Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16 - Like Christmas Morning

Monday, March 16

Today, Clayton was as upbeat as his family had ever seen him through the video screen.

"It looks like you took a shower this morning," his wife commented on his incredibly curly hair.

"Oh it's so much better than that!" he replied with a grin, "This has got to be the best morning I've ever had in here!"

Clayton explained to his family the world of difference that the tiny commissary items made for him after arriving yesterday.  This morning he got to test out the dandruff shampoo that had arrived.  Until now, he only had the single assigned small bar of soap to use to wash his entire body and hair every day; which left him with a continual dry skin problem.  Now, he finally had real shampoo to wash his hair with, and the difference was visible.  He also explained that the ability to use the strange prison floss and real Crest toothpaste in the morning was an inspiring experience.  He felt clean in a way he hadn't managed since he was remanded more than a month ago.  He was also thinking that now he might be able to work out again without the fear of being 'the smelly guy.'

Even better, Clayton was able to get a full night's rest for the first time in more than a month.  The green, shaped ear plugs that arrived in yesterday's delivery worked wonderfully.  Clayton was finally able to block out the all-night screams and shouts, and sleep through the night without interruption.  Clayton reminded his family of the stories he had told them about the late night ruckus.  He also added a new one.  A few nights ago, he said that the entire segregation mod had kept themselves awake all night making animal noises.  Some of them were belting out amazing Alaskan bird calls, while others were growling, howling, or screeching.

"It was like being stuck in a jungle all night," he explained.

Writing Letters to Family and Friends

Clayton informed his family that he had continued writing return letters to friends and family.  He was able to respond to individuals who had mailed him, because he gets a photo copy of the front of the envelope along with the photo copies of the contents.  This allowed him to see everyone's return mailing addresses.  He was still waiting for mail to arrive with addresses for other individuals he wanted to write to.

So far, he had used 11 of the 20 stamps he received yesterday, even with doubling-up letters in some envelopes.  He had sent out 4 of the letters for mail pick-up already, and still had a few to finish putting together.  Then he explained that he had a few more responses left to write.  He agreed with family that, with the limit on purchasing 20 stamps at a time, he would need to purchase stamps every week and use them judiciously to keep in contact with as many people as he could manage.  Even then, his communications will be limited.

Clayton also asked his family to relay a request on his blog.  "If anyone who receives a letter from me is interested in sharing the content in it, please send a copy of the letter to my wife and she can post it on the blog as well," he said.  He said he had explained some additional things about life in the prison in his letter responses, and that some of that information would also be good to share in a forum like the blog.

Offer for K Mod

Clayton then informed his visitors that he had a surprise visit from a guard this morning, with an offer to be moved into the K Mod.  Clayton's family was shocked to hear that he had turned the offer down.  He then explained that the offer was to be moved into the K Mod into a room with 2 other inmates.  He would not be assigned his own bunk, but would have a mattress on the floor which the prisons call 'boats.'  It is a mattress that takes up the only available walking space in the room.

"I thought about it seriously," he explained to his wife, "I've been the guy on the floor before.  Any time someone uses the sink they're dipping water on your bed.  You don't have a shelf for your stuff built in like the other guys do.  You don't have any real area as your personal space."

He explained that in his prior experience at MSPT being on the boats had been miserable.  He had asked the guard if there was any real chance of getting a bunk space in the K Mod.  The guard explained that it sometimes happened when a lot of guys got moved out at once, but that it could be months before that happened.

"They said if I am patient, it will happen eventually," he relayed.  "I am okay where I am right now.  I am safe, and I have the basics.  If I am patient, I think it will be worth it to have a bunk."

Asking the Lord for His Purpose

Clayton also spoke with the family and friend about how he was looking at his imprisonment spiritually.  He talked about the many stories he had read in the bible of people being imprisoned unjustly, and said he had come to a strong conclusion.

"God specifically allows bad things to happen to people," he explained, "but He uses it for good.  I am asking the Lord to use me, and to help me understand what the point is for me being in here.  Who can I help?  If I am in here, I want it to be worth something."

Even though he had been convicted falsely, Clayton believes with all his heart that it was something the Lord had allowed to happen.  He was a person with a history of mentoring, tutoring and supporting others.  He knew how to help those in need without judgement.  He feels closer to the Lord than he has in years, because he has so much of his day to focus on prayer and study.

"Maybe God just needed a guy like me in here," he said with a sigh.  "I'm just asking the Lord for mercy and guidance now.  I want to help who I can, but I also want to be able to retire eventually."

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Clayton was transferred into K Mod much later, on April 10, 2015.

1 comment:

  1. Been praying for sleep for Clayton and am very happy he was finally able to get some.