The Letters From Hell series written by guest poster Screedler were the most visited and read posts of the old Drupal powered TDA. Unbeknowst to me, the links to this series were broken in my switch to a WordPress platform so to make up for it I will post the whole series again one new one per day.
As promised there are the joys of ketchup and gas station apple pie. You will have to wait a while for the prison sex. Also, thoughts on my desire to drink or drug. To be honest I never saw any hard drugs in the jail. Only prescriptions they allowed some inmates to have which the guards supervised the taking of. Cigarettes did make it in from time to time but I never indulged out of fear. Several people got in trouble for that (Seg). There was much discussion of making some jail home brew out of orange juice, bread rolls, peppermint candy and whatever fermentable vegetable or fruit that might come available. I don’t remember the science of it but several people said they had done it before. Luckily no one had the skills or gumption to do it while I was there – I’m not sure I could have resisted. I probably would have smoked crack if it had been available it was so crazy sometimes.
Dear Dad and Sarah,
I hope this letter finds you doing well. It’s 9:30am, Sunday the 28th of May. Not much going on here at ****** County Jail. Inmates are waking up for the second time (first time was at 4:30 am for the morning gruel) and the noise of the TV blaring ESPN has just commenced. I hate ESPN. It’s on TV 80% of the time it is available to us.
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Most inmates stay in their bunks and pretend to still be asleep. Many stare blankly at the ceiling – silent; and I wonder what they are thinking about.
For some reason weekends seem to last longer than weekdays in jail. I guess maybe they are actually longer. Everyone gets up earlier and stays up later. I think this is due in large part to the fact that we get our “store” (items from the commissary) around 7 am on Saturday and no one goes back to bed after our early breakfast. The gaming starts as soon after store is passed out as possible. Then fueled by the energy of sugar from candy bars and moon pies people stay up till 2 & 3 in the morning. Saturday is like “going to the market” day, with everyone getting their store and then trying to trade items for various things. You can trade items for other items, food trays, services (like someone getting your laundry or doing your cleanup duties), using someone’s visitation time, getting your hair cut, and even protection (physical not sexual).
I have not traded any food for other items; I did however trade a pair of shoes I ordered that did not fit me for 5 items. That guy got those shoes for cheap – they cost me like 9 bucks but they are terribly oversized. You can’t try on pairs here before you order – you just have to guess (there are only 2 other inmates with real shoes on in here so I didn’t know what size to order nor did any one else).
I did give a fellow “celly” a honey bun to do my laundry (because he didn’t have any money to order anything from the store; a couple of us did this so he would have a few items). I also gave another a bag of hard candy to let me store some of my items in his store bag. Items and food trays are the only currency here.
Sundays come along and seem to drag along also. After lunch on Sundays, around 2, the TV is cut off and a minister from the outside world will have a church service for an hour or so. He usually has an audience of 10 -15 people, although it is impossible not to hear his message unless you use earplugs. I listen. Church in Hell, how ironic.
Two good things happened in the last couple of days. One was that we actually had ketchup with one of our meals – it was potato wedges with little pigs in the blanket. I traded one of my wedges for two extra packets of ketchup. It was the best ketchup I have ever had. The other good thing that happened was that they started to dim the lights at night at around 11 pm. Everyone wonders how long that will last.
Today is my 22nd day of incarceration, so that’s 22 days of sobriety and no nicotine. I have no physical desire for alcohol but I still do for cigarettes. It’s easy not to drink in here since there is no possibility of it being available – I know that is going to be a challenge on the outside. Some days, I feel like I have the willpower and resolve to never drink again. Some days, I do not. Just like on the outside it gets so nerve racking in here with the constant noise, people hassling and confronting you, people begging for your food and people stealing your food that if I had a bottle or a pill to turn to I don’t know if I could resist. I know this is not what you want to hear and I am very reticent to admit it in a letter.
Paul visited with me yesterday and overall it was good. He told me Sonia had been calling and I asked if he could call her and get her address. He also said he was going to call Wallace and let him know of my downfall. I would rather that they never know; but alas, that is inevitable. The only other person I would prefer not to let know is Clark. Oh yea, and Lynn. They will probably both call. Just let me know and give them my address if they ask. From now on when sending me mail, use this format:
Screedler, # *****
c/o ****** County Corrections Facility
P.O. Box ***
**********, AL *****
Please share that with Paul also.
I may go outside today just to do something different. I have only been outside once since I have been here. It depends on who I see is going out. I need to get some sun; if for nothing else the vitamins (don’t you get vitamin A from the sun?). I got my new shoes (that fit) so I know longer have an excuse for not doing some exercises.
Well, believe it or not they have changed the channel to USA and an episode of “Monk” has just started. I am going to watch it and treat myself to an apple pie and a cup of orange juice. I will write again soon.
Awe, memories – good times. Right. My next letter gets to the heart of desperation in jail. I just read it and do not relish sharing it.
Keep coming back.