jPay message #089

I’ve finally met some good dudes that fuck with me and i spin laps w since my workout partner went home this summer… but all of em are unaffiliated (ie not in a gang) white dudes and I’ve learned a lot from them. two have been down for 10 years and the other only 3 (with 3 to go) so they’ve got a lot good insight into how to do a bit as comfortably as possible. one is known throughout the joint as the best tattoo guy, which is like the most lucrative, legitimate hustle in here–you may catch tickets but not a case. the other just knows a bunch of people from being down so long, and runs tickets (picking 3 winners for NBA, NFL, college sports etc.)
What’s funny is that we’re all part of the handful of honkies who have been in the same bunk over the past year or so but I never really interacted with them seriously until these past few months. We all knew of each other, of course, but mostly just watched the other from afar. I think they were more wary, this being prison, having seen so many guys break and then lock up or do some other dumb shit.

The one that runs tickets just looks out, though, and despite being a hardened con for basically his entire adult life, will intervene on your behalf if he sees you being treated unfairly. He’s very pro–settling-disputes-in-the-bathroom aka fighting. The tattoo guy takes a different approach and has no qualms saying he’d rather throw money at a problem then deal with it physically. His strategy is to link up with an empathetic black gang-banger and spend money with him….he’ll make sure you stay straight. Both approaches are valid, and I feel like a mix is most effective. The tattoo guy also warned me, as we spun laps the other night: “you just stay vigilant and not buy into the prison mindset. no, you don’t always have to have an angle with every person you deal with, you can be straight up with them, like friends are. that’s what I’m glad I haven’t succumbed to…becoming a piece of shit like these other dudes always getting down on guys, fucking people over for gas station food. trust me, it hasn’t been easy, sometimes I’ve just wanna been like fuck it, but I can’t, I’m human. and I know once you do, once this place has got you, it’s got you.”

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