June 8, 2020 @ 3PM
So have you ever had a day start where you thought it would be a good productive one then in the middle of it, have it go haywire and you have no idea when the chaos might end?
We have been confined to our cells since June 6, 2020, when the prison system came through and took mouth swabs for Covid-19 testing. Yesterday morning they arrived where I was housed and it was a mouth swab. No big deal. I was in the middle of my usual day listening to music and writing letters when the guards began showers. My neighbor almost always goes to shower but this time he does not and I grab my shower stuff and go.
The guards put me in the shower and when they come back around, they try to open my door… And it will not open. Ooooh – No! The way they open the doors is the guard in the control picket presses a button and it unlocks allowing the guards to “roll” the door open.
I am taken out of the shower and put in the dayroom. The supervisor arrives and they open the door manually and I make it back to my cell. I know the problem is likely the button in the picket is 35 years old, and they go out. I figure they will get the maintenance guy out here and change the switch out.
Five minutes later the guard tells me to pack my property – I am moving. DAMN IT! I hate moving you have no idea how much. And the thing about this hell hole, you have no say in the matter.
The easy way – packing your property and go voluntarily; or the hard way. Five devils in riot gear will gas your ass then come in your cell, beat on you then handcuff you and drag you covered in burning tear gas, ass beat, and thrown into your new cage. You know how you saw the police beating, gassing and arresting protesters on the news? Like that! That’s how they’ve been assaulting prisoners forever now. But I digress.
I choose to move the easy way. At 4PM they move me to another cell on this pod. All is well for me I can make it wherever I am incarcerated so it’s cool. The night passes and I have a good time talking to guys I am just getting to know.
At 6PM the guards are back. They say I’m moving again. They move a prisoner who’s in general population out of his cell, move me onto his cell and leave an empty cell between me and the general population guys. I am in that cell for 5 minutes when they say I am moving again! I am not kidding. So, they take me and my property from C-pod to A-pod and put me in 14 cell – death watch. I am serious as a heart attack!
Now I am done with being a good little Bear. I am NOT staying in a cell with a CCTV in it. But while I’m in the day room, the supervisor comes to talk to me and says they will repair my old cell’s door and I will move back to C pod before he leaves work today at 5:30pm.
So, into 14 cell I go. They always have a way to make you go a little further than you want to go.
I get into 14 cell and all my stuff is in bags and it’s 6:30AM. I am next to Ruben Gutierrez and a few cells is Carlos Trevino and down at the end is Billy Wardlow. I’ve known all these guys for 20 years now and we all take time to talk and greet each other. They laugh at my unbelievable situation and how I just had to make it to death watch for a visit. All I can do is shake my head and sit down on the metal bunk.
As I sit there, I can’t help but ask myself why? Why is all of this once-in-a- lifetime stuff happening all at once? More importantly why is the enemy trying so hard to make me quit? What is right around the corner that he wants to fall short? What blessing, what miracle is right before me that he will go to such lengths to see I do not get it?
Because that’s how the rules go – you go through hardships, lose faith and hope and the miracle you needed fall just short. Thing is, I know the rules to the game of life so there is no giving up in me. No breaking and losing faith. That damn devil better give up if he thinks I’m going to give up. Cause it’s just not gunna happen. Now is when I pay close attention and try to expect the unexpected. Now is when I sit still and listen, mediate and pray, making sure nothing steals my cool.
Noon time comes and Ruben goes out for an attorney phone call. He is a week away from his scheduled execution date. When he comes back he breaks down his attorney’s strategy and in my humble opinion there is some meat on them bones, so we’ll see if he wins a stay of execution.
I pull out my radio and listen to the news and continue to turn my situation over on my head and every now and then laugh to myself at the insanity of the situation.
I go back to the door and Trevino tells me he wishes me luck on getting moved today. The last guy this happened to was stuck there for a week!
And of course he laughs! Haha!
By 3PM I start to worry and when the guard comes by I ask him to call the supervisor and see what’s going on. He agrees and about an hour later, he tells me they are here to move me. This is a minor miracle and I laugh at Trevino as I stand outside the cell and watch them load my stuff back on the move cart. I wish all the guys good luck and we exit the pod and back to C pod. 24 hours later after being moved 4 times in that period, I am put back into my old cell and it’s 4PM. It’s not over yet – I have to set up my world all over again! What a day – what an adventure.