Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to force myself to sleep for at least tweny more minutes before srtarting another mundane day in prison; a task which I found nearly impossible as I fought against the sounds of industrial sized toilets flushing 10 gallons of water per shot, and toothbrushes smacking against the row of sinks along the wall.
As if those sounds weren’t sufficient enough to rob me of my desperatelyneeded 20 minutes of sleep, here comes the morning porter wheeling his industrial sized mop bucket down the tier, attempting to sing a popular hip-hop song, which I have since boycotted due to his complete destruction of it.
Thoroughly frustrated, I sit up and wait for the morning wood to return to a descent disposition before jumping off of the top bunk and putting on my neatly folded khakis, which make up the required state issued dress code. This is proper house etiquette when you have to walk within arms reach of another man who is also waking up and moving around the 12 x 15 foot cell.
After a morning ritual of hygiene, a healthy scoop of freeze dried coffee, and some commiseration with my celly about waking up to another day in prison, I smile and look forward to the rest of the day’s challenges with optimism and good humor.
Just like the outside community, we are all part of a bigger picture – bigger than ourselves. I choose to keep my petty annoyances to myself and not make a negative noise in my small community.
The fact that I can have countless dissapointing mornings and still, laugh, joke, and smile everyday may mean that I am resilient, perhaps it means that I have grown accustomed to petty annoyances. Maybe it’s a little bit of both, but one thing I know for a fact; happiness is a choice.
I am serving 14 more years on a murder robbery (drug deal gone bad), and I will never become embittered or cynical, because I know that I am guilty. I must serve my sentence with dignity. My plans of having a successful return to society become more real every day as the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you find yourself” (Mark Caine)