My New Project

Writing for handouts

My New Project
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

The picture I chose for this post is only there because the guidelines for posting a picture are quite specific and I only have photos that are too poor or too rich in quality to post, so I found an image of a fish pooping. I am also required to add a photo or video to each post, so this could be a fun little adventure for all of us.

Today is Sunday, September 13th, 2020. It is 8:23am, and I've just returned home from the gym. Every Sunday is the first of three days off for me with my new job; it's my chance to maximize my time with the girls, and my wife who is due in just over a month. I'll make breakfast, talk about the week, and play around with my dog who is currently--and rather anxiously--walking back and forth on the couch, over mom and beside me.

I don't know where I'm going with this yet. I've been reading Breaking Free again, and I can see how much I've developed over the years, but I think I can do a lot better with, you know, words n' stuff. I want to work on really developing sentences to achieve impact. I want to allow the reader to see the images in their head, not just tell a story. I don't really know how to do that but I think if I try it, I can get there. So, I'll start with one very short story, from my very first few hours in prison. I want to sum up just one brief moment, in one or two paragraphs--I want to take you there.

After intake and photographs, we were prodded on to a stark-white hallway and into a brightly-lit room with bare concrete floors, distressed ceilings with hanging shop lights every six feet, and the churning sound of a dozen industrial washers and dryers agitating their contents. Everybody dressed only one of two ways, one of which I will describe below, and the corrections officers who wear blue trousers, a belt with all of their necessary equipment, a white button-up dress shirt, a badge, and any accompanying medals of valor, ect. They are all inactive. some are glancing around occasionally, but most of them appear to have checked out decades ago. There was a row of glossy wooden benches in front of a line of cages, all containing different types of clothing that we would all be wearing throughout our stay. We were ordered by the officers to find any open spot in front of the cage and disrobe.

In public--on the outside--we do our best to not be naked in front of others. In jail and prison, as I would soon be accustomed to, you're constantly surrounded by dicks; the penis kind. Everybody is so casual about it, and I hope it isn't just me, but I try to catch a glimpse of them all to compare myself to the rest of the criminal population. The stereotype of black men having huge dicks is true in the case of the gentleman to my right. I can't tell the difference between the tip of his penis and his knee. The older man to my left who's hair resembles Albert Einstein's--both up and down--has more of a bump where there should be a cock. I'm right in the middle, but closer to Albert in size. All of us have imperfections on our bodies, and I wonder if other people think like I do, or care about the shape and size of incarcerated men's penisis or other imperfections like I do. I start to wonder what all of the people in this room are in for. Is there a rapist next to me? A murderer? I miss what the guard tells me to do.

One man says, "extra Large." And he is tossed a pillow case-by an inmate that has strange facial hair-that is to contain everything a person could need to survive in prison. He looks at me next, and I catch on and say, "large." I catch the case, and follow suit by donning my first of three identical outfits that are packed tightly with everything else. I start by covering up my medium-sized penis with a pair of tighty-whities which I snap around my waist and pull up just a little higher for comfort. I go for my white T next to cover up my upper body which I am insecure about because I don't have any healthy habits, and have a tattoo I'm not super proud of. I pull it over the top and it fits nicely. Next is the prison-blue maternity jeans. They are size large but they could fit a number of people inside with the right maneuvering. Finally, a large dark-blue button-up long-sleeve shirt. There are no belt loops, nor will there ever be an option to own a belt. I put on my socks which go all the way up my calf, and I sit, and I wait. the shoes are next, I get a size that fits, and we sit, and wait. We will always sit, and wait.

That is where the story in my cell picks up if you've read the book.

Much like life, I could work on those sentences all day and still find ways to tweak them. I like how it looks, but I wish I knew how to describe things a little better, but how can you really describe a place that has no redeeming features? White walls, concrete floors, bars, and windows. I could go all day.

One thing I want to point out is the option you might see at the bottom of my posts to tip. I think, if there's a tip jar for the kid at Dairy Queen, and you give him/her a dollar, why not put out a tip jar for my blog? I already get a small amount from each read on this new platform. Since I started writing here, I have netted 21 cents. But if you really like what you read, or if you really like me, then please, I implore you, tip. I am providing a free service for you, and if you have been following and reading about my life for years, maybe that has a value. All proceeds will go to the further development of my children and family, and on occasion, Dairy Queen.

Vincent Maertz
Vincent Maertz
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