story about prison showers

My cell mates name was Onyx. In Spanish it was “consul” or that’s my approximation of the word. The guy irritated me a lot. I tried telling him to show some respect.

He pissed me off.

I had started talking with another person from time to time at my doorway. It was between breaks. The prisoners at the upper level would take a break and then visa versa. At my cell door we chatted and He told me about the gangs. The names and ranking order of the leaders. I asked a lot of questions to learn what I could.

One thing I learned is you don’t get in a fight with a gang member without double checking with someone else in the gang.

I guess it was to make sure you don’t get jumped by the whole crew…?

I dunno…

I took that advice to heart… I was sick of my cell mate disrespecting me. I thought I was going to get into a prison fight.

Through a small opening in the wall I would chat with a another guy…

I feel horrible I don’t remember his name because I told him I would write a story about him some day.

He lived in and out of prison his entire adult life and majority of his teenage life too.

I asked him if its cool that I fight Onyx. I explained that I tried reasoning and I repeated my irritation. I told him… “If I have to fuck him up I will.”

I wish I remembered the dudes name.

When the lower level was released for their brake. He told the group, “This is my friend.”

It meant something…

I was told that in the mix ‘we’ are considered “neutrals.” People that are not in this gang or not in that gang… In the political world I think we are called Independent.

Onyx became my friend. I froze when I got there… I write about wanting to fuck him up, but I froze originally. He encouraged me to get up and do the simple shit… even though I was capable.

He taught me how to tie the sheet onto the bed cushioning that the prisoners get. Talked and played checkers… lots of checkers and cards.

He explained to me how to make deals from one cell to another… my trade of {rice and bread} for fruits and veggies was a big joke. I was trying to do a low carb diet.

I thought I was really going to have to fight him…

The showers are along the side of an open courtyard. Its a lunch cafeteria with showers on the side with prison cells all around. (nightmare)

Onyx teased me… and teased me… until another prisoner started to laugh at me too… because I waited to shower until there weren’t 6 dudes using 3 faucets.

call me crazy…

Apparently laughing at me about not wanting to shower with other men in prison is funny for some reason. He was also laughing at me for being so stinky. I sweat a lot. I was disturbed about the whole situation… but then again its prison. It wasn’t supposed to be fun.

I have never really been in a serious fist fight. I was scared to have my first fight in prison; over a person taunting me and talking shit. I’ve never been in trouble with the law before and now I am in prison: THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO A FIGHT!!!!!

it never happened…

On my birthday September 9, Onyx tried taking over the gang leadership in a fight.

I remember because Rocky was playing on the television right when it started… like a live action movie.

Who else can say they got to watch a prison fight on their birthday?

I can!

Onyx fought because the leader serves the food and gets to hang outside to do the paraphernalia trades between the floor levels and sweep and mop.

The funny thing was… Onyx asked everyone for a vote and did the whole democratic system and was booted out of the position by some other gang leader — who talked beyond the hole in the wall in another corridor.

the photo is from the same prison but i took it from an article online…

(AP Photo/Danica Coto)
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