This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Orange County Theo Lacy Jail.
Now we have this COVID-19 thrown into the mix, and from one day to another, everything, the whole world comes to a halt. At least, in my case, it seemed that way. Please excuse me PrisonPandemic, but if it’s OK, I’d like to share and just be frank with it. I hope you don’t mind.
I paroled March 2019 from California Department of Corrections, after a 15 year sentence for running away from LAPD while in possession of a firearm in January of 2006, was shot three times. After just one week of my new earned freedom and all the adjusting I was going through to acclimate myself to some kind of ordinary life, it was all shut down.
It seemed to me as though people were freaking out for walking around without wearing a mask. It was a head scratcher for me. People were “locking” themselves up voluntarily!! I very much understood that people were dying left and right due to this COVID-19, but the sun was out, the air was fresh…and the world was shut down? Crazy!
Due to my stubbornness of refusing my wife’s “orders” (she calls them), I was sentenced to live in the garage and was no longer allowed inside our house, since I refused to stay indoors and deprive myself of my freedom. It was hard. Sad even…but I was free!!! Again after 15 years and it felt (feels) beautiful.
I took the time to smell the fresh air, and wake up when I wanted, and walk out my (garage) door without someone opening it for me or escorting me. Let me fast forward a bit. With almost everything being closed due to COVID, including employment opportunities or social services (GR, DMV, etc.), it was easier for me to quickly make a fast buck the old way I know how.
I found myself back in jail fighting a case. I’d heard outside about the quarantine upon one’s arrival, but it was crazy eating sack lunches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Which took some time getting used to and still trying to get used to.
I think what hurt the most is being indignant and not being able to speak to my family as I would like. We’re afforded two free phone calls per week but it’s not nearly enough after being away so long. Times have been hard with this COVID around. I was here in December of 2020 when the big outbreak hit and ended up with the virus myself.
Something strange happened while the outbreak hit here. We found out one of fellow southsider inmates had gotten the virus. This was before anyone else got it. They moved him out to quarantine along with his celly. A week later, they ran COVID tests on us all and moved 26 out of 32 of us out to other pods where there was people (inmates) without the virus there. It didn’t make sense to me why they would move us around? It almost seemed as if it was to spread the virus. Who knows? What I do know is the chest pain from COVID is no joke.
My celly would poke jokes at me, and make fat jokes of my wife, and how I should be used to the feeling of her laying on me. I know it’s an awful joke, but anything to ease the pains of bad times.
I’m sorry PrisonPandemic, but I gotta go now. I’m out of letter writing material, plus I have a three strike court date tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep. I draw a lot, so if interested please let me know and I hope asking for postage help isn’t much.