Prison Pete

Friday, December 14, 2007
  I'm so BLUE!
I am still waiting for the powers that be (whatever that means) to decide if I will be able to resume my job, designing much needed databases. I am still on the payroll, so all I do is sit around my cube all day feeling sorry for myself.

When one's reality sucks, diving into fiction is a great way to "disappear" for a while. In the last three weeks I have read the following books:

Short Straw, LA Deal, Fresh Disasters - all by Stuart Woods
The Reef - Nora Roberts
Broken Prey - John Sanford
Drop Dead Beautiful - Jackie Collins
Shiny Waters - Anna Salter
The Manhattan Hunt Club - John Saul
Palm Beach - Pat Booth
Day Trader - Stephen Frey
Balance of Power - Richard Noth Paterson
Cover Story - Gerry Boyle
Mad Jack - Catherine Coulter
Killer Dreams - Iris Johansen

The New York Times has outdone itself in arriving totally haphazardly. I still have not received the paper for the Monday before Thanksgiving, but this past Friday's showed up today, Thursday, with Sunday and Monday arriving yesterday.

I need to write another letter to the local postmaster and get him to confirm once again that the papers do arrive on a same day basis and any delays are caused by the mail room here at my undisclosed secure location. But the funk has left me not up to solving this problem.

There are several "maintenance projects" that are in need of some expert attention in our dorm. Since I no longer work there, and was one of the few inmate employees who strived to get things done, this too is adding to my feeling of ...??? Not really sure how you would describe the feeling but I have been wondering if one can really solely be responsible for "SELF" esteem, or is it possible that it is also a function of how others look at your talents and are willing to allow you to apply them in a positive environment.

Yes, I know I am in prison. I put myself here. But if I am feeling low, and I am certainly able to function at a higher level and have more resources than many of my fellow inmates, how are they supposed to ever be able to change their way of dealing with life and be able to become productive members of society?

As the song says... "We all need somebody to lean on."

It is truly strange how once I start writing, I certainly have plenty to write about, and to be honest, I even feel a little bit better for spending this time putting my thoughts on paper.

One of the major differences between the state system and Club Fed is the way that we able to receive packages. Every weekend I see many of my fellow inmates returning from the visiting room carrying grocery bags full of goodies from the outside world. We are able to get up to thirty-five ponds of food stuff each month, and for Thanksgiving several inmates has some of the vacuum packed fully cooked turkeys sent in. I do not need any additional junk food, and Mom and Dad do send me food from time to time, but it was certainly less "painful" in Club Fed when everyone had to shop at the same store.

That certainly makes the time here in the state system closer to life on the outside. Someone will almost always have more of this or that then you do, well maybe not for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. But the point is, it is really not the physical possessions that make one feel better here in the prison, it is those things that contribute to the lifting up of one's self esteem and sense of accomplishment.

The Beatles sang that "happiness is a warm gun" but in here happiness is a kind word, a letter from the outside, or any interaction with another human that lets you know that you are more than just another body that needs to be counted several times over a twenty-four hour period to be sure you are still where you are supposed to be.

Time to wrap this up so it makes the last mail out this week. But there will be more to come.
I don't read Chinese or whatever that is.Do you?
To our famous editor,and Prison Pete:
Hope all is well with the both of you.....will keep checking back for an update.
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