Thursday, November 12, 2015

William Myrl; Letters to No One (31)

Dear No One,
We had a shakedown. What this means is that we stayed in our cells for a few days, ate in, as it were, and then were searched. The thoroughness of the search varies dependent upon the CO who visits you. Whatever happens, you get to waggle your balls around for someone. There are a few perks to this life, and being stripped searched is one of them. It has to be worse for them than it is for us. I don't have to look at a bunch of naked assholes, and any awkwardness I once felt about revealing myself to a stranger in a uniform has long since evaporated. It’s a routine now. Tuck in your shirt, take off your pants, whichever.
It is extraordinarily hot in our cell, because we are next to the furnace, and the COs who shook us down commented on it at length. Normally, we have a laundry bag over the vent to divert some of it. This came off, and my celly retired his fan so they had the full brunt of the heat while they were in here. I had gone quite out of my way to hide my porn,  it’s illegal now, if you’ll recall, and it was not found. No one ever checks everything, and paper products aren't exactly easy to pick out in cells full of papers. There isn't much point to the shakedowns, but they have to do them. There is so much warning that getting caught with something can only be one's own fault. It keeps us from having too much stuff, detritus, and oversized contraband.
Did I tell you about the time we had an oven? Okay, you take two ramen boxes to make the frame. You line the inside with aluminum and run some steel wool zig zag through soda can tabs all down the top of the oven, with an air gap from the roof, obviously. Get a cord and hook it up to the steel wool, put a cardboard flap as the oven door. Voila, the wool heats up, heating the oven. It pops if there are kinks in the wool, so work them out. The aluminum is all soda cans, and the steel scrubby can be bought from someone who works in the kitchen. It could be any size, but the ramen boxes are convenient if you can get them. The plug can be cut off an old fan, or put together by hand if all you’ve got is wire from a broken bubble tv or what have you. This thing doesn't cook fast, but it is better than anything else we can get.

Now I have to leave you. ‘Heroes’ is on.

William Myrl (31)

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