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24. Prison Glossary pt. 2

The Thriller; That Situation; The Stunner; Banger: n. 

Slang for a shank or a peeko (I guess a peeko is slang for a shank, also.).  If a convict is wearing a winter coat in the yard in July, he's probably got 'that situation.'

Honeybun Hit: phrase

If you pay somebody in store items to take care of business for you, it could be called a honeybun hit.  I love this one because of the absurdity of beating or stabbing somebody for 10 or 20 dollars worth of commissary items.  Awesome.

White Meat: n.

This is what is referred to when someone is cut to the bone or the bright fat under the skin.  "Dude got at him with the the thriller and cut him to the white meat.

Sweet As Bear Meat; Wouldn't Bust A Grape If His Middle Name Was Welches; Soft As Charmin (sometimes with 'twice as absorbent' if you want to throw in a gay 'slip'): phrases.

Used in reference to how soft or weak a guy is.  Not really effective, but really funny.

Slip: v.

This is the act of sliding in a gay innuendo on a guy during conversation.  If you pull it off, you've effectively 'slipped' him.  Men tend to have an inherent ability to act gay or accuse each other of being gay, so the act of 'slipping' shouldn't be foreign to many of you.  EX - "Dude talked slick to me, but I handled that shit." "I bet you handled it, probably two-handed with a masterful stroke."

Predadactyl 3000s: n.

I came up with this one myself.  It's a reference to the glasses that the State Of Michigan will issue you if you have no money.  No matter how cool you are, once you have these on you automatically look like a predator / cho-mo (Cho-Mo: n. Child molester.) ready to swoop down on somebody.  They're better than those Groucho Marx glasses.

Punt Faked or Pump Faked: v.

To trick somebody into acting a certain way by deliberate deception.  Lets say that the guard announces to the unit that there's going to be a shakedown (cell search) and you dispose of all your contraband.  If the guard never shakes down, you've been successfully 'pump faked.'  "That bitch pump faked the shit outta me."  "Yeah, it's going to take forever to collect all those dick pictures and ass lube again."

That was a pump fake into a slip demonstration.  Later.

"Sleepy Tobias" for Georgia Scout

Editor's note:  The following is a story written by the Jailbird for his cousin's daughter, Georgia.  He expressed interest in sharing it with the readers of Enjoy.

I knew about a mouse once, Georgia.  A little grey mouse with a black spot around his eye.  His name was Tobias.  He knew about you too, you know?  He used to tell me about you in this very cell.  Tobias was a special sort of mouse.  He could move about from place to place as he pleased but never forward or backward in time.  Maybe he was a magical mouse, then again maybe he wasn't.  Who am I to say?

Tobias lived here in this prison and he got along pretty well.  To Tobias, this place wasn't any worse or better than another, but then again Tobias could leave whenever he pleased.  He would travel to the most nonsensical of places.  Sometimes he would pop up at the animal shelter to rile up the cats.  Other times he would pop up amongst the un-knockoverable bottles at a field fair in some forgettable town.  He would wiggle into the weighted bottles and make them tumble onto the floor - before any ball were even thrown!  Often times, he would pop up right in your very room so he could report to me all the fun things that you get up to.  Maybe you saw him in your shelves when you played in your room on rainy days.  You would have had to look close, he was a slippery, shimmering thing.

Tobias had a great sense of humor.  After he had gone cell to cell getting little bits of bread or cheese he would come to mine and cheat at cards or dice.  He had some funny jokes, too, but they were a little blue so I'll save those for another time.  Tobias would tell me about all of the places he went and what he did.  "The greatest part," Tobias would tell me, is that the never had to be a reason for him to be where he was at any time.  "Nobody ever notices me," he would say, "and I dig that just fine."  He thought there was a sense of being bigger than all of it.  Nobody acted different because to them he was never there.  He saw the good side of people but also the natural ugly side.  He saw the side that picks their nose and wipes it on the couch.  He saw the side that pulled on a puppies ear to hear it whine.

Tobias told me he saw these things and it was so human that it was animal and that in it's self made it less of an atrocity.  He liked to taunt cats, remember?  He said these people's mean streaks usually never outweighed the niceness that they showed.  "Usually," he said.

Tobias had a pretty good grip on it.  He would sometimes go and comfort other convicts when it got to the heavy places.  He could sit with them and speak softly into their ears, sometimes tickling them with his jittery whiskers.  He once told me when I was in a particularly narrow place that as long as you still experience the stars as something "above you" you lack the eye of knowledge.  Tobias knew that I knew it was a quote from Nietzsche.  He also knew that I would get through that narrow place deciphering it.

Like I said, he really had a hold on it, man.

You know, I wasn't even sad when Tobias stopped coming to see me.  I'm not sure where he ended up, maybe you still see the old boy.  He's sometimes known to whisper in the ears of sleepers tugging at the dream until it's a thing of bright tiger's eye.  I'm not saying he's a magical mouse, but I ain't saying he isn't.  You just keep watch for him, George.  Keep a sharp eye.

23. Guts

Well, gang, just when I thought nothing interesting was ever going to happen in this shithole again, low and behold I got to see some guts.  Guts guts, the insides.  I had to go over to the medical building to get a vaccination on Thursday.  The medical building is a sort of neutral territory placed right in the middle of levels one, two, and four.  (Michigan got rid of level 3's some years ago.  I'm not sure why and I don't specifically care, just sayin'.)  There's an officer that sits at a desk while convicts of different levels sit in the plastic chairs against the wall like a tiny DMV.  Just like any DMV, everybody is angry and most don't have the correct paperwork and will be sent back to their unit empty handed.

The guard has everyone's ID and call-out sheet and when your number is up he'll direct you to either the doctor or the dentist.  It's a cattle call and very efficient.  There's no time wasted (for them) but you may sit there for hours.  Usually, guys from separate units will pass contraband back and forth and gossip.  Christ, the gossip.  I thought broads liked to gossip but there is no grape vine like a prison grapevine.  It's all who is snitching, or who's got basketball numbers for some double rape / homicide, (basketball numbers are when you get a sentence with so many years that it resembles the score for a basketball game.)  who's not paying whom, this guys a broad because he said something disrespectful to some other guy, but the disrespected guy didn't do shit, so they're both fucking broads.

There's no end, it goes on and on and it drives me batshit.  I don't feed into or spread gossip in the world and I thought, in general, most dudes didn't.  I was wrong.  It's like a bizzaro episode of Days of Our Lives but with stabbings and tons of ramen noodle soup.

Anyway, the escorting officer brought us into the medical building (which is blessedly cool.  There's no air conditioning in this prison.  It's a goddamn sauna in here.) and the guard behind the desk says, "You might as well take 'em back.  we got a couple of cutters from 7 block coming in."  The escorting guard replied, "Fuck 'em, they can wait.  I'm going home."

So we sat in the little school-style chairs against the wall and the boys commenced to gossiping.  Then they brought in the cutters.  7 block is the unit where all the crazies are housed.  I don't mean your average bi-polar or drunk, I'm talking about shit-in-a-box-for-a-pet type crazy.  They wheeled them in with wheel chairs and the first guy had cut himself pretty good up and down both his arms and legs.  He was a real bleeder.  If you've ever seen a significant wound caused by a razor blade you'd understand.  An inch-long cut can spread double that wide.  There's the white just beneath the skin and then a vivid yellow layer of fat followed by tendon and muscle.  It's vicious and bloody but not usually life threatening. unless you're digging for arteries.  The longest cut I saw was about three or four inches long and lay wide open along the top of his thigh.  He was trailing a spectacular amount of blood and it left tracks from the big wheel chair wheels.  It looked like a couple of ten speeds had been drag racing.

Then they brought in the show stopper.  This guy was a notorious cutter / puller.  He had cut open his abdomen on a separate occasion and had been caught pulling at his intestines.  They took him to the hospital to get fixed up and stapled but he had managed to pull the staples out and was digging around in there again. When they brought him in, the guards had handcuffed his hands to the arm rests so he wouldn't be able to keep pulling his guts out but he still had a significant amount of intestine hanging out.  The smell was the worst of it.  I can't describe the smell of the inside of a human's abdominal cavity and I'm sure you wouldn't want me to try.  It could have been from some infection he had developed from his previous gut tugging but I'm not sure that it wouldn't have smelled that way anyway.  My cousin Meghan might be able to fill us in on that.

What amazed me most about the scene wasn't the wounded men but the one's watching.  The exasperated and bored and irritated looks on the guards' faces.  The convicts who tried to look bored or just looked outright terrified.  There was no screaming and yelling, the nurses just casually walked out and spoke to the cutters by name in a kind of disappointed motherly sort of manner.  The blood was immense, more from the first guy than from the Puller.  After a minute it was a confusion of boot prints, wheelchair tread marks, and small, child-like sneaker impressions left by the nurses.

They ushered the men through and all that was left behind was a bunch of gore.  The guard let out an exasperated sigh and mumbled something about, "these goddamn lunatics," and got out a spray bottle of 2% bleach and started to wet the blood, turning it an instant black.  He looked at us and said, almost apologetically, "I like to spray the blood before the porters get over here cause most of them don't have blood-borne pathogen certificates."

It was all over except for the tar-black bleach-soaked gore that the porters came in a started squeegeeing off of the tile.  I got my poo-monia vaccine and kept it moving.  Fucking prison, right?


PS - I gossiped about it as soon as I got back to my unit.  Nobody was really impressed.

This is where John does the typing.

22. Part Three - Liberace Minus the Piano and a Dog Named Broccoli

Catch up by reading PART TWO before reading PART THREE.

I'm in West Hollywood, where the Boulevard ends.  Shad and Heather found Heather's friends, We go down to this - believe it or not - swanky YMCA and go inside to wait for this real faggy dude, "Faust", to get dressed.  I've never met a more conceited male in all of my life.  Ever.  He was a slight, good-looking guy but gave off an air of cockyness that made you want to murder him.  He knew he was the King Little Shit of this enterprise or hustle that he had going.  There was him, a Giant Mexican named Angel, and this really hot Korean chick who was his girlfriend and the Nemesis of Shad's hideous girlfriend, Heather, who had, "no use for the bitch," as she put it.  I knew it was because she was into Faust.  I'm not altogether certain as to why, but it probably runs along the line of reasoning my friend Chryssa has on the subject.

His hustle was this - he and his cronies would dress up in fashionable punk rock gear, as in the style please-kick-my-ass punks would wear in the eighties.  I guess the correct term would be, "fashion punks."  Anyways, the hustle was simple.  Tourists paid $5 to have their picture taken with them.  It was ingeniously called. . . Pictures With Punks.  My-fucking-God it was annoying.  While it screamed W. Hollywood, it made me want to gag.  If it wasn't for this tiny pretentious prick, Faust, I could almost get behind it, but he was a half-assed Little Richard without the cool and Liberace minus the piano.  Angel and the chick, I believe, were on the same page but as with all little Hitler-type monsters, the literature is so good it doesn't even occur to you that you're slaughtering your own soul.

Oh, this fucking guy.  What really pissed me off was that Shad's missing-link girlfriend thought this dude was some sort of Sid Vicious Elvis Jerry Lee Fucking Lewis and that we needed to hang out and listen to his bland, cauterized blurtings.  It was incestuous dribble and self-masturbation, kinda like these writings, but there just wasn't a laugh.  There was no punchline.  These guys sat around him cross-legged and he just couldn't give them anything.  He was a goddamn Baptist preacher with a really well manicured mohawk.  Christ on a stick if it wasn't for the gorilla-sized Mexican, Angel, he lugged around with him I would have smashed him.  Goddamn Angel was big.  I mean the big sort where it doesn't matter that you've "got this motherfucker right here."  That you've used your face and fists.  It just doesn't matter when you face a Mexican that fucking big.  If you find yourself in that situation, slowly back out of it, certainly don't do what I did, which was to try and fuck Faust's hot Korean girlfriend whose name I can't remember.

It was one of those names that, like most Asian names, sound like a question when you say it.  She was really pretty and I wasn't taken or anything.  I had actually just gotten out of a long relationship with Shad's sister not long before we left.  I wasn't looking to be with anyone, or to remember their difficult as fuck name.  I'm going to tell you right now that I didn't bang her.  It might be anticlimactic (haha, in a very literal way) but in the interest of honesty I just couldn't pull it off.  We'd all been drinking and I must have been not my normal drunk self because she suggested we walk off.  I remember that part because I remember wanting to venge-fuck her to piss off Faust.  I distinctly recall thinking that while my eyes crawled around on her.  I also remember thinking, "no-fucking-way," when she escorted me to a gross abandoned house while everyone was listening to Faust's loutish ramblings.  I vaguely remember my really bad attempt at night talk, trying to sound fascinating and original.  I had nothing.  I had a gut full of cheap malt liquor and this really hot Korean girl whose name I couldn't even pronounce.  Everything was dirty and wet.  The floor of the squat was strewn about with random pages out of a hard core pron magazine.  I remember being really drunk and frustrated that this wasn't what I wanted but was really so much of what I wanted at the same time.  I wanted all this filth, I actively spent my life looking for it, hunting it down like the red-eyed dogs that frightened Ralph Steadman so badly.  I remember the conflict and then I remember nothing.  I guess I let it be too much.  I don't remember the things I was saying.  I only have this faintly over-romanticized idea of what it should have been, of the things I should have said or done.

Instead, I woke up behind the dumpster outside of the house with my head in her lap.  I had began puking and passed out and there, she said, she'd found me.  She said she couldn't move me, so she put my head in her lap to keep the maggots off of me.  She said that - I wish I had made it up - with the tenderness of a housewife who's kept her husband's dinner warm for him, knowing he'd be home to eat it.  These unfailing burdened duties women women feel obligated to do for men.  For drunk men who can't get it up out of overindulgence and fear. . . I just sat back to try to figure out how to finish that sentence and it all seems like so much contrivance.  It's so fucking hard to give your experiences adjectives that express the fear a man can have laying in the lap of a stunningly beautiful woman just feet away from the things people throw away.  It just feels like it should mean more, but it really doesn't.  It just didn't mean anything more than a woman too stupid to walk away from a man who's passed out in his own puke.  It;s a goddamn horror and may all the Christ Gods bless these women for the extra steps they allow men like us to take.  I remember I felt like death and more than a little ashamed.  I was also bummed that I'd missed my chance to bang Faust's girlfriend.  Isn't that what it really amounts to when you get to the meat of it?  That missed chance to invade your enemy's woman.  The old folks would say, "C'est la vie."

We spent the day not saying much to each other and sat outside of a liquor store begging for change to catch the bus back.  When we got off the bus at the run-away shelter we just kinda looked at each other to acknowledge my ineptitude and went our separate ways.  Heather came out and gave me the third degree about where I had went and that if, "I'd fucked that bitch," she'd tell Faust.  I couldn't take her seriously.  One, I was too fucking hung over and two, I had apparently tried to tattoo her face the night before and stopped mid-tattoo.  It was fucking hideous, this primitive-type design that I had probably talked her into that was her whole chin and some shit in her sideburn area and on her goddamn nose!  All she was missing was a plate in her lip and a harpoon on her side.  Shad was so pissed he said they were headed to the train yard and that was that.

While I was deciding what the fuck to do next, I met a girl named Sada.  I had talked to my mother finally to confirm that I had stolen her car.  I'm not sure how she'd managed it, but somehow she knew some ex-special forces guy or maybe a helicopter pilot who lived in the area and he came and disabled the car.  Now, I'm not making any of this up, maybe she can fill us in in the comments section, but I have no clue how this dude found the car.  None.  I got to it and it wouldn't start.  This guy had gotten the hood open and took a fuse that was vital to the car starting.  He wasn't that fucking smart, though.  I just replaced it with the air-conditioning fuse.  Game.  Set.  Match.

I'm getting ahead of myself, though.  I guess I've got to take you through this brief romance I had with Sada. I met Sada at the runaway shelter.  I was sitting out on the bench smoking cigarette butts and trying to decide what to do next.  I looked up and there was this mulatto chick wearing Carhartt bib overalls, a tank top, and those stupid fairy wings five-year old girls prance around with.  She sat right down next to me and introduced herself.  It was a really surreal experience.  She was one of those girls who had a gentle naivete to her, one of those rare people who can talk to anyone like they've known them years.  She wasn't stunningly beautiful but she was excessively pretty.  Carmel skin and dark eyes with long tightly curled hair.  Her father, she said, was from Kenya and her mother was Canadian.  I didn't care, I was enthralled with her.  It was her easy nature that captivated me.  It's hard to be that naturally easy going and child-like when you;re living on the streets.  It was almost like she pranced and slid around.  She leaned over the overpass railing and looked at the 101 like she'd never seen a car.  After all that filth and degeneracy I think, at that moment, I needed to be around something that seemed this. . . I hate to say it, pure.  I was tired and worn and my faith in civilization was at a breaking point.  Sada bandaged that for a while.  It, of course, was all smoke and mirrors but like all good magicians, if the illusion is good enough then what the fuck, right?

We wandered the city the whole day, her talking ceaselessly and me listening without saying much.  She told me about the shitty poetry she loved and the medieval act she was passionate about.  She adored that savagely straight noses all the people seemed to have.  We stopped at a laundry and burned a hole through the machine you buy bouncy balls from and filled a bucked with them.  We smoked cigarettes and ate free tacos at the clown head place because she knew the boy who worked there.  When it got dark she took me back to the place she live, and she lived in the old TAV building.  The TAV building was where they used to film Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  I don't know if that's true, but we climbed a fence and went in.  She explained to me that I should stay close to her, that she lived a few floors beneath the street level in one of the old studios and it was dark.  Godddamned if she wasn't right.  I've never been anywhere darker.  I remember worrying her flashlight would fail and that we'd be stuck in an eternal purgatory that smelled like wet concrete and asbestos.  She led me down hallways and through actual walls that the drywall had rotted off.

There were wine bottles and beer cans everywhere.  It wouldn't surprise me if more than one bum had lost their way or if I'd kick their bones.  Sada explained that some really nerdy runaways had found the place and had electricity.  About the time I started thinking she had taken me to the spot she planned to kill me I could see an outline in one of the walls.  I realized the outline was light around a steel door.  She opened it up and it was like a fucking apartment.  (At this point I wouldn't blame you if you thought I was making this up but I assure you I am not, there are hidden nerds who live underground.)  There was light and bean bag chairs and  two really classically nerdy-looking guys.  They were maybe 19 and obviously unhappy to see me.  It was a disappointment that stung of theft or betrayal.  Sada either ignored or was oblivious to it.  She tornadoed  into the room and introduced me like she'd just brought her boyfriend home to meet her brothers for the first time.  We stayed two nights and the guys and me maybe said 10 words.

She led me to her "bedroom" which was a huge group shower room that must have been for the employees. It was nothing but these tiny tiles, a sleeping bag, and miscellaneous things girls tend to collect.  Shiny bits of glass she intended to use to make something arty, a stuffed cat, jewelry that didn't match, a small collection of books.  All these things made me desperately sad.  She hung up her fairy wings like a jacket after a hard day at the office and plopped down cross-legged on the sleeping bag.  As I stood and looked around the most enormous thing that hit me was the hear.  It was terrifyingly hot in there and the only way to cope with it was to be still.  Any movement caused your body to pour sweat, it seemed like I was slowly being suffocated but it passed eventually.

You just had to be still.  We weren't physical that night, or the next.  If it wasn't the heat it was the immensity of the thing, the coming together, for no apparent reason, of two people who don't know where they are or where they need to go.  I know it all seems too romantic.  Maybe now in retrospect it is, but fuck , it was something.

That night I sat there and Sada played her violin.  The instrument had seen many dark places or the player had, either way, she or it sounded beautiful.  I couldn't tell you what she played, I never could get into classical music, but it was soft and she would play these long notes where it seemed to take forever for the box to complete it's stroke.  I was amazed and awed, this seemingly over-bubbly creature was capable of this music that, in the cave-like atmosphere of the shower stall, sounded like a wet smooth stone.  It bounced off the walls and wet my ears.  We fell asleep without ever touching one another.  Maybe it was heat, maybe it was something else.  I just hope it doesn't sound too much like a Pat Benatar song.

We woke up some hours later and assumed it should be light out - it was hard to tell down there - and made our way out to the street.  We wandered and talked more, we held hands like sophomores.  Sada comandeered an Irish wolfhound puppy and named it broccoli an we dragged that gigantic-pawed brute around the rest of the time I knew her.  The dog had no personality.  It must have only been a couple of months old but already it was the size of a regular dog.  It would walk for about a mile and then just give up. The beast would sit and refuse to move, no amount of coaxing, begging, or yelling made a differance.  I would carry the thing through it's tight places, the places where it gave up.  I didn't feel like Jesus though, I hated the mongrel.

We needed money.  Sada told me she played her violin outside of the very famous rock clubs in Hollywood but that she'd make more money by herself.  I agreed and dragged Broccoli with me and sat outside of a not-famous nightclub.  I planted myself on the sidewalk and begged for money with the 50lb puppy on my lap.  It worked like a 17-year old hooker.  Drunk chicks looooove puppies.  I was getting fivers all night.  I cleared 80 bucks.  It was nothing compared to Sada's night.  When we met up she had $275 and some change in her violin case.  Un-fucking-believable.

I'll try to finish this story with one more entry.  My hand's tired and there's a good amount left.  Next will be my bringing Sada to Howell and my trip to meet up with her in N.Y. where I get beaten to death.  Sweat dreams, XOXOXO.