I’ve often wondered if when you enter prison they sell video game t-shirts. This place sure as hell didn’t sell t-shirts with their name on them. In fact about the only thing I got at La Mesa Prison that I didn’t pay for one way or another was a hair cut.
Since I was a small child I believe you only go through things if you are tough enough to handle them. Entering Prison I had already closed off the emotional center of my being and was pretty much running on adrenalin. I promised myself the moment I walked past the Chicken Coop, (a small fenced in area where they let prisoners in and out of the system) that I would not let an ounce of emotion come to the forefront.
When we walked past the main yard area the prisoners up on building one were shouting Pornografos! as they had evidently seen us on TV. To me and the rest of the gang this left a chilling feeling in us. I said to all of us that would be a rough time and we should all try to stick together as much as possible. Part of this was entirely selfish. Part of this was entirely true. As I was most afraid for one of the younger guys who was actually older. But acted like a child.
The weaponry on the guards was pretty impressive. M-16ish like weapons and pistols. Full body armor. Pretty standard Mexican Military gear. But I have no doubt in my mind they would shoot to kill if they felt threatened.
I went in for an interview with the doctor who asked about my health and what not. It was brief took all of 1-2 minutes and I was off to eat dinner.
Dinner consisted of Milk and Bread. The bread wasn’t so bad and I got a lot of bread and I passed off the milk which was made from a powdered mix. I didn’t trust the water they used to mix it so I just had some water and passed off the Milk.
Once inside the registration zone their was quite the mix of people to be seen from a few passing nuns to transexuals. I think I may have seen another American which gave me a blur of hope for survival.
I began to wonder what the future held for me. And whether my life would be short or whether it would be long. I wondered if I would ever see beyond these walls or if I would die a quick death. I wondered about my friends and family. I wondered about a lot of things. Most of all I wondered if this was fair.
I realized within a moment of all this thinking that this was fair. Not in the sense that I deserved this but in the sense that maybe I wasn’t that great a person and that life was too full of things and nice living and that I needed to be humbled. I was ready to live or to die. I was ready to make my peace with God and let the rest of my life pass in peace. No matter how long or how short my stay here at La Mesa Prison.
The doors closed on our cell it was around 730PM. Darkness was coming soon. The cell block was loud. Cockaroaches crawled along the walls. I tried to lay on the steel bed and sleep. Instead I paced back and forth. I played a game of toss the lucky penny and stared aimlessly across the open cell window to the hospital wing across the yard.
I said a quick private prayer of peace. And shut my eyes. Peace overwhelmed me at this moment. Deep inside me I prepared for the worst. And just moments before the guards came to move us. I stated to the gang that we would all be moved and separated. I wished everyone good luck, and that I would do whatever I could to stay in touch.
The doors closed again as I was called….