Since our prison has experienced a wide ranging quarantine that originated in our kitchen, roughly one quarter of our population has been relegated to being allowed one hour out per day for a shower, a phone call, mail and cell cleaning. Some people are pretty efficient and can do it all. Some, like my direct neighbor, don’t do any of it. After a week and a half, the putrid smell of unwashed body and unwashed linens permeates though our shared ventilation ductwork. It has me on edge and I wake up sweating in the middle of the night, reminded of terrible times. Perhaps the back story…

While in Iraq many years ago, there was a mass grave that had been exhumed to the west of our camp. Neighborhood dissidents who were contentious to Saddam’s regime where dealt with in numbers. After the liberation, the families came looking and the graves uncovered. The smell that wafted over the FOB from time to time was pungent and a reminder that we were in a place where terrible things happen. The smell of rotting bodies had a very unforgettable odor, even after they had been removed.

During that same tour, one of our interpreters had been killed in an IED attack. His head was severed from shrapnel from the jawline up. Parts of his skull were everywhere and in the cleanup, it even made its way into my body armor. About a week later, I detected that distinct odor coming from my gear and after closer inspection, I found a piece of tissue under the ammunition magazines in the pouches of my vest. Another connection of that smell to the worst of humanity.

So, my neighbor that has his issue with washing himself is torturing me during his quarantine and I can’t wait until he can go back to work and put his gross ass hands all over the things I eat with and eat on in the kitchen again. At least then the putrid smell of rotting tissue can leave his cell with him and not get piped into mine, reminding me of a time I’d rather not have to reexperience…

by Rory Andes

The water and soap are paid for by tax dollars. There’s no excuse to not use them…

Email at using Rory Andes 367649

Or by Mail:
Rory Andes 367649
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272