Hello friends! How are you? Don’t you miss me? I know you’re just dying to hear from me. I thought I’d start off by telling you we are woken up daily at 2:30 a.m. for breakfast. Okay? At 6’3”, 240 pounds? I’m a growing boy and I can eat at anytime. Besides, this morning the menu said “beef with country gravy, sweet oatmeal, cherries and biscuits.” Sounds delicious, huh? Well, to say that was an exaggeration was the understatement of the millennium. What? Well, I’ve been in prison 20 years and I know times change but there wasn’t NOTHING “country” about that gravy. When I visited family in the country as a young boy? I have fond memories of thick, tasty gravy. Walking from the chow line to my table, that WATERY gravy “shook” and swished around so much, I had to see if it was me – my hand twitching or something and where the heck was the beef? And the biscuits? Listen, one day in a blog or a newspaper, you'll hear that someone was “seriously injured”, possibly critically, by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s biscuits! These two “things” were as hard as rocks on the railroad tracks. And before you talk about our wonderful “health plan”, I had an abscess (on my front tooth) years back. So I thought, why not use my co-payment of $3 and get my tooth fixed. The dentist, with this serious look says, “you’ll have to get your tooth pulled….” Okay. I’m confident but I also already had a gap in my teeth so it would have looked like TWO TEETH were missing “or” he said, “I can do a filling to save it.” Yep – hook, line and sinker. I went for the filling. I have to admit, I have never had an abscess again BUT, my tooth turned COFFEE BROWN from that “filling”! So, the next time someone turns green with envy about our co-payments? Or you get pissed about your rising deductibles? Thank God you pay MORE than $3. A wise man once said, “you may not always get what you pay for but you always pay for what you get.” Looking from his eyes?? I got my money’s worth. Back to breakfast. All wasn’t bad though. A new guy who sat at my table? Obviously he LOVES cherries so, I patiently watched him get a spoonful and attempt to devour it. Huh? Well, they are always “cooked” (as if to go in a pie) and obviously TDCJ has NO CLUE what a thermometer is. (Shhhh.) Anyway, I fight to hold my laugh—he puts the WHOLE spoon in his mouth, then SCREAMS! Yeah, I laughed. Am I demented or what? Lol.
So showers are run around 5:30 a.m. Because I’m on an old unit? We have big showers where 50 to 75 men shower "en masse”. While I can get used to that? I’m STILL, after 20 years, trying to figure out why men wanna hold FULL conversations BUTT NAKED! Come on, dude! Let me towel off and get dressed, will you? You just never know, right? Because I love to workout and exercise? Men often come to me for workout tips and while I don’t have a complex, having to shower with a planet of men, it’s just NOT the proper place to go up to a NAKED MAN and say “Man! You’re getting BIG!" We hear of "don’t drop the soap” and all that but COME ON!! Can we talk about this WITH OUR CLOTHES ON?! Other don’ts? In the shower…I love to sing in the shower. Exudes confidence, right? But, I’d never sing Brittany Spears, Madonna or Cyndi Lauper (asking for trouble), Rick James, Prince or Michael Jackson (you’ll be labeled a “predator”), the Backstreet Boys, George Michael or Ricky Martin.
Speaking of Ricky Martin, at the end of a fun visit last week? My wife tells me “let me see your butt”. I mean, how often do you get to “moon” someone, right? Okay, clothes were still on! Anyway, I turn and for my baby? I jiggle it a little bit. I mean, I love her, right? Unfortunately, her friend, Storey, was visiting her man and yep! She saw me go from the “Big, black incredible hulk” to Ricky Martin shaking his “bun-buns” in a matter of seconds. So you think I embarrassed her? LMBO. Good news though? A week has gone by and there have not been any “letters” slid under my cell door asking me to “shake my bun-buns” so MAYBE I’m safe! :-)
And we – each day have a prayer circle where we have “open call” and men who chose to come, can. We start each day in prayer. We usually have 4-6 men but today? We had a whopping 10 men. Before you laugh? That’s progress. And yes, I’m a Christian man who loves and lives for God RIGHT WHERE I AM. Anyway, God used my wife and I to start the prayer circle, do bible studies (here) once a week and we’ve started a disciple group called “Brother’s Keeper Disciple Group”. Too bad your inmate is NOT on MY wing/unit! Yes, it’s hard being a Christian in prison. Especially with the need for us to “appear” tough. Well, I’m already ugly and weigh a ton, so? I got the look patented – even when I smile (brown tooth gap!). :-) I’ll keep you updated on the bible study (Wednesday) and the disciple class (Sunday). So stay tuned to learn more about what goes on “Inside the Walls” from your big brother in white. God’s awesome! And DO KNOW, my wife and I know it couldn’t happen it if not for God and people like you who pray for us and support us. Stay tuned until next time! Hope to hear from all our new friends.
Your Brother in White