.

                        MARK

                        It's normal, but it's also obvious with you.

                        GRAMPA

                        (Sighing). Shit. Yeah, for sure.


                        PAUSE


                        GRAMPA


                        So, uh....if I may ask....Where you----


                        MARK

                        Like I said, you can ask me anything. It's alright.





                        Last edited by Boots; 08-06-2019, 09:10 AM.
                        LWO Community strong!

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                        • #13
                          Ch. 7

                          Learning the Ropes


                          "I'm not tellin' you how to be or tellin' you what to do. But you gotta know what you can and cannot do."


                          Nothin' is free in here. Nothing. 99% of the time, that is. Unless it's a close friend. So, if someone offers you anything. Anything at all, expect a price or future favor. Somebody offers you a cigarette or a Snickers bar - reject it - because there'll be strings attached. That cigarette could cost $50 dollars. Even advice. Somebody gives you some advice or information in here and a year or even 2 years later, they might come to you asking for a favor and say, 'Remember when I gave you advice when you first came in here. Remember that?


                          "So, everybody's got an angle," I confirmed, nodding.


                          "Basically yes," Mark added. "That doesn't mean everybody is out to hustle something out of you. It doesn't mean you can't trust anybody - you can. You just have to go slow with people before you figure out who is who. I can tell you about the people in here. I been in here 8 years. An no....I don't want nothin' from you. I don't expect anything. I just like talking with new people. It's mostly been the same guys in here day after day, year after year, so it's a breath of fresh air to chat with somebody different for a change.


                          "I appreciate your info," I told him.


                          Mark straighted out his legs in his chair, and I was now sitting in my chair at the cell desk. We were facing each other. Both of us seemed to be at ease. This was not as bad as I thought it would be, at least for now. I had, in reality, a mentor. Somebody who was showing me the ropes.



                          Marked began again: "We're cellies - for now at least - if you get sick of me or gotta problem with me you can request a cell transfer by filling out a short form and giving it to the admin guard that works with Danny, that inmate you first talked to who buzzed you in. When somebody requests a cell change they do it very quickly because they don't want people that don't get along to end up tradin' blows. But I'm chill, so if I do something that annoys you just tell me and I'll try not to do it. 2 guys living in a small box together can get irritable if the chemistry isn't right or there are habits that bother one of 'em. Do you snore?" Mark asked with a hint of a loud voice.


                          "No, no....don't snore," I answered quickly with a negating head-nod of 'no.'"


                          "Oh, thank god. That's the only thing I can't handle. A cellie who snores, waking me up throughout the night."



                          "Another thing you need to know. We're cellies but I work during the day and sometimes I'm in the Yard or playin' cards at the tables. If you're here alone in the cell during the 'open cell times' - when the cell doors are open and unlocked, any inmate is free to move around the facility. I mean the entire place, basically. So....anybody can walk into to any cell - but you never do that."


                          Mark took out another cigarette and lit it.


                          When you're here alone during 'open cell times,' if anybody ever walks in here, or walks into any cell uninvited that's a sign of aggression. Be ready to fight. The security cameras only cover the corridors outside of cells. cameras are not allowed to view into cells because of a privacy ruling in court a few years ago. The only way the guards know what's going on in cells is when they make rounds and look in. So, inside cells is where nasty sh*t can go down. Or, some punk wants to try his luck and steal something out of a cell. They have their associates do 'look outs.' They stand near the cell pretending to be talking or hanging out but they're operating as look-outs to warn the thief that a guard the cell owner is coming."


                          So, remember: nobody comes into our cell unless you specifically invite them in. A friend, or guy who is sellin' or tradin' something you want.


                          And as for stealing your stuff, you use that locker over there (mark pointed to a locker bolted to the wall) to put important stuff that you want to lock up. Family photos, your case papers, things of value - even Top Ramen. You'll be given a lock and 2 keys from the Commissary - if you buy one. And yeah, you gotta pay for that too and buy it from them for a mark up of a 100%. Sh*t, even for locks, you gotta over-pay. Like I said, nothin' is free in here.


                          But there is a sure way nobody will ever to try steal or extort anything from ya."


                          "How?" I asked, knowing Mark would give me the info.


                          "By fighting"





                          Marked continued; I listened.



                          "If they think you'll fight they won't steal your stuff or try to weasel favors out of you. You don't have to be Muhammed Ali, just be ready to throw punches and be willing to take 'em.


                          There are some punks in here who prey on those who are too weak to fight or aren't willing to fight.


                          So, what I'm really saying....what I'm really, really tellin' you is: don't be perceived as 'weak.' Don't be thought of as a guy who won't stand up for himself or can't fight. Once you get labeled as a pussy you will only be able shake that label off by doing hardcore fighting. So give a first impression that you're strong, stand up for yourself, don't take shit, and be willing to fight. The first 2-3 weeks, a lot of guys will be watching you. Watching to see if you're weak and watching to see if they want recruit you into a gang if they think you're willing to 'put in work.' I know you don't have a history with gangs, already. If you did, I wouldn't have allowed you to cell with me.


                          Because you're with me - as a cellie I mean - the guys will know that we talked and your being schooled up on how things work here. And they also know if they mess with you they are messin' with me and my associates and friends and it won't be just you that they will have a problem with but me and a few other guys in here.


                          That's how people get along in here with as little drama as possible.


                          My philosophy is, 'leave me the f*ck alone, let me do my time, and I won't start any sh*t with you. It's as simple as that. It makes our life in here a lot better than what it could be, if people just respect each other as a human being. Don't ever think of yourself as a "con" or as a "number."




                          "Thanks for all this, Mark," I told him.



                          "It's cool, no prob," he confirmed and added, "like I said, I don't want nothin' from you. It's just good to have fresh eyes around here."



                          "Chow time is soon. You hungry?" Mark asked me. "Even if you're not hungry, if ya don't eat, you may get hungry later but you'll have to wait until breakfast is served tomorrow morning, so.....just sayin'-----"


                          "Yeah, I'll eat," I said, a bit apprehensively. This would be the first time I was in the mix with all of the inmates in General Pop, but luckily I had Mark with me, an experienced guy who knows what's going on and how things work. I started to wonder inside my my mind, - why - why - would he be helpful like this? Was is it normal or an aberration? Maybe he was only looking for someone new to chat with, like he said.


                          I went to my bag and took out some things and got them in order on my side of the cell. Mark retreated to his lower bunk and laid back down and began reading again. I didn't see the title of the book that he was reading.


                          The cell was silent.


                          About 20 minutes later we heard a loud buzz on the intercom system. Like a heard of livestock, inmates left their cells. Some casually and slowly, others at a quick pace. It was the dinner call.


                          Mark and I left our cell and headed for the Chow Hall.
                          LWO Community strong!

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                          • #14
                            Chapter 8: CHOW HALL




                            There was a long line of inmates with the dark blue jumpsuits adorned with the TD logo on the upper-left chest. Cows, I thought. A heard of cows. Cattle.


                            Being told when to eat. Being led through the corral. And I was one of this herd.


                            I was in a line behind Mark with what seemed to be about 90 other inmates. As I slowly shuffled to the buffet line - it's called the "Line" - where you pick up your tray of food. I could see some of the details of what would be my first prison meal start to emerge.


                            Think of low-budget super cheap all-you-can-eat. Deep metal pots and deep trays of slop with the same mushy shape but with different colors. When you take a bite it all tastes bland - if there is any taste at all.


                            Mark took his tray and I took mine right after him. We had a choice of an Omellete or Meat Loaf.


                            "Omellete please, Adrian," said Mark politely. The line guy (obviously named Adrian) slapped the mound of mushy scrambled eggs from his spatula onto the biggest compartment in the center of Mark's tray. The biggest space in the middle is for biggest piece of food. It's called the "Entree." No joke. That's what they call it. This, you get to choose. One of two choices, everyday. The other 5 things are what is being given to everyone on that particular day. These "sides" are a total of 6 different portions of six different foods. You don't have to take all of these, but you can't take more than one serving on anything. Yeah, you can trade with others at your table. "Hey, I'll give you this corn bread for your banana. I don't like cornbread."


                            Now it was my turn at the line: I opted for the meat dish instead of the "Omellete."


                            "Meat," please, I said.


                            The tall man of African-American descent raised his ladle and then stopped, holding it in mid-air.


                            "Hey, you new in here? I ain't seen you before."


                            "Yeah, just got here."


                            "I seen you on the streets. Didn't you hang out with that chick named Brittany?"


                            "No, that wasn't me," I said.


                            "No, that was you. You were hangin' with Brittany, that girl Brittany."


                            Two other inmates working behind the line cracked smiles, looking at Adrian, then me.


                            "Adrian, he's with me. He's my cellie," Marked chimed in.


                            "Hey just kiddin', just jokin'."


                            "See you around," Mark added to Adrian, as Mark and I left the line for our tables.


                            Mark led the way and I followed. We walked about 50 ft down the middle of the chow hall near the end of a long table. The mess hall tables seemed to be as long as a football field. All in rows.


                            Mark already told me about where to sit. You can just sit anywhere. Once again, the rules. There were tables for the Ajarn members, Thai Visa, the late Subzero, Big Mango, and Thailand Chatter. You sit in another forum's table and you will get a beat down.


                            Mark and I keep walking.


                            "Adrian is a good guy, he was just jokin' around with ya," mark told me as we got closer to our table section.


                            "What was he talkin' about?" I asked.


                            "Brittany" is slang for being a coward, and yeah it's a girl's name. He knows you don't know what he's talkin' about because you just got here, so he was messin' around with you."


                            "OK," I nodded.


                            "Here we are. This is where TD inmates sit," he told me.


                            We both sat down at the same time, next to each other. Mark was to my right.



                            "So anyway, guys. I want to introduce you to my new cellie. Just got here today. Name's Grampa," turning to me, and then the others.


                            The 4 others made eye-contact with me and nodded. We didn't extend our hands to shake because you don't do that at the Chow Hall when people are eating. That's another rule. Also, if you forget something at the line, say for example, you forget to get your juice, you cannot get up and get it. Once you sit down you cannot stand up and leave your table until you're finished and heading to the empty tray rack at the back of the Chow Hall. If you stand up after sitting before you're finished you'll hear a loud warning over the inter-com and the gaurds will rush right over to you and put their hand on your because standing up is a 'sign of aggression.' It's a also a rule violation and you may get a "point." You don't want to get points. You get enough points and you lose time off for good behavior and other privileges. More on that later.


                            Why no movement in the chow hall after getting your tray and sitting? Because with so many prisoners in close proximity with one another, all equipped with plastic but albeit sharp culinary utensils and a stiff hard tray, it only takes seconds for all hell to break loose. The Chow Hall is where some grudges are carried out, even though it's in plain view for all the guards to see as well as the security cameras. It's the easiest place to make a move or carry out a hit. You have access to weapons (your culinary) and even the most alert Con can be vulnerable. Easy to come up on him from behind when his guard is down in the Chow Hall. This is why Cons eat in groups. Usually a minimum of 4 to 5, facing each other at the tables.. They can eat, chat, and watch each other's back.


                            "I'm Murphy," one of the guys in the group said to me. "Grampa," I responded, nodding slightly in that 'nice to meet you type of nod."


                            Mark interjected: "Grampa, this is Keegan, Vance, and Griz. Guys, Grampa," Mark made the introduction with an open-hand gesture towards me.


                            "Nice to meet ya," I heard a couple of them say at about the same time.


                            "you too" I said.


                            "We gotta get you a nickname. Something different than Grandpa," said one of the guys.


                            "Yeah, I don't like this username."


                            The guys stopped talking and started eating, so I followed suit.


                            I looked down on my tray while decided what to tackle first with my plastic fork and knife. It was a sturdy plastic tray with 6 separated compartments, each for a separate serving. These trays were plastic but it was the hard kind. The utensils are plastic also but the flimsy kind. They weren't strong and I knew why. Potential weapons. All forks, spoons, and knives are washed many times and recycled before they get to too soft and inefficient and then get replaced. The trays last forever.


                            I had a piece of meat with some kind of sauce, a gravy sauce, in the middle compartment. It was the largest. To the upper-left was what seemed like mashed potatoes, but when you took a bite you knew it was likely some kind of powder that you stir up in a large vat of water to pretend it's mashed potatoes. After that, a piece of corn-bread, 3 small slices of browning apple, and string beans and carrots and a small carton of milk. These veggies weren't fresh. The chefs weren't cuttin' these in the back. Canned, opened, sent to the line and then leftover were put in the fridge for the next day.

                            One thing I would learn is that to feed 1,200+ inmates 3 meals a day the kitchen used a LOT of Vats. Giant stainless steal pots that were as tall as your chest for making and cooking enough food for the herd. Every day, three times a day, 365 times a year.


                            For "dessert" there was a little square bright red block that looked like jello. Bright red enough to be a ruby. These were the hallmarks of a prison meal, each time. There would always be a piece of meat (or mystery meat) choice for the Entree and and something sweet for dessert The other things would rotate about every 4 days.


                            We all were eating. All was quiet until:


                            Vance: "I mean, what's this slop?" asking us rhetorically, holding up the squishy meat up in his fork for us to see. "What is this? Why can't we ever get a steak?"


                            "Hey Vance!" Mark blurted. "You're in prison. This ain't the Hilton. Whaddaya expect? 5-star?"


                            Vance: "Yeah, yeah, alright, alright" and we all kept eating quietly.


                            Mark gave me a glance that conveyed a message of "oh, not this again" as a slightly rolled his eyes. The thought immediately entered my mind that he ate with these guys 3 times a day, 365 times a year. Talk about monotony. That's why I believe that he said he was just looking for fresh blood. Somebody new. That was me.


                            I noticed Keegan, taking quick glimpses of him as he ate, not wanting him to notice I was looking at him. He was huge. As big as an NFL Offensive Lineman. I was guessing about 6 foot 4, with massive forearms, wide shoulders and a thick chest. Again, lifting. The weights. They were basically a ritual on the inside. Like eating and breathing. Keegan had a slight reddish tinge to his hair. He had that look of "Irish" in him.


                            I looked up and around the Chow Hall. I noticed a familiar face. Officer Mike Rye was standing against the wall chatting with another guard. He was eating something that looked like a Twinkie. He belt was tight and his large belly hung over his belt and flapped over it.


                            All of us tended to be at the end of our meal at the same time when Murphy asked me, So....Grampa....where ya from?


                            "Pacific Norwest, originally, but I've lived in a a couple of other cities."


                            "You?" I asked a bit awkwardly, being hesitant.


                            "Chicago."


                            Murphy went back to his meal and took a few more bites. He was cleaning up. I did the same.




                            All of a sudden, about 15 feet away to my right I heard:


                            "HEY!! YOU MOTHER-F*KER! BAM! SMACK! BANG! BAM! ****in!!!!"


                            Big commotion.


                            One guy was standing and gashing the guy next to him sitting down with the corner of his tray, repeatedly plowing
                            it into his forehead and skull. Blood was already everywhere.




                            "YOU F*CKER, ****IN'!.


                            HEY!!! HEY!!! ****-SH*T!!


                            "HEY! HEY! YOU!!!----


                            Then yelling and shouting erupted by 3 or 4 other inmates sitting next to both of them


                            Another inmate jumped between the two fighting. I wasn't sure who's side he was on. It was chaos. A melee.





                            "REMAIN SEATED!!! DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SEATS! DO NO LEAVE YOUR SEATS!" the intercom shouted.




                            Guards ran at full speed to the disturbance. They appeared out of nowhere. They arrived in what seemed to be 8 seconds. Why was one guy repeatedly beating and smacking another in his head with his food tray? Walloping this guy who was barely able to put up his hand in defense? He smashed the tray right into his face and forehead over and over. It made a horrible sound with every whack against his head. Blood was draining out like a sieve but I knew that cuts to the head bleed profusely, even if minor. I had not idea if his injuries were minor or major. The guards now blocked my view. Wild.


                            Jesus!


                            More shouts and yells echoed throughout the Chow Hall from the spectators.


                            4 guards dressed in all black that rushed in finally got to the tray-attacker and tackled him, slamming him to the ground, each taking their assigned limb. One guard, the left arm, the other the right, one with the right leg, the other the left. I saw a knee pushed into the back of his neck while the aggressor was subdued face down, spread out on the floor. He was cuffed, ankles shacked, and then not lifted but *dragged* out. They dragged him out of the chow hall through the nearest side door. The door slammed shut and they dragged him down the hall. I heard the attacker's shouts fading as he was dragged further and further away.


                            The victim of the attack was now standing with support looking dazed with 2 guards at his side to propping him up. He was wobbly. They led him out of the Cafeteria to what I assume would be the infirmary for a medical check on his injuries.


                            "Jesus," I said in a low voice.



                            Murphy looked at me with a grin. "Seriously, this don't happen that often in here."




                            EVERYBODY STAY IN YOUR SEATS!! DO NOT MOVE!! STAY IN YOUR SEATS!! A guard yelled again through the PA system.


                            It seemed like everyone in the crowded Chow Hall continued eating as nothing had happened. They had seen this before, I was sure, so it wasn't a big deal to them. It was new for me. Not unexpected, but new to me. My heart raced. Was this the new normal? I thought. Would I ever be on the receiving end of something like this?


                            "What was that about?" I asked Mark, quietly turning to him.


                            "Politics. Just daily politics," asnwered Mark.


                            He added, "We'll know as soon as Chow Hall is finished and we hit the yard. Ya know, one thing that is a constant about this place, is gossip. There ain't no secrets in here. Everybody basically knows everything. Remember that. You can trust me, if you want something kept private and you tell me, but if you tell anybody else, and I mean even a person you think you trust - if you ever say anything to anyone that you don't want repeated - don't say it. Inmates in here are like high school kids. They got lots of time on their hands in here. We call the gossip the "Prison Drama."


                            "And that guy that got banged up, his name is 'Burns'. Mike Burns. He's got a habit of betting, falling behind on his bettin' debts," so we can assume......




                            Mark continued:


                            "I'm not into this Drama sh*t, but I listen. You always wanna know what's going on. Some people, even a lot of people - know well-before hand when somethin' is gonna go down and who's gonna be involved.




                            "Hey guys. Yard?" Keegan asked the group.



                            "Yeah, let's hit the Yard."





                            We got up in a group with our empty trays and left our table in unison.
                            LWO Community strong!

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                            • #15
                              Ch. 9: Meeting the Shrink

                              Seven weeks into my sentence:



                              7 weeks had passed.


                              I was getting used to how things work; used to the routine. And realizing that this is where I was going to be for a
                              long, long time. Maybe until the very end; There was a good chance I'd leave here in a pine box.




                              I was sitting in my cell playing cards with mark.


                              "Grampa," I heard from outside my cell.


                              "You got a 'card'.


                              "A card?" I asked.


                              "Yeah. Appointment card," the guard repeated.


                              I looked at Mark, not understanding.


                              "It's an appointment card. An appointment for the Doctor, Job Counselor, Bavasi, Warden, Shrink, or whatever," Mark told me.


                              "Come and sign for this," the guard said.


                              I got up and came up to the bars and took the paper slip he handed me between the spaces of iron.


                              He handed me a clipboard. "Sign here."


                              I signed. (Once again, you had to sign for everything. It was to make sure you received it and understood it.)




                              I read it to myself:


                              Grampa, 326C.

                              Appointment:

                              Dr. Laura Ganel
                              May 26th, 2018
                              2:00 PM.
                              Room 23-B, East Wing




                              The guard walked away.


                              I looked at this card, then at Mark.


                              "What for?" Mark asked me, not really interested.


                              "It says appointment for a.....Dr. Laura Ga.....Ga......Ganel, I think it's
                              pronounced," I answered.


                              "That's the shrink," Mark told me.


                              "A Shrink? You been to her?" I asked.


                              No, not her. The guy before here but yeah....she's a psychologist.....it's normal. When you first come in they want to see if you're OK in the head. That your doing alright and if ya got any problems you can tell her or talk about it."


                              "I saw a shrink 2 times when a first came in. Some old guy. Real old. He could barely stay awake when I saw him. He retired, or maybe passed away for all I know. All newbies can see the shrink their first year, but after that these shrink services are only available when the budget money is there for long-termers. I went two times and told him didn't need to see him anymore but if I had an issue I would schedule and appointment with him. Never met this new shrink, just heard of her. I think she came in her 2 years ago."


                              "OK," I said.




                              May 26th came. 2 PM came. I went.


                              I was buzzed in through 2 separate thick steel door painted white. A guard escorted through the hallway to a soft chair that was beside the door of this psychologist, Dr. Ganel.


                              "Sit here and wait 'till your called."


                              "Yeah."


                              I sat and waited for what only seemed to be about 4 minutes.


                              The door opened.


                              "Hi, please come in."


                              "Hello" I said softly and politely.


                              "I'm doctor Ganel," she introduced herself. She pronounced it Ga- NEL.


                              She was 40 or a little over forty, but looked mid or late-thirties. About 5 foot 7, slender, with short dark brown hair parted to the left and large round glasses which were pointed at the top outer-corners She wore a professional looking business suit-jacket with a professional skirt that matched. Dark Brown. There was no ring on her finger.


                              She motioned me to a chair to sit down that was in front of her desk or station area. Her desk once again was a bit spartan....like Bavasi's. It had the sterile prison feel to it. I noticed her Ph.D hanging on the wall, conveniently over her head behind her desk. Interestingly, it was from the University of Washington. My hometown.


                              To the left of her "work desk" I noticed a long black lounge-seat 8 feet away where someone could sit and stretch out their legs. Kinda like a lawn chair. It faced away from the psychologist's large leather chair and had a high back. You couldn't see the therapist and vice-versa, even though they two were only 4 feet away from each other. A way to get people to open up.


                              I sat down at the chair in front of her desk.


                              "Make yourself comfortable," she said in a hospitable tone.


                              "Thanks," I replied.


                              She had a 4 inch thick manila folder in front of her on her desk.


                              I knew right away - that was my file.


                              "So, are you a Husky fan?" She asked. She already knew by bio. Perhaps a way to soften me up and get me to open up. I was not at ease.
                              I never went to a shrink before.


                              She asked again: "You follow the Huskies?"


                              "Uh, yeah. Well, used to. I Went to many games in the 80s with my pop."


                              Well, I went to a lot of games, too. I went to the UW for my----"


                              "Yeah, I noticed," pointing up to her sheepskin.




                              There was a pause.






                              "So....you've been in her 7 weeks. How are you doing?"


                              "Adjusting," I answered.


                              "Seriously, she said then pausing...."how are you really doing?"


                              "Some days are better than others....but overall.....I'm getting used to things."


                              "If there is anything you want to discuss....anything you want to tell me, you can. And it's all confidential. If I ever repeated anything, anything at all that you told me you can sue me."


                              "Thanks," I confirmed...."I appreciate it."


                              "I've been going over your file here" she said. "Sentenced to.....jail....until you receive 100 positive green repo points."


                              I shot back, "There's about as much chance of that happening as the English winning the World Cup."


                              "Grampa, I'm not a lawyer nor a judge. But this sentence seems extremely harsh. It's tantamount to......to......'


                              "--Life!. Why don't you just say it. Life!!. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell."


                              "It's OK," she said calmly.


                              You're in a environment - here in prison - with no privacy, and you're constantly concealing emotions. If inmates perceive emotions many will try to play on those emotions and take advantage of you. Here, with me, you can....you can....
                              just be yourself...Be who you really are," advised Dr. Granel.


                              "So....you're a psych.....uhm.....head doctor?"


                              "----Psychologist and therapist," she finished for me.


                              "Like the O---Oed----Oedip-----" I said stuttered.


                              "---Oedipus Complex," again interrupting, albeit politely


                              "Isn't that the mother and son thing where the son wants to----"


                              --That's....that's really not what we're here for today, Grampa. Our meeting today is about You. For you. And to focus on you and help you - if
                              - you want it - and to do that, I need to get to know you. These sessions are about me getting to know you so I can assisted you in----"


                              "I understand, Dr. Granel, "I understand."


                              "OK then," she smiled. "Let's get started."




                              "I'm looking at your history here. Can I ask you a few questions?"




                              "Sure. You can ask me anything you want," I responded. I was already starting to mimic my Mark a bit, my cellie and soul mate.




                              "Let's move over there," she told me, pointing to the large and long patient chair. "Please have a seat over there and relax for a minute or two. Tell me the details of what happened and I'll take notes."


                              I went to the big black lawn chair recliner thing. I laid down and just waited. Dr. Granel came and sat behind me about a minute later.




                              Silence.




                              Then the pause was broken: "You were a member on Teakdoor for a long time."


                              "Yeah, I joined soon after DD started it. December of 2005," I stated matter-of-factley.


                              Dr. Ganel continued: you hadn't lived in Thailand in quite some time. But....you continued to post on this Thai forum."


                              "Yeah."


                              "May I ask Why?" she asked me.


                              "Because Thailand was an influential part of my life. LOS changed my life. I met great friends there. A couple of them I still keep in touch with. I still may live there in the future."


                              I continued: "A lot of posters post on TD that are no longer in Thailand."


                              "Yes, that's true," The doctor confirmed.


                              "I've read your case file on your charges that led to your jailing. Can you tell me more? More details of what transpired."


                              "Sure."




                              I started to ponder. In this situation, It definitely gives you the feeling that you can open up and say more when you're not sitting face-to-face to someone that you know is a psychologist. And be more open and upfront about your feelings that in General Pop and on the forum.





                              Granel pursued further, "Now, when someone is jailed it's usually not over one incident, but over things that occur over a period of time. Can you give me some background to this?"




                              "Yes," I answered.


                              [fade out] for 5 seconds



                              [fade in]

                              GRAMPA is sitting on the patient's recliner and Dr. Granel is seated behind:




                              "So.......Basically......5 posters continued to give me an onslaught of reds. These posters are still there and not considered very smart or knowledgeable, and they con't contribute much of anything to the board," I explained.


                              "It may not seem fair Grampa, but we cannot focus on our perceived lack of justice at this time. Later, we can. fur for now----" said Dr. Granel, softly.


                              "I didn't care about the Reds.....I didn't.....but there was an unintended consequence....." I said.


                              "Continue," Dr. Ganel encouraged.


                              "Unbeknownst to me, when a poster get a certain amount of negative repo, they lose certain privilages. One of which, was access to PMs. You can't send and receive.


                              Dr. Ganel: "go on....."


                              I didn't use PMs much but they were very valuable to keep in touch with and communite with the couple of posters I got along with. I asked the Powers that Be about this issue, and they didn't care and said nothing could be done."


                              I was feeling relaxed, laying down in this long large therapy chair. I was starting to open up.


                              "And?....encouraged Dr. Ganel.


                              "So, feeling seriously wounded about this....I said if I didn't get my access to send and receive PM's then I was leaving the board. And I intended to do so - knowing however - that I'd probably return after a spell as TD was the only forum I knew for so many years. I was a part of the furniture. TD was my home. Next thing I know, I'm jailed. They used that as an excuse to get rid of me."




                              "Grampa....this is a hypothetical....a major hypothetical.....but If you were allowed to go back to TD in the future - would you do anything different? On the board?" Enquired Dr. Ganel.


                              "Absolutely. I'd do a lot of things different."


                              "As in?" Ganel probed.


                              A LOT of things. But can I tell you about that in our next meeting?


                              "Certainly," answered Granel, still seated behind me.


                              I poked my head around the high and wide back of the patient's chair. "Thank you, Dr. Granel."


                              "It's what I'm here for," she responded with a smile.


                              "And, can I write an essay about it and give it to you?" I asked.


                              "Absolutely," she said with affirmation.




                              "OK, I write an essay and what I would do if I got paroled, and give it to you the next time we meet."



                              "Excellent," said Dr. Granel, with a sign of optimism that I had decided to have another session.


                              "Dr. Granel?" I asked.


                              "Yes?"


                              Can I stand up for a moment, while was discuss things?"


                              "Sure"


                              I stood up and took a sip of water from a cup.


                              We were standing. Comfortable.


                              "I now I may be here for the rest of my life," I said.


                              "I understand that," she followed.


                              "And I know....that TD state prison may be my universe until I die....all because....I asked for my right to have PM privilages after being a part
                              of that community for 13+ years. To have that taken away from me in an instant. To be exiled, to be an outcast, for that......"




                              Dr. Ganel as about 4 feet away from me. She did not speak. It was silent.




                              "It's not your fault," so told me in a quiet voice."


                              "I know," I agreed. I was avoiding eye contact.


                              Ganel stepped one foot further.


                              "It's not your fault," she quietly repeated.


                              "I know, I know," looking down and away, sullen.


                              Ganel stepped closer.


                              "It's not you fault"


                              I....I know....I know.....don't....don't f*ck with me, not you, Dr. Ganel. I said sheepishly. my eyes growing moist, looking down at my feet.


                              Ganel stepped right up to me, inches away. "It's not your fault."




                              We embraced, hugging tightly.




                              Once the first tear broke free, the rest flowed like a gushing waterfall.


                              I whimpered like a child in her arms. (1)


                              Tears dropped from my cheeks......




                              Cathartic.






                              (1) This is a similar re-enactment to a scene in "Good Will Hunting."

                              LWO Community strong!

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