Friday, January 11, 2013

Approaching the Finsh Line, and More to Go.

With this day almost complete, I find it hard to hoard the energy to finish. Overloaded with production at work and wanting to throw up from the smell of over buttered burnt popcorn, I sent my last emails and sipped down my final sodas for the day, in hopes of clicking my brian into tolerating the rest of my jail time. I Should have started drinking soda earlier in the day, sitting here typing, I'm forced to listen, even through my headphones, to a woman complaining about how her husband stole her last cookie. You want a cookie lady? I'll get you a goddamn cookie.

Over the past week my emotional level has turned me into a verbal snapping turtle. It's hard to stay calm about things when you spend your nights sleeping on foam board, and having to watch TV while listening to repeated incomplete conversations. Jail isn't something that is physically demanding, but is an emotionally damaging roller coaster. While inside, taking a few low blows has definitely gotten to my head, which I'm sure has happened to many a few. My words to the public have definitely pissed people off, but these words have also opened conversations from those who've shared similar trials as mine. With these two sides fighting, it makes my mental cradle rock. One second you're ok with the idea of being locked up for the crime you've committed, but then the next it seems like you'd do anything to take it back; there's no winning in jail.

This week has truly tested my ability to stay afloat. With working 40 hours, running the gallery through emails and phone calls, as well as taking on the stress of following rules and regulations of being contained, there's no more energy to go around. Work release has been my savior within this whole process, but with having to juggle real life with temporary life, it's still proven to be a great challenge. I'm not about to let 10 days in jail damage years of effort I've put in to creating the person I am today. Yes, I've made mistakes and I'm sure you have too, but I'm over those mistakes and doing time in jail is just something a lot of us have to do. Knowing that this time I'm spending was in my near future, I wanted to turn the tables on it by sharing my reactions with people who cared to read. It's definitely not a walk in the park, but it's also not comparable to being burned at the stake. Just don't fuck up and you won't have to find out.
When you read this I will be finishing my last several hours within the county jail. It's so close it almost makes me anxiously sick to the point that it can be hard to hold down sleep for the night. Not wanting to eat much to keep my energy low, I snack on small chips and fruit. I'm hoping to keep this low enthusiasm going since, I'm not having to wake up in the morning and report to work. I'll be able to sleep more steadily through the next day to ignore the thoughts of the hours getting more and more decreased.

But once I wake up Saturday morning it will be less than 24 hours till my release, and till I feel like myself again. Over this time I'm thankful for my friends, family, and coworkers for the support through emails, phone calls, and conversation. Also to my readers who I know, and to those who I've never met, thank you for the random emails of humorous fuck-ups and serious matters. The month of January has already thrown me in circles without wanting to dance. But with it not stopping anytime soon, I plan to take things as they come, no matter how rough the road may be. It's all smooth sailing from here.

"Cheated Hearts" - Yeahs Yeahs Yeahs 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

They Come and They Go

It's Thursday, and I'm happy to say after today I only have two more days left of being held inside the clink. I'm ready to get rid of my constant nose bleeds from the dry jail air, I know they must import it from McShitville. I hope to spend Friday being completely overloaded at work till my brain explodes, and in the evening, confining myself to my private dorm room to finish up my newly composed artist statement. How many other artists can say they've written their statement while in jail? I'm sure not too many, so I do plan to milk that for what it's worth.

With tomorrow marking a week of being incarcerated, I've seen ladies come and go out of the housing unit. Even though I haven't known these women for very long, and not to say I like them or they like me, I still got a tiny glimpse into who they are, and once they've left, the space seems to change. But when it comes down to it, it's not always how long you spent inside, but what you choose to do once you've escaped (in a legal way). I plan to hang out with Murphy and draw picture; that's a good thing so I must be cured.

Bring these to me!
But with these big plans on hold till Sunday morning, I will wait for tomorrow to come. I'm excited for my last day of work release, and in case you hadn't heard, I will be taking Diet Pepsi donations throughout the day. My plan is to pump my veins so full that I will hopefully survive until Sunday morning. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


--> Today, I found myself at work with a stomach full of soda and coffee. Hopefully in an hour or so I've placed myself smack dap in the middle of a soda coma, so as to sleep better tonight. You would think it would be the opposite, but with the amount of stress that my body has encountered over the past week, any trigger can cause it to crash. Work seems to be going slower today, I hate to get the thought of soon returning to the real world too early. It's like they say, “don't count your eggs before they've hatched,” very similar to when your counting down your days in the clink.

When returning from work tonight I'll make sure to keep my mouth shut about my limited time outside the holding cell today. Yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning the food I was able to eat, and with the rest of the girls forced to eat watered down soup with peas and carrots for lunch, let's just say I wouldn't have been picked first to play the friendship game. A day or two ago I thought the number one killer of being incarcerated was the idea of confinement, but I'm now learning jealousy is a close runner up. You're not going to make many friends if you get any visitors, have the nicer shampoo, or even if you choose the television channel that the majority of the time no one watches.

You thought the girl sitting next to you in science class might not like the idea of you getting a better grade then her, try having 12 girls you live with, by no choice, be jealous of the extra butter you got at dinner. Learn that girls can be crazy no matter where you are, it's just the level of crazy that can change.

For example, last night the topic of conversation was men, I guess the majority of the time the conversations deal with dudes. I understand a few of these ladies have been inside the bars for a while now, and miss the idea of the male population. Sometimes even watching TV gets to be a challenge. I could see yes, Mark Wahlberg or Johnny Depp coming onto the television and hearing, “oh, he's pretty cute,” but it's when we're watching the local news and scopping out the up and coming criminals, hoping to get a glimpse of them in the hallway or through in the window while in recreation. I guess there is a Jack for every Jill, but sometimes when there's only three Jacks and three Jills, your options are as slim as early winter ice.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas in January

Today is the closest thing to Christmas morning for an adult as you can get. After waking up to blinding lights up top my ceiling and ignoring the breakfast bell I stayed in to complete my morning routine in time for my first day of work release. Finally getting to step back into my jeans and murphy vest reminded me to not take my identity for granted. Being welcomed to work with coffee and soda was like opening my first presents at Christmas and getting the new bike and dolly I had been asking for.

With the rest of work being spent catching up on assignments, I took time on my breaks to talk to my family and friends. With recognizing their support I was unable to compose a fully detailed blog. First things first, and family and friends should always be on the top of that list.

With the feeling of my independence some what back I know the rest of the week should fly by and the thought of early Sunday morning coffee at Perkins would soon be approaching.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stories From the Sharing Circle

This morning a headache the size of your momma blew through my head, pulsing through my brain like a balloon being blown up over and over. It was a rougher morning than the last; I skipped breakfast to rest. In and out of sleep, my headache remained. Removing myself from the miniscule mattress I sleep on, I washed my face and cleaned my teeth.There was another 30 minutes till we were released from our cells, I just waited. I started to become too focused on my impatience. Being here for one and a half days, I have begun to understand how the idea of confinement can take your emotional status to a downfall. I consider myself a very emotionally strong person, and I found it hard at times to imagine having no other options than to be here. That's why mothers send their children to their rooms when they've misbehaved. It's because the children go crazy in there, so they learn their lesson. Same as in here, but instead we're all adults.

As the day continued, my relationships with the other girls started to open. I found myself inside gossip of: “she said, he said”, and emotional stories of crime, children, and even cancer. The majority of women in here are not too much younger or older than myself. With experiences ranging from years of being in and out of jail, insecure households, abusive relationships, to addiction. It makes us think as humans how far we have to go to improve ourselves. They say it starts with our surroundings, which is why they put you in here. But for some it seems the scars are too deep to be fixed with just “sitting time”. Since I've been here phone messages regarding deceased boyfriends, cheating husbands, and family problems flood the phone lines. Angry outbursts followed by tears fill the housing unit. With nowhere else to go I find myself being involved in the situations due to just being another person in the room. You never realize how hard life can be until you feel the experience of it through the mouth of it's victims. The women who I call my roommates are incarcerated for offenses ranging from drug trafficking, trespassing, to arson. With 10 other women sitting in the Sharing Circle, I could overflow 10 blogs with the intense stories I've been told.

Do any of them intimidate or scare me? No, because I know that at the end of the day we are all somewhat similar; we all need to be fixed sometimes.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Last night after passing through the metal doors, a sense of calm came over my body. I was ready to get this shit over with. As I waited for my turn to be called, a man entered through the door. Glancing my direction he said: “I saw you in the paper”. After a small one-sided conversation about his thirty-six day sentence and weather curiosity, I was directed into another door. As I was about to turn my back, the man said slightly under his breath: “Good luck Dana”. The thought of how I never introduced myself to him pulled a trigger in my head, making me realize that people in here are waiting to read what I write.

After signing in, and agreeing to be nice and to mind my own business, I showered and was handed my new navy colored attire and croc shoes. I was handed a tote filled with bed sheets, which reminded me of my freshman year of college. I was also given items such as toilet paper, a tooth brush and a comb. I declined a second roll of toilet paper, due to my plan to keep my food and liquid intake low, as to not have to pee too much right next to my place of rest.

Following behind the officer, we entered the housing unit. We came upon a large open space filled with tables and chairs; Seinfeld was playing on the television. Scattered groups of women sat around the tables coloring images of Scooby-Doo and Disney princesses. Cells lined the perimeter of the open space and were stacked two stories high. Up the stairs we walked, where the officer assigned me a cell. Explaining a couple of rules, she left me to figure out the rest for myself.

The remainder of the evening I spent searching the old coloring books for blank pages to write on as well as browsing through used books and movies. A little television sits next to the table of books that they use to show exercise tapes. Jane Fonda's Start Up VHS sat on top of the pile. I guess girls in here have been trying to get in shape since the 80's. Sitting at one of the empty tables, I started to write down the characteristics of my surroundings. With the rest of the women randomly wandering around, I didn't pay too much attention to what they were doing. With my head stuck in my paper, I was spooked by a loud voice yelling out swear words, and (in a nice way), repeating threats of “mind your own business” to the woman across from me. Minding MY own business (like I signed up for), I just took notes and watched it unfold from the corner of my eye. 10 minutes passed and it seemed the air had calmed down. Trying to write seemed too difficult with the distractions of the TV and the women surrounding me. I headed to my cell, which I like to call my dorm room, to write and listen to the radio for the rest of the evening. In and out of writing, I glanced at the pages of my newest book. Adam Steele: Bloody Border. There's nothing like ending your evening reading snippets about widowers and the blood they wanted to spill... eek!... maybe not the best reading material for here.
Lights out at 12:30am, but the radio plays through the darkness. I guess you could say Michael Jackson and Fergie sang me to sleep.

This morning up at 6:30am like normal, newspaper, diet pepsi and TV... not the worst yet.