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Friday, April 8, 2011

Jailhouse Clues

“And he made believers of bad men. I’ll tell you that,”

Roy was talking about a pastor he knew. I was on my sixth month of a year and a half stint and the Oshkosh correction center.

I had a job in the cafeteria. It was monotonous but it was a welcome distraction from all the boring inmate lies and shriveled dicks in the shower room.

Roy was seventy years old and blind. He managed to get around pretty well.

“I couldn't tell you how many times I got off just because I was blind. They’d find me stealing out the back door a booze shop and I’d say ‘How did I get here? I’m so confused’” He chuckled.

I ate my peanut butter sandwich and nodded along.

“Yessir. Being old and blind can get you out of most anything. After a while though, I just committed too many crimes. They had to put me in.”

“What’d you do this time?”

“Neighbor of mine ran over my dog. So I went over his house and killed him. Told the jury I didn't mean to, I couldn't see what I was doing. They bought it sort of but I’ll still be in here the rest of my life, maybe not if I’m lucky.”

One thing about big prisons, you don’t really worry about the murderers, after all it’s their home, everyone else is just visiting.

“For a while after I lost my sight I started seeing these visions, long hallways and mountains and grand pianos and waterfalls.”

“Really?” I said.

“Sure. There’s a name for it that I forgot. It lasted a few year and then it went away.”

“That’s too bad.”

“There was another part to it, I saw people too but they were always midget size, mangled and deformed, all trying to tell me something, always failing.”

I didn’t talk to Roy much more. I feared the day for him, the day when the small mangled figures and waterfalls came back.

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