My Worst Day In Prison
There is no spoiler alert.
This story isn’t in my book.
If you have read Prison Diary(a): A San Quentin Comedy, Kinda, (please write a review) you know I had some REALLY bad days. REEEAAALLLLY bad. (If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? Paperback. Kindle Version) All the fights, murders, threats, screaming, stripping down, and booty hole checking were better than my worst day in prison. That is saying a whole lot by the way (for those who have read the book, you know exactly what I mean).
Four months after I left San Quentin I was at the beautiful CTF in Soledad, CA. Actually, CTF was not beautiful at all, but the valley was. Soledad is a gorgeous place, but it was very central valley of them to put a prison there. Short-sighted to say the least. It could have been another Napa, or Santa Ynez Valley. It’s that beautiful and they have the second best soil for growing grapes in THE WORLD, but prisons are easy money, and the central valley is all about easy prison money. It was actually “nice” walking back from chow in the mornings on my “weekend” and looking up at the mountains that separated Salinas Valley and Carmel. I was very blessed to be there instead of some place outside of Fresno or Bakersfield, the crown jewels of the California prison system.
It was towards the end of July and I hadn’t talked to my wife or parents in over a week. The phones were down for repair. This was confusing to everyone because we used payphones. I am pretty sure on a scale of 1-10 the level of technology needed for these phones was somewhere around a zero, so I am not sure what needed to be fixed or what took them so long, but who am I going to complain to? Someone who doesn’t give a shit? Exactly.
The phones were finally up that Sunday night. We were finally able to line up and get our loved ones on the phone, connect to the outside world, the real world. Night yard was only an hour, so my time was extremely limited. I got though the line, made it up to the phone, dialed through the operator, beep boop beeped my wife’s number, and I can hear it in her voice as soon as she answers. Something is very wrong.
“Babe, I know there is not much time and I need to tell you something……”
“It’s your mom. She’s sick.”
“They found tumors all over her body. It’s in her pelvis, her lungs, her shoulder, and a little spot on her skull.”
*searching for breath
“Babe? Are you ok?”
*holding back tears, barely.
*lump building rapidly in my throat
Is it, is it, going to be ok? How bad is it? *voice quivering
“They don’t know yet. She has tests this week.”
*loudspeaker “Yard recall. Yard recall.”
Babe, I gotta go.
“I know. I heard. Are you okay?”
Yeah. I will call you if I can tomorrow.
Please tell my mom I love her.
“I will. I love you. It will be ok.”
I love you too sweet baby. Goodnight.
In a fog I walked across the yard. Everyone streamlining in to the buildings. Program over for the day. I was in a bubble. Eyes down, thoughts lost, body collapsing from the inside out. In to my cell block. Loud, bright, inmates everywhere. Half naked ones that took a shower, blues and beanie caps for the ones that were out on the yard. Bro hugs for friends, kissing for those in relationships. Cleaning up the tattoo guns, wiping the blood from their brand new work, tucking everything away before the guards comedown to lock you up for the night. You better be by your door or you are going to have a long night.
Walking in a fog through the block.
Walking in a fog up the stairs.
I can’t speak.
My brain is spinning so bad I can’t even send the signal to my mouth to move.
I am gone.
I am lost.
I am so sorry. I am so sorry you have such a fucking loser as a son. You are wonderful, I am just a piece of shit.
I am so sorry mama.
I didn’t sleep at all that night. I broke down completely. Between tossing and turning, wiping my tears and blowing my nose, time nearly came to a standstill as I waited to talk to my mom or dad or anyone on the phone the next day.
Her hip? Lungs? Shoulder? A spot on her head?
That is her whole fucking body!
My mother has cancer all over her entire body. She is going to die. I have never heard of anyone with cancer all over their body that survived.
My mom? Dead? Fuck.
My family is dealing with cancer out there and I am in here for the next 2 months.
Will she make it 2 months? Will I ever see her again?
How bad is it?
Could she survive this?
What the hell kind of cancer spreads all over your body like that? How is she going to survive? She’s so young.
She has had to deal with her idiot son for 3 years. His embarrassment, his bullshit, his trial, his prison time, and now this.
There is nothing I can do. The one thing I could do, which is be there, is impossible because I am such a piece of shit. I am in fucking prison. Now my mom is going through cancer, my dad is going through my mom’s cancer, my sister is going through my mom’s cancer, and her piece of shit son is in Soledad like a fucking loser. Not like a fucking loser…. A. Fucking. Loser.
I hate myself. I could rip my face off right now. I could smash my head in to the wall. I deserve it. Crush my own skull by bashing my head against the concrete over and over again. Let my brains ooze out of my eye sockets. Blood gush out of my ears. Beaten until I wasn’t recognizable anymore. I would be on the outside what I feel on the inside, a disaster. A piece of shit disaster. Mangled. Destroyed.
Staring at a concrete ceiling, in a concrete room, in a concrete building, surrounded by multiple fences and barbed wire, guards with guns ready to shoot without warning, and me. And my thoughts. My poor mother. Fuck. The hell I have put her through. My poor parents. My poor family. I wish they had been abusive. Been shitty parents. I wish I had a shitty wife, shitty kids, but I don’t. Everyone is perfect, and I am fucked. It’s all me. I am sitting here, crying my eyes out, my stomach turning over, stab wounds ripping through my abdomen, a vice around my head, tightening slowly, and it is ALL ON ME. I couldn’t make an excuse if I tried. I couldn’t blame anyone but me. It is all me. I am a sack of shit. FUCK myself.
Longest night of my life. I couldn’t wait until yard the next morning. Hopefully the phones work. Hopefully they answer when I call. Will they know more information? Is my imagination making this worse than it is? Is it worse than I think it is? Could all the stress from the last few years have caused this? All the spikes in cortisol and stress hormones feeding the cancer cells that have exploded all over her body? This is my fault too. Shit. All my bullshit is going to kill my mom. I want to die. Fuck. I hate myself.
All I can do is wait.
The Following Days
I was able to talk to my parents regularly over the next few weeks. They slowly got more information, and the prognosis was good. It was a very treatable type of Lymphoma. It was everywhere, but it hadn’t invaded the tissue of her lungs, her brain, or her spinal column. She was starting chemo in a few weeks, and with the gaps in-between treatments, I would be out in time for her second appointment.
All the treatments worked. I was able to go with her to some of the appointments (including the one on New Year’s Eve clearing her of all cancer cells). Me and my bald mamma. I could finally be there for her. She could finally stop worrying about me, and give her body a chance to heal. She got that time, and it did heal, miraculously. The doctor told us after that he had never seen someone recover so quickly from such a devastating amount of cancer. He showed us her initial CAT-Scan and it was even worse than I had imagined. It was literally EVERYWHERE. Now it was nowhere. Absolutely amazing.
Days like the one I had back in July of 2014 are brutal. Worse than getting arrested, worse than having my face plastered all over the news for two weeks (that was pretty bad too), worse than getting sentenced in front of a courtroom full of friends and family. (And when I say full, I mean overflowing with supporters.) And worse than my first days in San Quentin (which you can read about in detail in paperback here, and on Kindle here. Remember to rate it when you’re done! Thank you!).
I pray that my stories will hit you in a place that allows you to evaluate where you are. You do not want to be in a position where you are separated from your family in their time of need. You need to be there. Stop all the BS and get your shit straight. Man up (or woman up) and clean your closet. You deserve it and they deserve it. It’s all about choices, it’s all about where you want to be and where you allow yourself to go. Make the right decision. It’s all on you.
And virtually ALL social media. Come find me!
Some great books for your journey: The Success Principals, Mindset, Unlimited Power, Radical Acceptance, and of course: Prison Diary(a) – A San Quentin Comedy, Kinda. The last section is all about working through your issues and becoming the best you that you have ever been. 5 Steps To Freedom!