“Great Expectations”

With this corona shit going on, MDOC has prioritized the release of any inmate eligible for a parole. This has been misconstrued as if prisons are being emptied out, but the truth is that the only ones going home should have already been there. The parole board notoriously uses any pretext to extend a sentence, so a good chunk of the population are doing 12 or 24 month flops for either breaking one of the million rules of parole or not completing their programming (even if it’s through no fault of their own), or other minor violations.

I was one of those considered eligible, so I was notified a few weeks ago that I was being called back early to see the board, whom I wasn’t supposed to see again until November, or until after my case was resolved, whichever came first. The interview was set for today.

On Monday, I received the NFD, or non-fixed date, in the mail, meaning: a parole within the next 30 days, if not sooner. Due to the pandemic, guys were going home 2-3 weeks after getting the NFD. On my paperwork, my release date was listed for the following Monday. I know that sounded too good, too soon, too much like justice for it to be true, and, accordingly, I should regard it cool and skeptically.

But I couldn’t refrain from thinking about or hoping that this was gonna happen. I pondered all the explanations for this serendipitous change of events. Perhaps, the Department of Corrections amended their policy amidst this crisis. After all, they’re now letting inmates complete programming classes in the world. If my circumstances are essentially unchanged from 6 months ago…why would they call me back early, if not to parole me because of a policy change? Everybody else the board called back was nearly guaranteed to be headed home soon. Moreover, why even give me a NFD under the door (i.e. getting a parole without having to see the board first) unless it was the real deal? The NFD is considered the best decision you can receive. What were serious concerns then may not seem so in these calamitous times.

Plus, the parole board can’t be that incompetent; it wouldn’t play with someone’s emotions so capriciously. After all, this is my life, my freedom. I’d be transferred into the custody of the county jail, and since my bond is only $500 on that case, I’d be able to post that immediately, assuming the county still wanted to come get me….and I’d heard county jails were granting PR bonds to anyone fighting a case. I deconstructed the scenario from every angle, considered the possible thinking behind this decision, and came to the only sensible conclusion: I was actually gonna go home soon, hopefully Monday.

For the first time in years, I let myself imagine being freed in the immediate future. Fuck it, I didn’t even care if everything was shut down. I just wanted to come home. I daydreamed about drinking an actual beer. I fantasized about getting some pussy. I’d come home and immediately reach out to all viable partners…”look, I just got out of the joint and I’m probably going back for another, even longer, sentence. I wanna fuck like savages for my last few months of freedom and make the memories I’ll jerk off to for the next 4-5 years.” Sure it sounded desperate but it was direct, self-assured. Plus, I’d have that fresh-from-prison glow, and a lean, muscular physique, so that explicit appeal could actually attract a handful of girls. I’d hunker down and smash out for the summer. Hopefully I’d manage to sleep with one of those girls I’ve always wanted but never had, before she got too old or married.

I’d lock down some extra support, and make the preparations when you know you’re headed to prison. I’d be able to say goodbye to all my friends and family that I wasn’t able to when I caught this first case. Have a proper sendoff, like a party, a day or two before sentencing. Get so loaded that sentencing would be a blur, and only regain my faculties after a few days in quarantine.

The only thing that could fuck it up is if my court date got moved up and held over a video conference. But that’s a hurdle that could be handled…and then when I got out, my sentencing could be delayed even further. Possibly, I could have one full, wild, intoxicating summer, the last one of my youth. When I leave prison after this new bit , I’ll be middle-aged (30 something), hopefully with my best years still ahead of me.

While lost in these reveries, I’m also watching Xena: Warrior Princess. There’s a marathon on and the show is surprisingly entertaining,(and cheesy) with the loudest, most overdone sound effects. Lucy Lawless is such a fucking babe (with an amazing name). I debate how much she approximates my perfect woman or not. Dark, almost black, hair with blue or green eyes is like heroin for my boner, and her body, that white girl thickness, is the ideal, and, as showcased in that scanty armor, has the same effect as mainlining Viagra would have. I try to think about girls I know that resemble her, and come up with one or two. Okay, I vow, I’m gonna reach out to her in my first days out.

Suddenly, the CO announces over the loudspeaker: “22, Mccaffery, bunk 22, report!” I walk to the officer’s station, wondering why I’m being called. Usually it’s because I’ve books to pick up.

“yeah, McCaffery, sorry man your parole has been suspended for a pending charge.” And, as much as I expected this and tried to stay detached, I’m still devastated. Just the prospect of parole had me giddy, and the remote possibility of hooking up with a female this summer excited me endlessly the past couple days. That pent-up energy now discomfits and discourages. I feel like I’m charlie brown trying to kick a football and the parole board is Lucy, yanking it away at the last second.

Even worse, an hour later I’m called to the desk again, and the counselor hands me my parole paperwork. 15 months, few stipulations, 11 pm curfew. That’s all moot. Usually, people savor the yellow paper of the 30 day notice, signaling an upcoming parole board interview. It means the end is near. And when most guys get their parole paperwork, with the decision and stipulations, the reality of reentering society sets in, and their behavior changes. These are literally the best pieces of mail one can get. Unfortunately, they’ve become meaningless to me, or worse. I’ve a stack of both because of how many times I’ve been granted a parole only to have it suspended, so these have become shitty mementos of how close I was and how far I am from reaching the end of this ordeal.

I feel so let down, confronting the fact I probably won’t make those plans for a few more years. I do what I can to distract myself from more bad news, and gradually ease back into the penitentiary mindset: breathing exercises, push-ups, TV…relaxing bit by bit, content for the present, hoping for a future, still dreaming Xena.


  1. BeeBee Slaughter says:


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s