Thursday, April 25, 2002

claustrophobia.

i watch lots of shows about the criminal part of the legal system. if i see something on TV with someone being arrested, booked, standing trial, living in prison, etc. i have to watch it. law & order, shawshank redemption, nypd blue, escape from alcatraz, oz, those dumb cop shows, half baked, anything.

it always terrifies me, but i have to watch it. things like that didn't interest me that much until i experienced the whole process. in my opinion, incarceration is one of the worst fates that could befall someone. when i was in jail, everyone just seemed dead. all of the life had been sucked out of them. here were grown people eating the most disgusting mush you could ever imagine, watching rodney dangerfield movies and giggling about jr. high quality rape jokes every single day for years upon years. they occasionally read magazines to look for pictures of womyn, but that was mostly it.

i met a kid i knew from elementary school in there. he asked if i could deliver a note to a girl he knew. i told him i wouldn't be able to get out of my house for a while. he seemed so desperate to see her.

they shut off the phones while i was in jail. the guard did it because he was having a bad day or something. no contact with the outside world. you just sat in freezing cold, shivering and hoping you wouldn't spend the next year sitting in this lobby, eating regurgitated baked beans and deformed hot dogs.

can't think of many things worse than imprisonment. they really take you apart... let you know that you're not an individual anymore. the state and a group of convicts own your flesh and your mind. just horrifying. i got lucky because my parents had money. can't even imagine what it's like for people who don't have resources like that.

so i just keep watching those shows. at the end of every law & order episode i secretly hope the defendent gets off. is that a messed up? maybe a little. but the more i see of the penal system, the less i'm convinced that it works. we don't reform people. we teach them how to be even more cold and desperate than ever before. whatever. i'm not ever going back there.

yeah. i keep telling myself that. but it doesn't change the small thought in the back of my mind that i could spend 10 years in prison. it's all up to one judge. he can do whatever he wants with me. if he has a hangover or something, could be screwed. gives me a lot of reason to enjoy life and the people i love as much as i can until then.

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