When Smudge Pot went to jail he knew all about racism. Worked it.Submitted by Smudge Pot on Wed, 08/28/2013 - 02:42
So when I recently went to jail I knew to try to kind of blend in but...do you think a Smudge Pot doesn't attract some kind of attention no matter where?
Just don't work like that. Howdy boys, I'm Smudge, mind if I join you?
Deputies are shoving me in the door. But they kinda set me up. I had a cell number. That meant I had a cellie, a person whom I would be bunking with and I knew I'd have to at least try to get along with that person.
Well turns out my cellie's name was Freddy and from the moment I saw him, I'm thinking he absolutely has to be Peruvian or something pretty close around the Andes 'cause he had that whole...combination of the brown skin, the squat and muscular body, the kinda hooked nose, the works. Ok I LOVE PERUVIANS! And his English was about as good as my Spanish so we just started having a pretty good time but he asked me am I a fish?
You been to jail before?
Oh no man, I am a fish. Soy pescado dela mar. (we laugh)
Then he starts this 20 minute crash course on how to be a good cellie. He clears off half this shelf they provide you with and he's like ok here's my half and here is yours and keep them separate and when you wanna use the potty when we're not on lockdown hang a towel in the door so we know not to come walking in and any extra food you have, give it to me, I'm your cellie and you always take care of your cellie and to each of these instructions I responded by saying YOU GOT IT CELLIE and when we get food we can only be served by cell order and we get our trays and we come to this table and I sit here and this other guy you will meet sits here and this other guy sits there and you sit here.
You got it cellie!
Turns out two of the other guys who sat at our table were Native Americans. Big surprise...I always end up with the natives THANK THOSE TO WHOM I PRAY because in times of trouble I was instructed and deeply feel to run to blood because they have medicines and knowledge to heal me. Worked pretty well too. Really helped. Grounded the thing a bit, as well as could be. If there is a hell on this Earth for us, deprive us of direct access to land and sun and wind and the ability to hear the birds that instruct us sing. And we could only sing quitely.
Well anyways before long for whatever reason, we got a third cellie who had to bring in a plastic cot kind of thing and he got the same run-down, he also ran with it and he had a nice smile. A very friendly and easy smile and he kinda fit in with no disruption. He got busted for DUI one too many times I guess but he was into hotel and restaruant management, had a lucrative job at a Sedona resort and a wife and two kids who just made him glow when he talked about them. Smart young kid in trouble.
Anyways he was black but here we are doing our kinda native thing and the only window was out my bunk but it faced east to the rising sun.
Again, I thank those who watch over me because that is like...power. That's like handing us power. So I started inviting people to hang on my bunk and look out the window and with so much time and nothing else to do, we'd just look out the window and talk.
Some conversations in jail you wouldn't have anyplace else these days. Not even at a bar or party or weekends in Nantucket. Not only do you have the time but, wells, for one you aren't drunk and you aren't having that great a time and this overall is not one of the greatest times in your life, in fact it might be THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU.
It was only the third worst thing that ever happened to me....yeah it was 4 but it put forth extraordinary effort in the aftermath so I gotta give it credit but otherwise....
So back to seating assignments. See in this common area we were allowed to hang out in the daytime, everybody else had their seat and it was kinda racially and even politically segregated and there were tables with the guys...uh. OK the tats that cannot be mistaken and most had shaven heads, some were growing it out, you can always tell and they had the webs and they did their own teachings. Guess who they were?
They were THEM. They guys that hate us for reasons of our genetic makeup. Or at least it's said they do. But listen as I tell you, those guys kinda asserted some authority but were mostly there to kinda...I dunno there's good authority and bad authority and they rarely used authority, like when a batch of fish came in (like me) they kinda laid down the groundwork in terms of hygentics and common courtesy. We're all to show consideration in the chow line, in terms of not ruffling up the crappy rommance novels they gave us to read, in terms of showering maybe at least twice a week so your cellies don't have to deal with body odor.
Hey not bad. Ok right on man.
And everybody took care of this one person, I noticed that. At first I thought he might be a mentally or physically disabled indian. Turns out he's Chinese like from China and somehow he ended up in jail in the USA and he spoke almost no English at all. Ok EVERYBODY TOOK CARE OF HIM as best we could.
Basically us races were face to face. And we got through it by working together on so many levels. And every person in there was going through a sort of crisis from kinda small to very, very large. One guy, they let him out for his wife's birthday for an hour to stand in chains at his wife's hospital bed, she's terminal and he will never see her again. All he had to do, every day, was wait to hear that she's gone.
Hey, some say there's no such thing as a foxhole atheist. I donno, never been there but in jail a lot of pretenses, a lot of your bull-crap programming comes off and you realize...that you
can't get through this alone. You need help even if help just means everybody leave me alone. But you aren't gonna get through this without some help and the only help available besides prayer is right there in front of you. And sometimes that means us.
Try being racist when you got nobody else. Then get back to me.
With much 3VOL,
Der Smudgen Potten