|Reality Inside Solitary Confinement, AKA The Hole Part 1|
|Written by Katfish|
|Thursday, 25 June 2009 00:04|
Big Spring FCI Special Housing Unit (SHU)- “The Bucket”
The cell they keep me a hostage in is twelve feet by eight feet. The desk I'm sitting at right now is a pie wedge shaped piece of stainless steel bolted into the corner, the front edge three feet across (my measurements are made by my using my pad of paper which is ten and a half inches long). Bolted to the floor in front of this desk is a metal stool. It's shaped like a cable spool. It's about eighteen inches high. Each end is eleven inches across. Five bolts hold it down. Also in my cell is the ubiquitous stainless steel toilet combo sink. This has a drinking fountain thingy on it. You push the button and nothing happens. I have a theory about that, but nothing solid yuh understand.
The mattress is covered in bright blue vinyl; solid like a waiting room's chair's upholstery. The mattress itself is NOT soft; it is seventy-two inches long by twenty-six inches wide. It's about three inches thick. It has a UNICOR prison industries label attached to it: I tried to peel it off, no dice. Bedding issue is one blanket, one towel, two sheets, zero pillows. All UNICOR products.
The window in the wall is between the desk and the bunk. It has a sheet of opaque plastic secured to it on the outside which allows light in and nothing else. The window is twenty inches across by forty-four inches high. It has three squared bars welded into it vertically. Each bar is two inches to a side. The entire window has a grill of expanded metal welded over it.
The door to the cell is a heavy duty Nazi-bunker affair, thirty-six inches by eighty-four inches. It has a slot window in it maybe sixteen inches high by five inches across. I can see the cell across from me. There are Mexicans in there. We do not speak the same language. There is also a tray slot. It is locked from the outside. Food trays are passed in so one can sit next to the toilet and eat soggy food. The tray slot is also for handcuffing. If a convict must come out of the cell, then he must back up and extend his arms/wrists thru the slot. The guard cuffs us. If you have a bunky (I've been in this cell before with 4 convicts at a time- two man cell- four convicts), then he also must cuff up before the door is opened.
Also on the door is a round hole. It is at face level. It has perforated steel welded to it, inside and out. In between the perforated steel is a piece of metal which blocks about 75% of the hole. The hole was designed so a hostage could speak with staff. The metal blocking the hold is an add-on idea meant to block an angry and frustrated hostage form spitting or throwing nasty liquids thru it and into staff's face. The metal blocking the hole also is good at blocking sound rendering the hole useless, thus staff and hostage scream into the door's edges in an effort to communicate. By the way, the expanded metal welded to the windows make it impossible to clean. The window to the outside is recessed, approximately six inches from expanded metal to glass. It is unbelievably filthy in there; at least half an inch of dust, dirt, lint (orange colored of course), plastic forks and spoons, desiccated and largely unrecognizable bits of food and fruit peels, Jolly Rancher wrappers, etc tetra Yeck.
The floor is concrete and gray. The walls, stool and bunks are painted a dull yellow, the color of a heavy smokers' walls. The door and windows are painted a dark brown. The ventilation is very good. There's a shelf made of expanded metal welded beneath the lower bunk. We're to keep our few allowable affects there.
There is a long fluorescent light-box in the ceiling. It has two light bars in it. Between 10:30pm and 11:00pm the fluorescent lights are extinguished. They stay off until between 6:00am and 6:30am. Doesn't matter because there is also a regular light bulb up there. It's as strong as the one in your living-room. It's stays lit 24/7. I can write and read by it. In fact I'm doing so now. It's 4:37am.
This is my world. This is day 18 in “the Bucket”, punished without reason, charged with nothing, held under the ever ambiguous investigation clause. I receive many messages from the yard, brought to me by the sympathetic guards. The messages are always the same: “We're trying to get you out, Katfish. Everyone knows they have the wrong guy.” Even the police who speak with me RE the investigation tell me that they too feel SIS has the wrong dude. Funny how one Poe and one Poe only is keeping me in here. Funnier still is the FACT that this single Poe is the very same Poe who hemmed up Ramon Milian, who once upon a time ago had a “My Story” page on Tales From The Cells. Now he's hemmed me up.(He's back up on Tales From The Cells, but is still sitting in the Bucket). Perhaps it really is just a coincidence. How do I know it's the same Poe? He told me.
I have a celly. His name is Bob. Bob is the silly fool that was suspected of checking in his bunky- a suspicious child molester type Bob says. Checking in means running a punk up the hill, into the Bucket seeking protective custody. When Bob's bunky checked in, naturally he gave the police Bob's name. Duh. And worse, when the investigating Poe hemmed Bob up, Bob actually had a note, in his own handwriting on an envelope in his pocket. The note was for his bunky. The note essentially said, “Check in or else”. I've asked Bob what the “or else” might have meant. Bob doesn't understand the question. After 18 days of Bob, I've discovered that in his 53 years of life, he's been hospitalized 4 times for self inflicted serious head trauma. To say Bob is a bit thick and simple-minded would be an understatement. Being Bob's celly has led me to discover new levels of self control. Everyone loves Forrest Gump, isn't that right? Good. How 'bout any one of you trying to live in an 8x12 box with one 24/7 for 18 days- no goddamned end in sight. Gump gets on my fucking nerves.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 November 2009 23:58|