Wait. Allow me to clarify.
I've always been fascinated by prisons and prisoners, as evidenced by our New Years Day viewing of Dead Man Walking wherein my friends freaked out and I kept saying, "What? This is interesting!"
In reading the Texas Department of Corrections Offender Orientation Handbook this evening (and you thought I was kidding), I started to get kinda nervous. Ever since my immensely humbling rehab experience, which was kinda like 1/4 jail and 3/4 meditation retreat, I've been better at being able to put myself in other people's shoes. 2 years ago, I'd have gladly read the Offender Orientation Handbook and been interested but detached. Now I gladly read the Offender Orientation Handbook and automatically imagine this applying to me. Getting locked up doesn't seem that impossible to me anymore. Shit happens. Of course, I'm a lot less likely to commit a crime now that I'm sober.
So in perusing the dress code, the cell rules, the whole protocol for owning a towel as detailed in this Offender Orientation Handbook, I'm curious to see if I could do it.
I've always thought I'd be a moderately popular prisoner because after my fellow inmates looked past my blatant Private Benjamin vibe, they'd slowly start to listen as I inspired them to protest for better ceramics classes and more advanced French lessons. If rehab was any indication, my hunch is not far off. I mean, I was Senior Peer. I holi-decorated the Serenity Lounge. I choreographed dances with a 50-something crack-addicted former prostitute. I'm surprisingly good at fitting in. I would hope this skill would crank into overdrive up the river.
I'm more worried about how I'd get along with the guards. These are some serious rules in the Offender Orientation Handbook and I'm guessing women's prison guards do not respond well to self-deprecating humor.
Let's examine some of the rules.In one's cell, one is allowed:
One canned drink or cup of drink
One opened container of food, enough for self-consumption (i.e., chips, cookies, candy, no canned food)
One newspaper, book, magazine, (no pornography)
Writing materials, pen, pencil, (no stamps, no legal materials)
Brush or comb
Sheesh. Although I'm down with the board games. And I need a brush. A comb is no good to me. They also say that female offenders will wear (not should wear. WILL wear) socks or hose with state-issued shoes. Pantyhose? Are you kidding me? I would think one of the few perks to being in the clink is the casual dress code. Hose? Thank you, no. I'll take the socks.
Offenders are allowed a shower a day, unless they're a paraplegic in which case, they can shower whenever they feel like it. Then there's a whole thing about the commissary, which just has me excited. I can shop anywhere. I will find something, trust me. You could stick me in a medical supply warehouse or abandoned truck stop and I'll gladly go on a spree (shopping, not crime.) A prison commissary sounds fucking fabulous.
Anyway, imagine the blog posts! I'm really curious and slightly nervous to see if I could really spend a couple of days in the pokey. I think it would be an amazing and challenging personal experience. So if anyone can find a legal, relatively safe way for me to live as a prisoner for a brief period of time, I AM SO IN.
Some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.
I am not one of those birds...