I used this post as a scratch pad to scribble individual stories. Now I’ve moved most of those begun to independent jail stories. I may scratch more here, then move, develop, etc.
|Take me to the Brig. I want to see the real Marines.||Chesty Puller|
Jesup @ Jesup
It takes the fed bop (Fed Bureau of Prisons) a half a year once it’s scarfed you down to realize that it’s addressed you at all, let alone swallowed you whole. (But, what federal bureaucracy is brighter? ah: any tax collecting bureau!) Once it dawned on them that they had me and that they were supposed to do something with me and that they’d better hurry up because my fifteen month sentence was getting served at the ordinary pace of time: a thousand times faster than bureaucracy time. Finally, after losing me in the Palm Beach country jail and the Miami fed holding jail, they shipped me off to Jesup, a facility in Georgia: after a week of two of more water treading in Tallahassee.
I loved Jesup, while hating it and anything fed. I’ve got a zillion memories, I hope I get to tell all of them.
Loser Does PushUps
Here’s one that could go under Chess Stories, could go under pk’s Need a Hole to Hide In stories: just too embarrassing.
I’d shown my chess chops to a few in Jesup, after honing them in St Lucie’s, in Palm Beach, in Miami’s detention center, in Tallahassee … But new guys come in all the time, familiar guys leave.
I’d learned quickly in Palm Beach that every other guy in jail, especially every other black guy, can play chess, some damn well. But there are no masters. The best chess player at Jesup was a guy called Wall Street, cocaine conviction. He said he’d degenerated to playing only around 1600 or 1650. No, no: I played around 1650, maybe 1750: and I suspect Wall Street would have clobbered me had we played: I wasn’t ready when he first approached me, then he shunned me. Retaliation?
Anyway, one morning we’re confined to the dorm porch for some reason. I see two black guys with a chess set. I ask for the winner, sit, wait patiently. Ah ha, the victor eventually offers me the white or black choice, says, “Loser does ten pushups.” As he says this the other guy peels off the bench, goes prone, starts pushing.
I can’t say why, I think of myself as fair, liberal, fair to a fault, but something hit my hot wire:
“Lose?” I sputter, oozing indignation. “Lose? You think I’m gonna lose?!”
Insanely energetic, I played speed chess: the second he moved, I pushed a piece. Swiftly got his king out of his castle, forced the king forward, maybe to G6. Pushed a pawn, checkmate.
The guy was stunned. The guy whispered to him, “Sorry.” His buddy apologized! for letting me sit down.
I should have gotten on my knees. What a stupid prick. Sometimes, not all the time.
The first really good chess player I met in jail, Bruce, in Palm Beach, a professional shoplifter, told me he’d been rated 1900 when he was 18. I played him and played him, finally beat him: one game only. So: I suspect that Wall Street may have been right that he’d grown weak, relative to where he’d once been, but I suspect that his “weak” was still over 2000. Maybe I hovered near 1900 on an occasion or two. But I suspect I can be relied on to play around 1600 or 1700 even after an absence. Good, talented, but helpless against a real player.
Though I don’t know: at Miami, Kenny had beat me, then Yogi went through Kenny like a hot knife through warm cheese: and then I took game after game from Yogi! First five in a row!
2016 11 03 I was watching a movie called Rampage: Capital Punishment. Guy wants to murder the excess population. Good, but the idiot thinks he’s exempt. Think I’ll bail out: but first I observe: this preacher of death and mayhem tells a couple of bums that they ought to be crooks, rob banks. Then they’d have money, food, be warm: free, at public expense. Go to jail, they’ll keep you warm. Obviously these writers have never been in jail. Jails are kept freezing: retard the germs, all overcrowded, undersanitized. So they freeze the jails, freeze the germs, freed the poor old men like me.