Thursday, February 26, 2015

Feb 26 - Magazines and Phone Problems

Thursday, Feb 26

Clayton started his conversation with his family today by explaining there was no news on the paperwork front; meaning no letters had arrived, and no responses to cop-out or visitation forms.

His new routine had become: workout, read, eat, learn Samoan, eat, workout, sleep.

While reading and sleeping he had discovered something new about the blankets.  They reeked, and Clayton has nearly no sense of smell so he wondered how they would seem to a normal person.  He also said they seemed to be laced with other people's random hair.  Both he and Andy have very short hair, but they were both pulling hairs out that appeared to be over 6 inches in length.  "In general," he said with a grimace, "Grody."

Due to his speed reading, Clayton had already burned through the bible once, and was now hopping around to read select stories.  He told his family he had read the stories of: Job, David, Jonah & the Whale, Nebekenezer, Daniel, Samson, and was now working on Abraham.  He was very pleased that the bible he'd been given also had a concordance, so he could explore the appearance of different words and themes.  He told his family he felt particularly impressed today with 1 Corinthians 13, a chapter about love.  He said that he loved and missed his family and his wife.

During the day, Clayton had also learned a new exercise from Andy.  He explained that the bunk beds have ladders here, but they are 'pathetic' with very tiny steps.  There are no hand holds, and so inmates don't really use them.  Andy showed him that he could thread his sheet through the ladder like a sling, and then use it to curl his body weight up towards the bunk; making an effective bicep exercise.  Clayton said they had been stumped before on how to manage an exercise that was truly good for your biceps.

Magazine Fishing Show

Clayton excitedly told his wife that just after her arrival, and before their visit, he had gotten to watch the greatest fishing expedition yet.  It had taken place directly across from Clayton's cell, so he'd been able to watch the entire drama unfold from his bunk.

Apparently, just after he had been notified that his wife had arrived for a visit, a man across the room on the upper balcony attempted to 'fish' a stack of magazines down to someone in a cell on the lower balcony.  "I'm not sure how many magazines there were," he explained, "but there was definitely more than one."  The man had punched a hole through the magazines and tied the 'fishing line' through the bindings.

Remember, 'fishing lines' are made from all kinds of materials (bedding, towels, stitching from clothing, etc.) through a very destructive process.  Just a few days ago, one of the guards caught an inmate ripping up sheets for super long lines, and they had stripped him down to his underwear as punishment and to prevent him from making more.  Clayton said that keeping 'fishing lines' from other inmates out of your cell was a real challenge.

Back to the story at hand...  AFTER Clayton's wife had arrived for her visit, and the guards had informed Clayton they would be coming, this man from the upper balcony begins his 'fishing' attempt. He flung the magazine stack and line out from under his door hard enough to go completely off the upper balcony.  On its way down, it managed to fall through a metal staircase and get snagged.  The man worked to get it free, but instead the line snapped off completely and the magazines landed in the middle of the walkway on the lower floor with a tremendous thud.

The 'fishing' failure began an absolute FRENZY within the unit.  Everyone began yelling and shouting at once; screaming things like:

"Get it off the floor quick!"

"The guards are coming for Allison!! Hurry!"

"You idiots! Now we're all f*****!!"

"Someone get a hold of it!"

Suddenly, 5, 6, 7 guys or more (men that Clayton hadn't even realized had 'fishing lines') began throwing the lines out into the hallway from their cells; trying to snag the magazines before someone came to get Clayton.  Eventually, someone did manage to snag the cut line and drag the stack into their cell; which immediately began an entirely new round of shouting:

"Hell yeah!"

"Hey man!  Those are ours!  You'd better give them back!!"

"Man we rock!"

Clayton said it was by far the funniest thing he'd seen within the prison.

Learning Samoan

In addition to reading, exercising, and watching amazing feats of 'fishing', Clayton's cell mate had also begun teaching him words and phrases in Samoan.

Samoan phrases essential for calling your lady, according to Andy:

Ou te alofa ia te oe = I love You

Ou te Manao ia te oe = I want You

Pele = Baby or Honey

Clayton said there were many more phrases he'd written down and learned, but didn't have time to go through them all.  In general, he and Andy were still getting along well, but he had become concerned on his way out to visit with his wife.  Many of the inmates were yelling at Andy when they came to collect Clayton.  They were screaming Clayton's name and yelling out "Chester" (prison slang for a child molester), and asking Andy if he "realized who his cell mate was".

Clayton was very distressed by this turn of events, because the false accusations against him had only seemed to spiral into more blackness after entering the facility and had nothing to do with the case against him anymore.  He knew how much Andy loved his own family, and worried about whether the man would believe the wild accusations, but his wife encouraged him that he and Andy had gotten to know one another and surely the man would recognize that Clayton was not capable of a crime like that against a child.  The very thought made his wife sick.  She was already sickened by the state's horrible distortion of her daughter's memory being used to steal the life of her husband, but this twist was by far the worst yet.

Phone Blocked

Strangely, all phone numbers now seemed to be restricted from Clayton's personal phone PIN, so he had not been able to get a call out to his family earlier that day.  His family had been instructed by staff to speak with security about the oddities of some phone numbers not working on earlier dates and had called.  Now. Clayton's wife explained that security had told her they blocked all numbers from his personal phone PIN number because somehow his number (and many others in that unit) had been passed around to be used by others.  Even though she had requested for her own number to be unblocked, the change had not gone through yet, so Clayton was unable to get word out from the prison even if he did get access to the phone.

This caused Clayton great concern about how someone else could have ended up with his number.  He explained to his wife that he had thrown away a bunch of paperwork in his old cell when he was moved.  They don't have access to actual trash cans in their cells, so they had been using a large brown paper bag instead which had come from Andy's prior receipt of commissary items.  Clayton had simply left the paperwork he didn't want to keep in the bag in the cell when he moved, assuming it would be disposed of by staff before someone new entered the cell.

Clayton had learned at MSPT 5 years ago that having too much personal paperwork on hand in your belongings could prove dangerous if someone nosy decided to go through and read it when you weren't present.  Now he feared that this choice had been more dangerous.  He explained that the paperwork not only had his phone PIN, but his commissary number, legal paperwork, and PC information as well.  He said that he planned to fill out a cop-out form asking about it.

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