Conversations and Good News

Posted: April 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

Over the next 10 days after Lisa’s birthday things were pretty quiet.  With only a Bible to read, walls to stare at and my own thoughts (which Lord knows you’ve heard enough of!) it wasn’t overly exciting.  Such is life at Dodge Correctional Institution, the reception facility for the Wisconsin Prison system.  I did do another chemotherapy session and saw a couple cell extractions.  One of the extractions, once the inmate was out of the cell and cuffed, he verbally accused the guard who had sent him to the hole and the white shirt placed him in a choke hold all the way to the sliding door.  Quite frankly, even with the cuffs and chokehold, they barely could contain him.

In rec I ran into some interesting people, including Scott Ziegler, an inmate from Waukesha County Jail who had gone on the same transport as I. This guy stuck to me like glue it seemed. He told me all about his crimes, how he provided drugs to kids who had stayed at his place on occasion but how the District Attorney had convinced all these kids to lie.  He let me know he had converted since his arrival to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then he asked me the most curious question, if I would ask to be his cellmate. I couldn’t anyway due to my single cell restriction but you know that feeling you get when something isn’t just right?  I had a sponsor look him up and sure enough, he had a ton of sex offenses against teenagers.  I tried to shake him at Rec by talking to others but he often would find a way to talk to me.  I handled it by just not being friendly until he would get the hint and go away.  I also met Glen.  He said he was in for some kind of contractor fraud but because it involved elderly, the judge came down on him hard.  He was a bit of a whiner, if he wasn’t getting out of his cell enough or what not, but he tells a lot of funny stories about his life.   His cellmate was ok too.  He was in for drunk driving, and went on and on about how his first stop after release was a titty bar and how I should join him.  I just laughed.  That’s so the last thing I need!  My approach with people at Rec is to not approach anyone, keep to myself, and let others approach me.  Trust me, I’m not out to build any lasting friendships.  But, he had some relatively funny stories, and being in a cell by myself, I like the conversation.

I do have some good news to report.  Dodge has a library that you can put a request in to get reading material, but because of my Health Services Unit appointments I was always getting skipped.  I mentioned this to a swamper and he managed to slip me 2 books.  One was “The Hunt for Red October”.  I’d seen the movie but trust me the book is even better.  He also got me a book called “Carved in Bone” by Jefferson Bass.  Again an outstanding book.  Both of these I have re-read probably 5 times!  But the best news of all, on February 1st, a subscription to the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal began!  It turns out I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a sponsor who saw what I had for reading material and provided this gift.  Many thanks! I’ve not had contact with what is going on in the world since January 7th and I was such a news junkie on the outside, so this gift just made me giddy.  So now I have lukewarm instead coffee, Swiss Rolls and now a day old newspaper to read most every day, except Sundays which come on Tuesdays!  I don’t care  Getting that newspaper is the highlight of my day and I am very grateful for it.  I now can keep up with your world on the outside while I keep you up with mine.

  1. Mike says:

    To learn how to be alone, with your own thoughts, that is really a good road to travel. Some cultures use the isolation as a right of passage, such as survival skills training being dropped in the middle of nowhere with nothing but your clothes and a knife. Talk to God, tell him what you\’re struggling with. He is there, listening. Read the Bible to hear what God is saying, that you are valuable, He cares about you, and He has plans for your future.

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