When they carried Whisper’s body by my cage, I saw he suffered extreme trauma to the side of his head.
In a prison economy where commissary groceries are substituted for most currency, sugar snacks hold their value as securely as illegal drugs. A box of Nutty Buddies may cost the same as a pouch of tuna inside the commissary, but sometime after that box of Nutty Buddies would trade for two of those tunas.
What do you call it when preventable death occurs because of apathy or perhaps deliberate indifference?
Being an optimist probably means avoiding particular thoughts to turn that frown upside down. I’ve got to find a way to gloss over the dark emptiness of my life, the way I imagine anyone still left with hope does.
I’d spent so much of my youth digging through dumpsters; it only followed that I’d play and dream in them for hours, alternating between martial arts hero—leaping and slipping onto the soft trash—and spinning body contortions in front of an awed audience as my fantasy switched to stage dancing. In those trashcan moments, I was neither lonely nor helpless.
Playing the role of Beast is easy—a disposable person, subhuman, monster…it’s all the same. It’s an easy role to play because it’s the label I’ve been wearing for almost 20 years.
The cellblock goes unnaturally quiet, and I feel an eerie tingle pass through me as a dead human being, surrounded by prison guards, rolls quickly past my cage on a gurney.