jPay message #168

The biggest con of prison is the lack of freedom, restricting your choices from infinite to finite. You’re also stuck with a lot of alone time, so much of your time is devoted to solitary activities, of which the most popular are: reading, sudoku, your tablet (games or music), tv, writing (letters, raps, books), crossword puzzles, word searches, jerking off. Every prisoner has given all of these at least a try, with most becoming part of your daily routine, especially TV and masturbation. The showers, here in a level 1 at least, aren’t communal but the phrase “don’t drop the soap” still applies. It’s well-known among inmates that everyone jerks off in the shower all the time so the floor is
grimy enough to permanently contaminate-and impregnate-a bar of soap from a split second of contact. Recently, I’ve been reduced to playing crossword puzzles because everything else is worn out by boredom. They’re actually a fun type of trivia game just because the hints often employ puns and misdirection, as well as a startling emphasis on singular versus plural.

I like playing cards, too, because of the social aspect but most guys that wanna play cards want to grind (i.e. gamble) as well, which always turns into an argument and can be endlessly frustrating. I got sick of that shit last winter. For example, I play pinochle, which not everyone knows how to play because it requires you to count all the cards with nearly a double deck and a sound understanding of how communicate to your partner with your bid. So, if your partner can’t do either, he’s basically just playing the correct card, rather than the right [italicize] card. And then my regular opponent, a hack, will always get lucky as fuck and catch all the aces, double nuts aka double pinochle, and a handful of trump. There’s a lot of lingo to the game which adds to the fun, because only the initiated can understand.

TV reigns supreme, though, and everyone, to some degree, revolves their schedule around what time something good is television, like football on Sunday/Monday, certain sitcoms, and any show that shows a lot of cheek. The latter are usually reality TV, my personal favorites being Vanderpump Rules, Summer House, Ex On The Beach, the Kardashians. Before prison, I’d be embarrassed to ever admit I watched any of those shows, but now I’m shamelessly obsessed. Like, I should be embarrassed. I’m also a huge fan of Ancient Aliens. I’ll usually watch it with a skeptical but intrigued mind, but anytime I do a dab I’m just like, “Okay I believe 100% of what they’re saying on this show.”

But really or just like a change of scenery. I wanna look out on a gate-less landscape; I wanna look into a pretty girl’s eyes; I wanna do what I want and keep to myself. But I can’t do any of that, and it sucks.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Play cut throat pinochle. Especially if you can get with a couple dudes who like to kiddy bid. $1,.50,.25 can easily make you $200 in a week. And all you have to put up with is them berating themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brendan says:

      Ya know I think I forgot to tell him this. But I can predict Brendan being like, “yeah, we love playing that shit.” Hah. It’s amazing this stuff keeps his spirits high in that mundane cube void of stimuli.


  2. Jacqui607 says:

    Good writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brendan says:

      Thanks, feedback like this keeps B’s fuels running high. Spoiler alert: He may have started a book.


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