I've been getting up early in order to start my day ahead of the hassle and bustle - a bit of quiet time before the onslaught when I can almost forget where I am (at least for a few minutes).
Yesterday evening I went to a yoga class and really enjoyed it. I also attended a Toastmaster's meeting - where you learn public speaking. Events like these make the time go faster. Without them, time slows to a crawl and the time between dinner and lights out at 10 stretches for an eternity.
I'm determined to have a positive attitude about the whole experience. I can see those people around me who do - those who participate in events, attend courses, take advantage of the little that is offered, maintain good cheer - and it seems to make a huge difference. Home is where you make it, after all. I spoke last night with a young Mexican man who talked of the fear and frustration of his trial but said that, to his surprise, he actually found prison to be fun.
Fun? That's not exactly a word I'd use to describe my experience...at least not yet and probably not ever. But there are recreational facilities, fast friendships, a certain camaraderie of us-v-them - we're all in this together after all. So the strange fact is that some people actually enjoy prison, maybe even come to prefer it over the uncertainties and difficulties of real life. "Three hots and a cot," one guy told me. "Could be worse." That and guaranteed employment and even a semblance of medical care.
Personally, I don't find it fun, or comforting or pleasant or, well, really any positive word. Loss of freedom, rude guards, all the negatives are too omnipresent to let me think I'm having fun. I guess, though, I am gradually finding my place in the hierarchy. Basically, what I'm finding is that, whether I want to or not, I'm considered just another one of many white collar felons doing what other WCF's do: complain about their derailed circumstances, tell their stories, get a bit of exercise, maybe take a yoga class. Although we all now have calloused hands - I pushed a wheelbarrow full of rocks all day yesterday - there is something different about us, be it background, or experience, or education. Maybe we're just spoiled. I don't know.
Time to go to breakfast. Today's a big day: we find out our permanent work assignment. I'm not lazy, and I'm not hoping for "fun" in the way of work. But I am hoping for a job that's light on work so that I can focus on writing.
Originally posted on 5/19/14. Re-posted 1/15/17.