The weirdo who sleeps across from me

First I have to lay out a few things to give all of you the full understanding of the situation. So, close your eyes and try to imagine this…

I mean don’t close your eyes because then how the hell would you be able to read this? So just keep your eyes open and try to imagine this.

Bunks In the housing unit here at the prison are one bunk on top of the other. They run in rows from the front of the housing unit to the back. With little other room for a “day room” which consist of a TV. and some phones, and also the “grouping area”.

Back to the rows of bunks… there are four rows. Row one is on a wall. Row two and three are in the middle. Sorta like on an island of bunks where individual can walk through either side of the housing unit through the space between each set of bunks.

Row four is on the opposite side of row one.

I live on one of the island rows. Row three. So as I sit in my little living space in my plastic chair, I face the guy who lives in row two. Everyone who lives on the island rows two and three faces the guy who lives in front of him.

Well, when I moved in close to one year ago, I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to see “dog face” every day multiple times a day.

Dog face.

Dog face has been living in the housing unit longer than me. Who knows how long he has actually been here. I may have spoke to this guy a paragraph of full words in almost the year we have faced one another.

I couldn’t even tell you this guy’s name.  But dog face seems pretty suitable. I mean, he does have the face of an ugly mutt.

His close resemblance to a “pug” in the face is only the tip of the iceberg. This guy is a paranoid schizophrenia to the tenth power!

First, I should probably mention that on the first half of the middle row of island bunks, on rows two and three they have been cut down to single bunks. This was done a year or two ago back when the state was concerned with overcrowding in the prisons.

Well, dog faces bunk is in the last of the single bunks and where my bunk is, that is where the double bunks start again. I tell you this because dog faces locker is not the standard tall locker. His is only about half the size as mine. “I know… that’s what she said?” this is very important to the story because “pug mug” spends an eternity every day inside his miniature locker. While he is crotched down doing god only knows what inside of that locker, he becomes seemingly even more suspicious with the constant looking over his shoulder to see who is watching him. And just to fuck with him every time he looks at me, I make it my life’s mission to make sure he believes that I am watching him. Like it is my only concern whatever it is he is doing inside of that locker.

Sometimes I think he is honestly trying to fit himself inside that little locker. Maybe that is his refuge. Or, maybe he is in there constructing a device that could solve the worlds energy problem.

Who knows.

Whatever it is it is strange behavior even by prison standard. I mean, in the close to one year we have been in one another’s company, and because the weird locker action happens on Q every day… YOU KNOW I had to actually really peek him out one time, or more so the inside of his locker just for myself to see what all the excitement was about. My finding could have been a lot more astonishing. I wish I could report that there was a lavish style apartment laid out inside of that locker. Or maybe members only club. Instead, he had just what I thought he would have inside there.

“Nothing”.

Just the random stock pile of knickknacks some prisoners cherish dearly.

A couple extra rolls of toilet paper… a small reserve of state issued soap…

Four ramen noodles.

Stumbling upon this treasured chest of in foment wealth, I had an epiphany.

This guy is watching guards over Fort Knox.

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Before there was Kenny…There was the Watermen

Before Kenny moved into the bunk above mine, there was a guy everyone called “Watermen” who lived there. Because he resided on the bunk above mine, he had to share the living space with me and Meeko. Meeko and I run a pretty tight shift when it comes to running our living area. And for a guy everyone refereed to the “Watermen” his sea legs were a little wobbly when it came to rolling with the tide.

The analogy I am trying to make here is that the Watermen just wasn’t a good fit around us. Me and Meeko liked to laugh and joke and yes, sadly, we do this a lot of times at the expense of others.

The Watermen was not in ship shape for our level of humor and a lot of times, he was used in which our vessel was set adrift.

Okay… enough with the notable shit.

A lot of times me and Meeko would laugh and joke completely at the expense of the watermen. Over the course of a few blogs to come I’ll share with you some great examples of this.  Some of which you might even think are absolutely horrible.

Here is one to start with…

 One time we moved the Watermen’s mat with his sheets and pillow still intact and put them in a empty bunk. We did this while he had his back to us. I mean he was right there the entire time, except he wasn’t paying any attention because he was talking to someone.

Oh, and by the way when this guy gets to talking, he talks… and then he never shuts the fuck up. And when he talks, all he talks about is how much money he has, how rich he is, and most importantly his “dad”.

This guy is 46 years old and talks more about his dad then a proud 6 year old. And for the love of God… don’t ever ever ever get him started on fishing!! You will literally age a life time before the conversation is over.

It is safe to say that the Watermen is the most annoying guy in my housing unit. So you see, you can’t feel sorry for him or even bad for that matter. Because he does all of this to himself.

He has entitlement issues and major negative self habit. This guy seriously needs to take a look in the mirror of truth…

Sorry…the programming I am entitled to do at this prison just showed through a little there.

But back now to the time when we moved the Watermen’s mat…so we moved the mat with all the fixings at about 11pm one night, and his back was to us the entire time. Then Meeko jumped back in his bunk and I in mine only to lay with our heads under our respected blanket snickering like little school children.

When the Watermen finally got done talking to whoever it was he has been talking to death to, he turned back around and saw that his bed was gone.

He was dumbfounded.

We told him we thought someone might have put it in the shower… you know… cause this guy is completely disgusting and all. And has the hygiene of a wild boar.

Personally, I have no idea what the hygiene habits of a wild boar are…but I imagine they are a far cry from cleanliness.

After a good 10 minutes of dumb-founding-ness, we finally told the Watermen that his mat was on an empty bunk. Oh, and guess where the empty bunk was? It was like two bunks away from his bunk.  Right there in plain sight the entire time.

I’m sure this sounds cruel and mean. But come on! This guy deserves what he gets. He tends to treat people like they are beneath him and like he is so high and mighty compared to everyone else.

It is the rightful duty of Meeko and I and the rest of the housing unit for that matter, and possibly most others that Watermen comes in contact with outside of the housing unit, to bring this guy back down to a level playing field, to reality.

To better understand this guy, imagine this… He sort of reminds you of Adam Sandler in the “Waterboy”, only far more annoying and obnoxious. Not to mention he has the demeanor of any serial killer from any long list of Lifetime movies you could have ever seen.

When he used to reside in the bunk above mine, I would often have to move my TV antenna because his TV would always screw up the signal on mine. (Yes, we are aloud personal TVs here at the prison). But while moving my antenna, I would notice how he would often be watching Law and Order SVU.

I remember one such time I said “dude all your missing in a panel van and a chloroform rag, you creep!”

With the cartoon included with this, you can almost picture me saying that.

There is a lot more to come about the Watermen… More crazy stories of this crazy character like what happen to him on New Year’s Eve, so be on the lookout for those.

Also characters caricatured is soon to be a part of Joewriteshiswrongs again… Maybe I will be able to do one of this barbaric character.

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Another resource fair offers some hope to the hopeless

Yesterday there was another resource fair here at the prison, this makes two of these events I have been able to attend since being here. As much crap as I talk about my living here, these resource fairs are really a great thing the powers that be provide for us and allow prisoners like myself to attend.

Outside vendors come in from different organizations that help with things such as job placement and training, restoration of rights, and all sorts of other stuff.

All of these people do what they do with these different organizations because they truly want to help people. That fact couldn’t rain any truer especially considering the inclement weather that seemed to coincide right along with this event.

When I say inclement weather, I think a better description would be saying it seemed as if the flood gates were open from heaven.

It poured down rain here. Enough to where multiple surrounding cities were flooded.

Yes, these amazing people still risked the trek to come share the information they had for us on whatever organization they represented.

Truly “selfless” is a great way to describe these folks who took the time to come to a prison in the pouring rain to try and help a bunch of prisoners.

On a complete other note, I was truly self-ish . My motive while attending this event was simply to further my own agenda:

To reach even more people through the work that I do. What I consider a positive way to change a negative situation.  My cartoons… caricatures… my painting…and also my writing. 

Through the entirety of this resource fair, I spoke with four different people from the outside about the work that I do. Mostly about Joewriteshiswrongs, and about the stories that I write and blogs that depict so much of the nitty gritty rawness that has been years of my life incarcerated. These people that I spoke to seemed interested enough to want to check out Joewriteshiswrongs and I really hope that they do.

As I reflect on this event, I must have seemed like quite the narcissist because all I did was talk about myself to these people. In all fairness, I did this in an effort to advocate for guys in prison like myself, who really want something better then what they now have.

What better to advocate with than my own journey and struggle?

So many of these people who attended this event “got it”. I mean, they really got it. They not only understood that people can change, and can attempt to do better, even from prison, they encouraged it as well. There support and encouragement was very motivating.

The many years of my life that I have spent incarcerated have been draining. It is very easy for a situation such as prison to leave one feeling hopeless and lost.

These resource fairs are the one time when those hopeless-lost feelings subside a little giving away to a glimmer of hope.

What’s been up

Hello everyone! I hope all of you are doing great out there. From behind the razor wire fence life is as good as it could be for a guy in prison. I just finished a gigantic mural that was 6ft tall and 12 feet wide. That project took me over a month and a half to complete. But that was mostly because other things came up throughout it that I had to also work on. The good news though. It’s done… And everyone likes it a lot too. That is probably the best new.

I have been working on a lot of other things that have kept me really busy, too.

Cartoons for the news letter here, cartoons for other things, too. So a lot of cartoon stuff to say the least.

I’m also in the process of wrapping up this dating manual I have been writing. It is about how to utilize free online dating to its up most advantage. A can a worms I haven’t even dug into on Joewriteshiswrongs. I’m sure some of you are wondering what the hell that is all about. But I plan to blog about it very soon. It is sure to intrigue to say the least. So be on the lookout for that.

The manual I am writing is titled “Find men and women now…an overlooking melted pot of unlimited resources”. It will soon be available on my gofundme campaign page.

Speaking of that, I have generated a little bit of business on there too. Thanks to my gofundme page and some awesome people out there. I would like to thank those who have allowed me to create work for them. Whether it be caricatures or tattoo patterns, or even art work of their pets.

Jackie Costa-Hocutt and Tessa Banks, thank you both so much. To everyone else out there I am ready to create works for you too! So please, think about it.

Think about an awesome caricature or personalized cartoon I can create for you or someone you know…maybe even a pet!

Your business would help me tremendously!

Other then that, the other thing that consumes so much of my time and keeps me so busy is of course…soccer.

I live and breathe soccer…everyday. Sometimes even twice a day.

We are playing a lot these days…winning a lot too. We might have lost 1 game out of our last 5. We are kicking ass and taking names!

Physically I am in great shape or even better shape when soccer is in full swing. Last season I had a ripped up 6pack and never even did 1 sit-up. I remember messing with Meeko who was a little bit chubbier then. I would be laying in my bunk eating cookies then while watching TV, and I would say “dude look how ripped up I am, and all I do is sit in my bunk and eat cookies”…

Needless to say, Meeko now plays soccer everyday too.

Just a little update

Figured I would post a little update since I know Joe hasn’t posted much lately.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and all the mothers enjoyed their Mother’s Day! I know I enjoyed mine.

Joe has been busy painting along with creating different cartoons. He has been working on some cartoons to submit to different magazines along with a few projects people have requested he create for them. Which you can take a look at some of those if you like by going to his gofundme page here or at his joewriteshiswrongs Facebook page here.

He has also been busy painting a few different murals around the compound. I think it is awesome that he gets to paint all these murals around the prison. It is something he truly enjoys, not to mention it is something he always said he would do before he left (leave his mark on that place). That is exactly what he is doing.

I have only had the chance to see the two pieces he has painted in the visitation room, seeing as that is the only place I am aloud to be when I visit him (besides the gym next door where pictures are taken). The other murals he will get pictures of when his time is over.

I must say there are some amazing artists on the mural crew and I have seen some great murals painted by these guys.

Joe has also been playing a LOT of soccer. He sure does love his soccer and I am glad he has been able to start playing it again. Plus it is a great way for Joe to clear his head or get rid of any stress he might have.

Well, just a little update until Joe posts his next blog post. Here is also a picture of our last visitation a few weeks ago (don’t mind my sunburned nose lol).

Hope everyone has a great week!!!

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Painting Prison Rape Signs

So I guess the “prison rape video and candy bar” story was a good way to lead up to what the other mural painters and I just had to paint all over the prison compound.

In all of the housing units we were asked to paint “PREA signs” PREA, or the prison rape elimination act is an organization designed to eliminate prison rape. Which, as I hinted at in the “candy bar” story is all but extinct these days. Especially at a lower level therapeutic community prison like the one I am at.

Rape is unheard of here.

But the powers that still be decided that it would be a good idea to paint these signs in all of the buildings.

We were also asked to make them nice and pretty. Unique and original… with us being artist and all.

But how nice and pretty can you make a prison rape sign?

How about a “candy bar” on a pillow with the caption reading “PREA don’t get fucked in prison?” I suggested.

My idea was not well conceived.

We were then told the pieces had to be kept serious in nature.

Each mural painter had to tackle 3 different housing units. That is around 230 personalities questioning why the hell we were painting these signs. Not to mention all the shit we caught from staff and counselors

Each of us caught major flack because of this gig.

I myself heard quite a bit of suggestions about what I should paint to accompany PREA.

Oh, and if painting the signs wasn’t already bad enough… where they wanted the signs painted in each of the housing units was the real icing on the cake.

We had to paint them on the outside wall of the restroom!

So… you can imagine some of what I heard…or, maybe if you can’t I’ll tell you things like – “you should put Frankies face on that PREA sign… have him crying curled over or pulling up his pants”

“You should paint exit only on the bathroom doors.”

“How about PREA rape zone here! With an arrow pointing to the restrooms.”

“Dude you could sell rape out of prison!”

Yes… I heard a lot of crazy shit painting those rape signs. Thankfully though, that gig is over.

But I kind of feel traumatized from it. Sort of like I was raped… “verbally”.

A close call with death

On Saturday May 3, 2014 a guy here at the prison who we call “Butterbeans” stood up and immediately fell out onto the floor.

Butterbean use to live in my housing unit but ended up going to the hole eventually so he was moved to another building.

He also looks just like the boxer Butterbean. He is fat and out of shape and over all just isn’t in the best of health.

They said that on Sat evening around 7 P.M. he was eating and watching TV as he can usually be found doing, when he stood up and fell completely out.

He stopped breathing and turned blue.

These who witnessed this first hand said he was dead… they said he had a heart attack.

I’m in cline to believe this as during that time an ambulance drove right through the middle of the prison compound and backed up directly to his housing unit. I have never seen that before. So I know this was very serious.

They say it was because of a Sgt who administered CPR that butterbeans life was saved.

He was actually revived.

What a blessing it is that butterbean didn’t die and what a true act of heroism this Sgt displayed jumping into action to save his life.

I don’t usually have much good to say about this place or the people here, but this is a case that especially deserves mentioning.

Prison rape video and candy bars

If you are ever as unfortunate as I, and have the opportunity to spend some time in prison, might I recommend the “prison rape video” that new prisoners are required to view.

When I first arrived at prison, I, like so many others, was forced to watch this video.

This is the craziest fucking video I have ever seen.

It is sad on many different levels and also disturbing.

Yet, ironically, it is “falling out of your seat” –hilarious!

The video starts out with this over abundance of Caucasian pitifulness- this pathetic looking white guy, who stares right into the camera and says “I was raped in prison.”

“Repeatedly.”

“Endlessly.”

“Every day.”

Yes! I found myself thinking.

Get the popcorn; is this a new release comedy?

Where is this Ben Stiller?

Where is Will Farrell?

But no. This was not attending to be amusing. Though, it was to me and to everyone else who had a set of balls and would “die before allowing themselves to be victimized.”

What was even funnier than a bunch of prisoners rolling around in tears, because they were laughing so hard at the absurdity?

Well that would be the one little white guy sitting in his chair watching his video with both hands at either side clutched to the bottom of his seat for dear life in a white knuckled manor.

As this video plays on there are reenactments of different scenarios the most infinitely of these reenactments is the one about a candy bar on some poor bastards pillow.

For those of you, who don’t know, please allow me to explain this little urban legend of the prison world.

It is said that a candy bar left on a pillow symbolized that another prisoner would like to have sex with whoever’s pillow he leaves the candy bar on.

If the candy bar is eaten, then the only way to repay this gesture is through….

Well you get the point.

Prison rape video actually shows the scenario where a candy bars left on someone’s pillow. The prisoner sees the candy bar, and in sort of like this dark moment of the films solution is he comes up with is to take the candy bar out into the cell block so that he can announce to the other prisoners “hey a…”

“Whoever left this candy bar on my pillow, thanks but no thanks…I don’t even like chocolate.”

He then gently places the candy bar on the ground.

Whether this ever use to happen for real, I’m not sure. Meaning the whole candy bar thing. I know the prison rape thing was a big issue back in the day.

Now days, not so much!

There are just too many naturally gay guys.

But, thanks to that video, it gave us prisoners a whole new outlook on candy bars. Plus, it made all of their mottos sound so much more sinister…

Hungry…why wait?