My Editor reminded me a few weeks ago that I might be adverse to moving because I was moved at o'dark thirty...approximately 16 times as a little boy. The adults charged with protecting me would crash into my bedroom at the darkest time of the morning and tell me to pick two or three of my favorite toys 'cuz "we're moving." Actually they were usually running from the landlord...or some unpaid bill somewhere?
Now that I think of it, one would assume that being rousted at 4:00 AM wouldn't cause such a spike in adrenaline and activate my amygdala (fight or flight) with such a vengeance yet...what can I say? BOTTOM LINE... I still really don't like moving. However, rest assured I will happily and gleefully move away from Camp Monroe - soon :-).
AND NOW, after that intro...here's the blog from the past that was found in my post...for your perusal:
Monday, 7 PM Monroe, WA
We were 'roused at 4:15 AM and taken to the "processing center"...another building, another room. It was about a ten minute walk...in the pitch black of the sky all around us. We were given a "boat breakfast"...a plastic container shaped like a boat with a pbj and some cereal in it. I did manage to eat a PBJ...not knowing what and how and when this would all "end"!?
We were stripped and had all "cavities" (do not think dental!) searched...then given new orange jumpsuits...most about three sizes too big for the body that it was designed to cover! When the ankle and wrist cuffs came out, I had a reaction. I remembered both the physical and emotional pain of every moment when I have been forced ito wear such manicals. It's degrading and inhumane. I wish I could describe how we looked walking to the bus...no, we were shuffling to the bus with a fourteen-inch chain between our feet, anchored to each ankle by the cuffs. Add to that image, the fact that our wrists were cuffed and tethered to our waist by yet another chain. We all looked small and bent over, like someone let the air out and deflated us. We were men in pain, physical and emotional...on some, the cuffs bit into the skin causing droplets of blood around them. We were headed to a MINIMUM SECURITY UNIT...we were not even the REALLY BAAAAD GUYS!! Yet even the "buff jocks"...the twenty-year-olds...looked like dogs that had been abused. No wonder people kill themselves in prison...and develop a stronger hatred for all things "official"!
The bus pulled out of Shelton about two hours later at 6:30 AM and we arrived at Monroe about 9:00 AM. The windows of the bus were blacked out so that we had no idea how the world around us looked...we simply sat with eyes downcast...perhaps exactly what was supposed to happen to us, after all...we are criminals first, humans second.
The building in which we were to live was called a dorm...yet more closely resembles a barrack from my old Army days. We were given bunk assignments and a duffle bag with three changes of clothing. I remembered Allen (the Asian man who had been at King County jail for an entire year!) looking forward to "new" jeans and a hoodie...amazing, eh?? BTW, Allen did not end up here at Monroe so who knows what clothing he is wearing? I got a lower bunk in a cubicle with two other men(think Microsoft in the early days...dividers not quite creating walls, simply separating humans!). The "dorm" has forty men...all races living together, all ages too tho' most are younger...maybe 20-35 years on the planet. The atmosphere is guardedly "neutral" though there are angry men here. Most of the testy ones have gang tats (tattoos, according to Webster!) and most of them are Latino...based on my awareness of language and conversations. They walk around with scowls on their faces...who knows, perhaps a protective facade??
We had a VERY brief moment with a nurse...blood pressure...check! Oxygen...check! Temperature...check! Fog a mirror?? CHECK!! I broke down and cried...just a little. Observation tells me doctors and nurses in this system remember little of the ol' Hippo Oath!!
Lunch was scratched since they only served meat yet by dinner I was officially vegan again...AND they let me bring an extra PBJ back to my bunk for a snack later!! I am now in Monroe Minimum Security Unit! How can it get any better than this??
I'm holding on for good good good good vibrations....trust you are doing that too...out there...in the REAL WORLD!