Sunday, July 1, 2007

Epilogue Or What Happened To Eddie

When Eddie got off the bus at the Federal Correctional Institution--Worthington the first thing he noticed was the silence. Except for a few young guys playing basketball, there was almost no noise except the wind sweeping across the flat barren prairie lands. FCIW was a small minimum security facility designed to be so isolated and remote that no one could get there by accident.

The U.S. marshals walked him in through the transport bay and turned him over to the Federal correctional staff. After checking his I.D. and signing the body receipt, they swapped out their transportation chains while the Feds put on their own. Eddie stood patiently through the process and took the opportunity to check out the place.

It was clean. It remained quiet, even indoors. The few correctional officers who walked past him seemed relaxed, experienced, professional. When they walked him to his cell they were careful to respect his body space and not touch him, something state c.o.'s never cared about.

Then he saw his cell. He had an honest-to-God desk. A real, four-legged, working surface desk. Granted the legs were bolted into the floor and there were no drawers, but it was still a far cry from the eight inch metal square that he was used to writing on, a square that was bolted into a wall just a little too high to write on comfortably.

Not that he was much of a writer. Or a reader, for that matter.

Which was why the books puzzled him. On the small shelf---he had a shelf!---was a neatly filed row of books: Selected Poems of W. H. Auden, Runaway by Alice Munro, a novel by some Polish-sounding guy he had never heard of. Eddie wondered if all the inmates had them.

Just then Eddie heard someone coming up behind him. He spun, flicked out his shank and ducked into a crouching attack position.

"Whoa! Unh...unh...sorry, I...I mean I'll just..." the speaker was a clean-cut young white guy with small wire-rimmed glasses. His hands were raised in a ward-off position and he was backing up out of the room into the hallway. He was trying not to shake too much.

Eddie roared. "Shit man, don't you fukkin' know how to walk into a cell? Shit, I could have gutted you, man. Hey, c'mon in. It's cool. My name's Eddie. I'm your new cellie."


1 comment:

Emy L. Nosti said...

"Body receipt?" Jeez, how humanizing.

How did he manage to have a shank that soon after transfer? Don't they check for that sort of thing?