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An annotated illustration of a prison cell showing how its resident keeps cool on a sweltering hot summer day
Illustration by Arnoldo Juarez

Back in June, I was trying to stave off the heat during a sizzling weekend. Here is an annotated illustration of me in my cell:

  1. This is me, wearing light gray shorts and white socks, attempting to stay cool in my bunk. 
  2. I often check the local weather forecast to prepare for the day. Today, the high is supposed to be 86 degrees. Yesterday, it was 97.
  3. My light gray sweater, white thermal shirt and dark gray beanie are nicely folded on top of my TV. 
  4. My lovely and reliable fan has been with me for 13 summers. 
  5. After being washed, my shirt is hanging and should be ready for tomorrow’s hot weather. 
  6. It’s mid-June … Summer hasn’t even started.
  7. I don’t care how smoldering hot the cell becomes, I smother all my food with Sriracha hot sauce!

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Arnoldo Juarez is an artist incarcerated in California.