The beams from the yard’s flood lights are dissected by the bars on my cage. My relic of a clock radio tells me it’s almost 5am. I can’t remember where I got that clock anymore, but it’s exactly like the one my Mother had on her nightstand decades ago, you know the one, right next to the lamp and ashtray.
I plug in my already full hot pot, and slip my ear buds in as I turn on my outdated Walkman. If a decent tune is on maybe my morning will start right, but I would rather listen to a commercial hawking Rogaine instead of hearing that god forsaken count bell. It goes off every day at exactly 5:20am. It’s the same bell that signaled class was over and it rings for a full minute. I can’t stand to listen to it anymore, but I know if my radio is at the right volume I won’t have to.
Usually some sadistic C.O. will hold his finger on the button a bit longer to remind me where I am, just in case I didn’t notice the steel toilet bowl and sink just inches from my head. Already dressed, with my cup of no name instant coffee steaming next to me, I pull my typewriter close to me. I perch my feet on the lid of the plastic storage bins and my machine comes to life. Let’s see if I can remove my mind from the institutional green walls that surround me. I’m not fond of green walls, but it brings out the color in my eyes nicely, along with my darker green state-issued pants. I know this because more than once I stared at the changing hues in the mirror, yet I think I was looking deeper, trying to find my soul which I never did see.