Clams On Ice
I’m married, and if this union had taken place in the free world, it would have been just another legal coupling among a sea of others. However, there are people out amongst you, that along with not agreeing that I should be allowed to express myself through writing, are completely against the idea of convicts being afforded the sanctity of marriage. If you give this any thought its a twisted way of thinking, especially considering many of us will once again be walking amongst you.
The Department Of Corrections agrees with my theory, that it is a better idea to have an inmate leave prison with some type of family structure as opposed to having convicts act like animals for decades, only to be released to nobody and nothing. To create, and keep these family bonds intact, the Family Reunion Program was developed which I am allowed to participate in. Along with spending time with my significant other, it also keeps me weighing the pro’s and con’s of beating someone half to death, or doing anything else that could jeopardize me losing this privilege.
I stay out of mischief, and don’t feed into the snide comments from those that think I should not be married in the first place, and if anything it just drives me to be a better husband. My only concern is making my wife smile on a regular basis. Taking this a step further, I never allow myself to take what I have for granted.
My wife and I occasionally discuss this issue yet still go about our lives as any married couple would. The biggest difference is that an average couple lives together, while I am only permitted to cohabit a residence for two days once every two months. There are obvious drawbacks, as well as benefits to such an arrangement. The biggest drawback is the amount of time allotted every two months. This means I am also forced to live between two separate worlds. Which after leaving a visit I feel as though I am going to prison for the first time all over again. I am then searched, researched, then tested for other contraband in a large room that looks like a combination of the DMV and Immigration Authority. After the depression behind this all hits, I am escorted to my cage where i usually take a much needed nap to escape the fact I have once again returned to prison.
Yet another drawback is, after living in a cage for decades, a convict gets either extremely organized, or live like a complete animal. I choose to live the O.C.D. life which means that each item I posses has to have a specific place. When I go on my conjugal visits, it often throws me into an utter state of confusion. To make this that much more difficult, my wife has a completely different type of O.C.D. than I have.
A perfect example would be: my O.C.D. dictates the juice and milk be placed on the left hand side of the fridge. My significant others O.C.D. narrates the larger items belong in the back of the fridge, and the smaller items up front. We went as far as discussing this issue, yet we both make like the other party is not paying attention, someone quickly moves the juice to where our bent minds believes it belongs.
Another issue is actually sleeping. We don’t usually sleep together as one might assume two affectionate starved people might do. We start out next to each other but wind up playing for hours like a pair of ten year olds on a camping trip. So in a sleep deprived state, someone will head for the couch. Not that this is some safe haven which is off limits to pranks, or safe from shenanigans. As more than once in a while my wife was peacefully sleeping with her head propped up on a comfy pillow, I will raid the fridge, and directly afterwards do a “drive by.” Which is to walk slowly by the couch while passing gas. Call it immature, but I get a laugh out of watching her face curl up as I scamper back to bed trying not to be detected. Thankfully instead of getting overly perturbed, I usually hear her giggle as she playfully curses me out into her pillow.
Although gross in theory, thankfully along with having the same twisted sense of humor as I do (except for the time I carefully saran wrapped the top of the toilet bowl) my wife is well aware of my issues, and tries to be as understanding as possible. This even though aside from everything else, I still shower in my underwear, and will occasionally hide silverware under my pillow. But for the most part we stay laughing so its all well and good.
To try and ease my transition from convict, to part time regular person, my significant other shows up with items most of you would take for granted, yet I find precious. For instance, it has been recited for eons that the fastest way to a mans heart is through his stomach. So when she appears with a shopping bag filled with steaks and sushi, she assumes its much easier for me to transition from a convict to a loving attentive husband. I hope she never figures out I would be just as happy with a box of Lucky Charms, and grilled cheese sandwiches. As its not the food I look forward to, but its actually her company which further aggravates the hater’s.
Since I just wrote this, I assume she will figure out its not a food thing, but at least I will still get to use actual plates and silverware for the sandwiches and cereal. I will also still get to use her wide assortment of cosmetics which are to die for.
This might sound odd, and I am not implying her makeup, however good shampoo and deodorant are at a premium. If it has any kind of alcohol content, your simply never going to get it. It seems a few idiots figured out how to distill certain cosmetics, then drank the remaining alcohol. Also its not like they feed convicts steaks, and even the burnt grilled cheese never comes on dinner plates in the mess hall. For the most part, there is nothing that even resembles real food, and all of my meals are eaten with a heavy duty “spork.” This is a spoon/fork combination that turns spaghetti day into a hundred and fifty person Prilosec commercial. The one in which the food actually smacks the person in the face, while making Bruce Lee type sound effects.
This all means that the first thing I do after walking into a trailer is: greet my wife, light the BBQ, and immediately take a hot shower by myself (still partially dressed). More often than not, I also still look around nervously if I drop the soap. Yet even with no booty bandits to concern myself with, my first mishap occurred right after getting out of the shower.
I opened the bathroom door releasing the cloud of built up steam, before catching up on eight weeks of conversations. Along with the other benefits, these visits are a place where I can actually complete an entire conversation versus a fifteen minute phone call. However I had to smile before uttering a word, as I could clearly hear the juice shuffling across the plastic shelf. I didn’t want to burst her bubble, and began spraying away under arm number one with a tall can of deodorant. I had just finished saturating one pit with the powdery spray, as she finished moving what I assumed to be the milk. Listening to her O.C.D. in action, I wasn’t able to get out a whole sentence before she appeared in the bathroom doorway. But instead of starting our conversation, her face turned beet red, before she began laughing like a drunken truck driver. It turned out… I was spraying underarm number two with F.D.S ! (For those of you as ignorant as myself, that stands for Feminine Deodorant Spray).
Glasses, or no glasses, I clearly saw an aerosol can. I vividly recall seeing vines attached to flowers, and although blurry, the word deodorant. Hence, I truly thought it was just that…deodorant. Not ready to admit it was an obvious mistake, I mustered up my straightest face and casually attempted to explain if it work on the baccala, it simply had to work on my freshly showered under arms. In the end, it was a good laugh at my expense, and my arm pits went from smelling like old White Castle burgers, to a spring rain with a slight floral and powdered scent.
This kind of mistake could have happened to anyone, let alone a far sighted convict who is not accustomed to living in a natural setting with another human being. However, what my significant other soon learned… this worked both ways. As along with me not being accustomed to living in her world (with her hygiene products) she never lived in my world.
This is where I have the clear advantage, as even though I formally resided in a world of refrigerators and cosmetics. My significant other has never resided in a world of concrete and steel. Nor has she lived with a functional toilet bowl mere inches from her bed. In my world, unlike hers the toilet bowl is a multi purpose vessel of water used for everything, plus what it was actually intended for. It’s a sink for those like myself who refuse to spit toothpaste into my shiny clean sink. It’s a place that many rinse out their laundry after carefully hand washing it, as well as a place to keep lunch meats fresh, hopefully after they are placed into a plastic bag.
I have witnessed convicts pulling those school sized milk containers right out of the bowl, and quickly drinking them. I could care how many times I am reassured its fine, as I know they didn’t keep removing it each time they had to pee ! Thankfully, along with not drinking yellow milk, my O.C.D. also tells me not to rinse my freshly washed clothes in water containing E-Coli, as well as a host of germs I could never spell. However, the bowl is a perfect place to spit during a severe cold where the phlegm seems to accumulate the moment you fall asleep. Like the countless convicts before me, I routinely spit directly into it without having to move more than 18 inches from my home made pillow.
After utilizing this multi purpose body of water for this length of time, its a wonder I don’t try to convince my wife to submerge her butcher bought pork chops. Of course remembering to tell her to occasionally flush to keep everything cold. Thankfully, I am not that institutionalized, however spitting into the bowl has become habit forming for me. Especially spitting out my used toothpaste which is now just part of my morning routine. Its not like I live with anyone, so waking up and doing as much, or using it as a spittoon during the night to find a glob of whatever in the morning is fine by me.
The problem is, the trailers where the conjugal visits take place have two actual bedrooms, both minus the sink and toilet bowl. This means during one of my visits, I actually have to get out of bed, and walk a whole ten feet to spit out the phlegm from my morning Marlboro induced loogie.
The afternoon after the deodorant incident, after waking up from what I could best describe as a carnivorous steak and pork chop fueled nap. I noticed a half empty Styrofoam cup on the night stand. My wife was nowhere in sight, not that this mattered as I obviously do things around her I would not normally do in front of any other human being. So to save myself that ten foot journey to the bathroom, it made perfect sense to discreetly spit into the cup. It wasn’t like I gave this a lot of thought, and if anything it was just natural for me to do as much from the comforts of bed. In any event, I would just discard the cup later when I got up.
I must have slept far deeper than I had expected, however when I opened my eyes the first thing I noticed was; the cup was missing. I simply assumed my wife had seen it sitting there, and the cleaning part of her O.C.D. kicked in forcing her to discard it. I did the after nap old person still in the bed stretch, went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and wash my face (spitting the toothpaste in the bowl) and made my way to the living room. I instantly found my wife comfortably perched on the couch watching daytime television. What stopped me in my tracks was what appeared to be a clone of my nighty stand cup nestled securely in her grasp. The thing with these particular cups is they look exactly alike, but something still made me wonder.
The following exchange ensued:
Rosemarie? “ I had her undivided attention just by using her full name.”
What did you do?
Uhmmmm. Where did you get that cup?
In unison, in almost slow motion we both peered down into the cup’s small opening, and both quickly noticed what looked like…a partially shucked oyster staring back at us. I think if it had actual eyeballs it might have winked. My dear and very understanding significant other immediately began dry heaving as if she was a cat, trying to dislodge the mother of all fur balls. She even made those same feline-like screeching sounds to accompany the rapid expansions in her chest.
The moral of the story is… like each of you have been warned before vacationing in Mexico. The same warning should also apply to conjugal visits. As unless you’re one of the haters, if you’re ever in a cozy trailer with a true convict… don’t drink the water.