Weeknight in the Shithouse!

The State food was less milky, more savory.

Next to my stall cell the man soaked himself in last night’s piss, laughing maniacally with the hope that his restlessness splashed it on us during his sleep. Regardless, that yellow dehydration seemed pure into the back of your nostrils and caked onto your cornea. The dew drops of another captive morning.

Time stopped meaning something to me earlier than it was supposed to, I ran out of nail to claw tally-marks into the wall. My pencil lost its lead, it’ll probably be a fitting shank for the unaffiliated. It helps to have cousins registered in the system practically from birth. I don’t need to send my DNA to an Ancestry site to be scanned by the government: my whole family’s been in and out of these halls.

I’m on their schedule, this is the good life. Back at home i’d sleep the whole day if I didn’t have anything to do, i’d forget to brush my teeth — life sapped by me with the setting of the sun. Here, if I don’t fall in line, my ass gets beat beyond all living hell, rightfully so. Strict regimentation, enforced. That’s what this country needs. I read an hour, I eat an hour, I work out an hour. Fridays I usually get first crack at commissary, the generic chocolate bars we get access to usually taste better than the real thing. You stop seeing brands, you start feeling flavor.

Senses become interchangeable, all that time you used to spend thinking nothing about how things felt, now it’s all you have. The contours of my pillow are closer to me than the joy I used to feel around women, much easier to wrap your arms around and you won’t get a charge for it. My smell, like a rape memory, has been suppressed by the abuse of odor. Smells of the entire country encased, dereliction dirt. A few months in I learned to sleep like a baby, those groans and screams from down the hall you neglect in favor of your dreams. 

We’re in Purgatory, the lot of us. Cots on the floor, high ceilings, concrete cool. These open spaces let the air flow free, if you don’t brush your teeth and let your breath roam free you’ll wake up dickless. Few months at a time our Tank is full, no newbies. We become chummy, food gets traded under the table, an old Playboy here and there, sympathetic guards with bad habits get us some coke-derivative every once in a while. If not, we usually huff some bagged grill-spray. Higher than ketamine.

I bark like a dog when i’m threatened — nervous tick I got from Juvenile when I was younger. A couple kids tried to strangle me with a sweater thread in knitting class. People think you’re crazy, they let you have your way with them while they stare back at you in shock. Same shit with adults, any malformation of cholo-gangbanger. I reel them, they fear me. Being a six-foot five neo-nazi helps, but the harder you train your throat the deeper the death rasp. I’ve made ‘em cry.

I’m here so often, I forget why. Before they try to ship me off somewhere else, my charges get dropped, i’m back home where I have nothing. It’s only a matter of time to where i’m actually held responsible, but until then I lay in bed an extra five minutes and stare at the piece of dried gum in the ceiling tile. 

Someone here’s got Trident, and i’d suck for a chew.

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