Just looking through my rear-view mirror at 2012. Did it ever fly past. In the four years I have been in prison, this has been the shortest year yet. Writing for The Jailbird has helped make my sentence fly by. All the time spent on my art projects. The blog has helped me remain productive, though some may question how productive my rants truly are.
I'm basically half way through the sentence handed to me. Reconnecting with my childhood friend, Brooke, has put a huge smile on my face. Finding a mutual connection between us has given me many hopes and dreams that await my release. Making plans for when I am free keeps me from slipping into the depths of prison life. So I roll on.
The year 2012 has been good to me. As I watch it come to a close, I hope that 2013 will be as rewarding. If life is indeed what we make of it, then I have no doubt I will do fine. A great group of people cheer me on.
I am truly blessed to have the people in my life that choose to stand tall beside me. Only a couple months ago I was transferred from the Florida panhandle to a central Florida prison. This prison has turned out to be a true blessing.
My bunkie's name is Rose, my spider's name is Diablo and I sleep in a two-man cell. Once a week I have music class and get to jam on a guitar. Even here I have surrounded myself with positive things to fill my day. Like the candy factory, where we melt and re-shape Jolly Rancher candies into what we call jolly pops. Since we add a sucker stick which is made from a Q-tip handle (with the fuzz removed) and inserted through the reshaped candy making a lolly pop. Because it's made from Jolly Ranchers, they have been named "jolly pops". Because it is something different from what is available at the chow hall and canteen, we sell a lot of them. We have $.26 invested and sell each unit for $.60. It's a small profit, but it is productive. The time spent shaping these suckers is productive. And when sold in bulk a nice profit is made.
Our latest venture has been no-bake cookies. If dried properly, the mix makes granola. The ingredients are oatmeal, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla. These items are then mixed in a big bag. A new trash bag to be exact. The ingredients are considered contraband since the prison system deems anything in an altered state to be contraband. Once altered, the police can and many times will confiscate the said items. I like to mix these ingredients in a large bag so that when the police come and our look out warns us of their approach, I can quickly toss this bag into a hiding spot. Then I grab a rag and some soapy water and pretend to clean my room until the patrol unit passes.
Prison teaches you two lessons on a daily basis: patience being number one for sure. In close second would be sneaky smart. I know, that sounds bad. But come one...who are we hurting making peanut butter cookies? For real....
I haven't had my momma's cooking in over four year. So I came up with a way to bring a small taste of home on this side of the fence. God...it's not like I'm cooking meth. But you always have some officer who feels differently. He comes in and confiscates my cookies and then acts as if he busted five pounds of pure fish-scale cocaine.
We often wonder how the big "cookie bust story" is embellished before it's told to the officer friends back home. I doubt he's bragging that he kicked the door in on a full-scale bakery. That he busted a roomful of prisoners making oatmeal cookies. I'm just saying....
Police on the street take a vow to protect and to serve. Here they proudly state "never walk alone". They are definitely not protecting and serving anyone back here! They're more like a pimple in the side of your butt cheek.
Anyways, it's the holiday and I won't let a little pimple on my ass get me down. My dilemma now is how to make peanut brittle. I think if I can place a small burning wick under a soda can I could boil down syrup. If I add sugar to that refining process, rock candy should be the result. Add peanuts and that is basically what peanut brittle is. See what I'm saying? I came to prison an addicted drug dealer. I know...that's a mouth full. When I leave? I'll be a baker.
My big plan was to open a tattoo shop. Lately, I've been thinking of a bakery instead. Rather than sell crack rock, I'll sell rock candy.
Well, I should go. My look-out informs me a patrol unit is approaching. No doubt in hot pursuit of someones no-bake cookies to confinscate. That's why they make the big bucks. Bust a bakery and earn sergeant status.
Happy Holidays Hooligan Style!