How did this tribe member do it? Necessity is the mother of invention...no doubt. He stuffed cotton, taken from his medicine bottoe, into the finger tips of some rubber/plastic gloves. You see the tribe cleans "the tank" each night and we are provided with some kind of rubber gloves for this duty. Sometimes a tribal member finds himself with an extra pair of these and gets creative! I just tried out my new ear plugs and I think this is going to do the trick!
Friday, 5:30AM....FINALLY! I slept through the night..."all in one piece" as an Englishman I once knew would say. My delightful slumber was the result of two events. The earplugs I mentioned above and the human/guard that heads up the graveyard shift. He's new and his approach to "control" is definite! At 10:00PM, each member of the tribe is required to sit on his bunk for "head count". The last name of each tribe member is called from a roster by the sergeant in charge. The response is one's first name. Just like in grade school, a few play with the rules and respond with "here" or someone else's first name. when that happened last night, this new sergeant simply stopped and waited until "the class clown" responded properly. When the sergeant was finished counting heads, he gave a little talk...lecture? "The day-room tables are open for reading and writing until midnight. Keep the noise down so those who are sleeping, can." Then he simply returned to his station. As soon as the door clanged shut (yup, just like in the movies...a horrible sound...more on this later), the sergeant's retreating back was showered with expletives. "What a dick!" and "F -you!" and worse words...perhaps beyond your imagination!?@
Over the next ten minutes, I listened to the volume in "the tank" slowly and predictably increase. I remember thinking "I hope my new earplugs work". BUT WAIT!!! The new sergeant came storming back into "the tank" with two uniformed assistants! He pulled five tribe members out for a "time out"!?@# He told us the next time he had to return, the five would go to "the hole"...not a positive reinforcement!! By 10:45PM, you could hear a pin drop! I sent a thank-you to the graveyard shift a few minutes ago in the form of what is called a "kite"...basically a note on a form we use to communicate with our captors!
Penny wise-pound foolish??? I hope not! I have an edema on my left elbow, probably due to a fall I took when I first got here. This "flesh wound" was the size of a golf ball a day or two ago. It's smaller today. I've been thinking about going to "the nurse" but that would cost me five dollars. Five dollars is 38 minutes of TalkTime with my sweet wife. So I'll monitor it. She is more important!
FULL MOON SATURDAY
The morning was pretty ordinary (as ordinary as any in "the tank"!). Pretty quiet. Visitation was noon til 1 PM. Then back in the cave, the moon exploded! There was bloody fisticuffs. Both were then taken to "the hole"! As they were handcuffed and hauled away, I had two thoughts. One of the men (a friend!) was due to be released on Monday. He has a qucik temper and acts before he thinks. That seems to be SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for many of the tribal members. He and I have been working on "the gap" concept as presented by Pema Chodron. He gets it in his head...he understands that there is a moment between stimulus and response but the implementation trigger seems to be on LOCK! The other thought is that the tribal member who threw the first punch is HIV positive. The HIV factor and the spilled blood means he could be charged with assault - a felony.
The guards "tossed the tank" again tonight! Probably because of the fight earlier. Tossing the tank means that a few guards ransack the belongings of all who inhabit "the tank"! This time they took the banana that I was saving for my PBnJ Sunday Snack Sandwich. AND once again, they dumped all my letters out of their envelopes. HOORAY...seriously, I get to read 'em again. I'll cast my eye upon those pages tomorrow morning while the tribe sleeps (a morning ritual for most...which involves 5AM breakfast followed by hours of sleep accompanied by the sound of the TV blaring!). I look forward to re-reading all the lovely things ya'll have written to me!! THANK YOU!!!
Sunday the 7th of December - Hawks vs Eagles today. Go Hawks!!!
Didn't sleep much last night. I kept thinking about what got me here and what will I do when I get out and can I make reparation, can I somehow "give back" to balance the scales?? I think I mentioned that part of my punishment involves losing my accounting license. After almost forty years in that business, I was finally getting the hang of it - HAH!!
So what to do?? I know this might sound crazy and "beyond the Pale" but I'm considering sitting for the License Mental Health Exam (LMHC). Is that wildly impractical?? Someone tell me that it is...please!!! My Master's Degree (in psychology) qualifies me to sit for the license exam. I'm also looking at a PhD so I could advance to the level of a Clinical Psychologist. Are these thoughts the ramblings of an old man...a delusional old man?? Perhaps. Yet I am only 67 years old. A dear friend, now 85 years of age and loving life says the last 10 have been great!! I figure I have 10 - 15 years in which to help others who struggle with depression and PTSD as I have...the "wounded healer", eh? When I consider helping others as my future, I'm hopeful that I still have time to give my life meaning...to make a difference.
As I sit on my bunk, watching the movie directed daily by "the tank", I find myself less and less "hooked" by the tribe members and their behavior. A week ago I considered much of their behavior aberrant. Truth be told...I still judge yet less often!
I'm watching the eastern sky bloom with the onrushing sun. That's it for now...