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27. Retaliation

I'm anxious all the time, now.  This isn't much of a change except for the constant persistence of it.  The prying, holding weight that's constantly pressing into my chest.  A sense of foreboding that's relentless.  I create my own nervousness, my own delusions and realities.  It's been less than a week since I pounced on a man in his cell and beat him until he whimpered and bled onto the fire-resistant mattress.  A mattress that doesn't allow blood to soak into it.  The fluid just puddles and holds in the indentations my knees make as I straddle his chest.  Both of us breathing heavy, my arms splattered to the elbows.  I am not proud.  I'm shaken and upset.  I'm shaken because my brain is working overtime, a million scenarios at once; how do I leave this man's cell unnoticed, is he going to lay in and take this like a man or tell, did I really beat this man like this over $5 street money or was it the $100 prison money it was worth?  How do I proceed from this spot?  I get off of him like a spent lover dismounting.  Maybe it's more like rape judging from the look I'm getting from this man's one open eye, his breathing heavy and sort of mewing.

How did I get to here? I thought that this would turn out to be a blog about the actions of others, a reflection on a prison life I witness while I wait out this bit.  Things haven't turned out like I hoped.  I can't beat my nature, I can't out-maneuver it.  I feel like a monster and I can't deny the power of that feeling. It's exhilarating.  I imagine it's how a lion must feel strolling the veldt.

I was never like this.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a stranger to violence and I'm handy in a fist fight, but I never felt like I was an instigator.  I never felt like I was a predator.  I never felt boss.  Situations were always dealt to me as a matter of fact, things fell my way and I dealt with them as I felt appropriate.  I have never been directly confrontational.

I feel like this place may be changing me fundamentally.  It isn't good and I'm in a sort of confused state of remorse and excitement.  I've got to decide that this animalistic behavior is a barrier to my return to civilization.  If I keep at this I'm afraid that it might be too hard to return to normal operations once I'm released or a non-issue if I'm fucking killed.  I'm not exaggerating.  I'm going too far.  I won't explain about what's going on in depth, but most of you know already.

As to that, from here on out I'm shutting it down.  What I though was easy money was anything but.  Ain't shit free on Planet E.  I thought I was providing for my family, but at what cost?  A few dollars for my soul?

I can't piss in peace.  I shower ready for anything.  My enemies have become numerous.  These things aren't what scare me, though.  If you can believe it, it's the thought of never seeing my children again.  OR if I do, I'm afraid I'll be caught in the perpetual motion machine of the Michigan Prison system.  I don't want that for them.

I push through the week just to see them on visit.  To hear their stories and 5-year old perceptions.  It just isn't an option to fail them any more than I already have.

So I've decided to tighten it up and get my shit together.  There might be some backlash but I don't foresee much aside from maybe some revenge, maybe not even that.  With my confession and plan for change out of the way I'll discuss some nasty little particulars.

If you've been owed money or whatever for a sufficient length of time and when talking isn't getting it done, it is recommended that you use violence.  Unless of course you decide to cur up and get out of whatever hustle you've just gotten beat at.  Anyways, if violence is in order you have got to prove a point, if not to the surrounding inmates then to the person of interest and to yourself.  If you don't plan on stabbing the person you had better make him wish you had.  What I'm saying is that you  have to make this person scared to retaliate.  You have to have him so scared of another beating that he either pays or keeps it moving.  This is sometimes hard to come to terms with because it's so personal.  The person in question is somebody you obviously thought was cool and probably kicked it with often.  For whatever reason he's decided that paying you wasn't going to happen so you have to make a move.  You can not let this go.  It's impossible to stay in operation if you do, at any rate.  The best way to go about this is to play it cool.  You have to be a good actor.  You pretend to be friends, reassure him you believe he's going to pay you, continue to play cards or dominoes or what have you.  This can be referred to as, "rocking him to sleep."

If the guy is bigger and stronger, my advice is to catch him at his most vulnerable, preferably while he's showering or taking a shit.  You can also use your ID as a key, break into his cell, shake him and ask him if he's woke, and then beat the living shit out of him.  This is one of the better ways.  You've got a lot more time to commence to ass kicking and there's little chance of getting caught.  Keeping risk to a minimum should be of utmost concern.  You have to understand that you can't just give the guy a couple of jabs and walk away.  You have got to make the man scared.  This part is hard because the guy in question is not going to want you punching away at him.

If he's laying in his bunk, straddle him and try to hold his power arm at the shoulder.  Most likely, this will be his right arm.  Holding the wrist isn't as effective as the shoulder, as this is where the power of a punch is generated.

NOTE: When in a bar fight, wrap the shirt up at the right shoulder of your opponent with your fist and swing and continue to advance with your right.  Remember to focus on his shoulders while punching at the sides and lower jaw and neck.  If you try to look right at what you're trying to punch, you'll miss it more times than not.  My dad can probably fill in the mechanics of this to anyone interested as he boxed.  I only try to go with what works best for me.

Anyways, with your opponent's power controlled and using the leverage you have by sitting at his waist, start punching.  Hit all the soft delicate spots.  Nose, eyes, temple, chin, and lower back half of the jaw.  You need to do this even after he's begged you to stop.  It's probably safe to quit once he starts crying; you've got to use your judgement here.  The point is this guy has to fear  you.  He has to be so upset by this ass-whipping that he second guesses retaliation.

Retaliation by his friends is a non-issue if you don't fuck with gang bangers which, as a general rule of thumb, is a good idea.

So much for my third party testimonies.  I have sent myself  the cease and desist order and hopefully I can do it.  I've always lived reckless but this is becoming something that is actually making me stop and consider or weigh the amount of Monster to Man ratio that wasn't there before.  It all seems so easy until there's a knock on my cell with the offer of a $100 Western Union.  I try to trick myself into thinking things will be different this time.  It's like a fucking battered woman movie on Lifetime.  The underlying theme there is always the same.  He's going to continue beating you.  He won't change.  He can't.

I've been on a huge Bruce Springsteen kick lately thanks to John.  I've especially been into the Greetings From Asbury Park album.  There's a line that's been stuck in my head since I heard it a couple of weeks ago.  I've been moving it around in my mouth and it tastes fine.  It has nothing to do with anything I've written here, I guess I just feel like sharing it.

"You're not man enough to hate, you're not woman enough for kissing."

After writing it, maybe it does pertain to me.  I might be that middle of the road ambiguous not much.  This isn't a self-deprecating statement as much as on of fact.  I don't feel like I'm that bad but I'm really not that good.  Being in the middle is probably worst of all.  Who knows, thanks for all the confusion, Bruce.  I'll be thinking on it some more.

PS - I received a really great letter from my dad recently and I'm wanting to share it (with some things omitted i.e. Lauren stuff) but I'd better ask permission, so with getting two birds stoned in mind (a Trailer Park Boys reference John should enjoy) I'm asking for it here.  I've only got four stamps till the next store.  It's a very enjoyable piece of writing.  It should also show where I get my unique sense of humor and cynicism from.

Night.  XOXO,



  1. Glad to hear you're trying to control the monster. Fortunately I have no personal experience with this, but I feel it's a long, lifetime job. I wish you everything to tackle this! So, did you get permission to share your dad's letter even if in part? P.S. HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY...Remember when you kept changing your birthdate on Facebook? Well, you got me...last time you changed it it was for December and I made a comment to that was when I thought your bday was!

  2. Dude, I know you're my son, but if you're gonna post my stuff I gotta get paid, know what I'm saying? Heh. I can't remember what I wrote in the last letter right now. Remind me on the phone. As for devolving into a blood ape, it's prison you're in, not seminary. You go to the desert and you sweat, ya know? You go north and you freeze. And when you go to prison you fight or become a lesser species. I support all efforts to minimize violence except in self-defense. Let's go for smart good, not crazy good, OK? Plenty of preachers but no prophets in prison.

  3. Best entry yet. 1st paragraph kills.

  4. I reckon the fact you're expressing all possible outcomes indicates you've got a fairly solid handle on things, as your dad said, no point treating your situation by practicing how you'd approach things when you get out . . . I detest violence and have only ever been locked up twice, but you have to play by the rules of the game, not the "system's" version, but the one you actually live within, and you need to keep living, the prison/seminary reference is a valid one. Keep on keeping on, good luck.