Prison Life: Another Spectrum View

Like everyone we can view the same situation multiple times and see multiple things. Not because there is something new to see but because our mind just picked up something it didn’t before. After facilitating a class I decided to swing into work and say hello to everyone before I went home for the night. Something you can’t do at most places. They were just finishing feeding the workers dinner so I grabbed a plate and ate with my friends. Afterward I helped set up for an event that they were getting ready to cater to. They had prepared quite the food presentation.
None of this is to worthy of note. I didn’t even take notice until we started laughing at stories we were telling one another. About the time five years ago when I tried to steal cayenne pepper and the package had a hole in it, every step I took blew another whiff of cayenne right into my butthole…yeah. Not knowing any better I used hot water to clean it out when I got home, making it worse. That wasn’t so bad until I went to the doctor and the nurses spread my cheeks and asked the most pressing question of the day “why would you need to shave your butt?”. Which I had done regularly up until that point. I was so embarrassed I haven’t stolen since. We also got hear about the time a guy passed a note in closed custody and the officers found it. The poor guy never opened it up but it had all kinds of bad things in it. He wouldn’t snitch who gave it to him so they threw him in the hole. Four days later they put him on restroom watch, thinking he had swallowed drugs. Seeing as how it was already four days later..anyway, they put him in a bunny suit with an undercarraige zipper, each shift begging him not to go on their shift. Eventually he had to go poo, so he did in front of four officers who then went through it needlessly. 
We are all rolling at this point retelling our stories, just laughing so hard even the staff around us is crying. It was at that point I realised we were having fun, like a big neighborhood block party. 
We went on to serve at the event, still laughing. I threatened to skip on the breezeway and sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow, embarrassing our boss. Then we found a little confetti heart at the event, one in which I promptly stuck to my face and then served the guests, switching my hips all over that room. No one said a word. We ate so much pineapple and almonds and chicken salad we got stomach aches. But I wouldn’t do anything different. 
It is easy to point out how negative our environment is. But what about us? What about the group of men I choose to be around? There are about 150 of us so far that just want to be different then the men we were, so we changed and continue to change and promote healthy living and choices to one another daily. Always holding each other to a higher standard of conduct, why? Because we care about each other and our communities. We know that change begins with us and were not going to allow ourselves to remain criminals. We may have been bad men, but we have all taken the time to stare that man in the face and got rid of him for good. We just hope that one day others will see it as well. Not defining us by our pasts, but by our futures. Futures that we are creating…defining

With Love
Jeff Utnage 823469