I was painting one day when one of the very few male counselors here at the prison entered the room I was in, he was followed by 5 new counselors who had just been hired.
He was giving the “new hires” a grand tour of the compound.
The new hire seemed pretty interested in the fact I was painting on the walls. So they asked a few questioned and I answered them.
The male counselor, who was giving the tour, sensed an opportunity to chime in on an attempt to sound like the cool guy.
This was probably because three of the new five hires were females.
The “tour guide” counselor also used to be a counselor in my housing unit.
I guess he thought he remembered me.
“You have come a long way.” The counselor said to me in front of the new hires.
At first, I thought he was talking about the painting I was doing and how I had actually painted over what I had originally painted so that I could attempt to repaint it even better.
“Yeah,” I said. “I didn’t like the originally. So I started over.”
“No,” he said.
“I mean you have come a long way here at the prison.”
“You know what I mean.” He continues with a little chuckle and a soft tap punch to my shoulder.
Really, I was perplexed; I had no fucking idea what this guy was talking about. When he used to work in my building I had a job where I had to help other prisoners. So how had I come a long way?
Was he confusing me with someone else who used to get in a lot of trouble? I though.
Clearly our audience of new hires was waiting for my response. So I just played along.
“Oh yeah,” I said. “You really helped me turn it all around. Plus the program… it really works if you work it.”
This seemed to satisfy the tour guide counselor who was now basking in all of his glory as he left the room.
But before the rest of the new hires could leave I said, “That guy clearly has no idea who I am.”