As the heavy door slid shut and the echo of steel on steel reverberated in the small concrete space, the new inmate did not make eye contact with his cellmate, instead, he walked quietly to his cot and sat down, his folded blanket and pillow in his lap.
“Whadaya in for?” the cellmate asked after the guard left.
“You don’t want to know.” he said quietly into his pillow.
“You a wise guy or something? the cellmate asked, the threat in his voice was unmistakable. “How ’bout you answer my question or I get up and come over there.”
The new inmate did not flinch or say anything. He just sat there on his cot, his hands and stare focused on his pillow.
The cellmate started to get up–
“Possession of a US mail bin…..”
The guy sat down hard, as if the wind had been knocked out of him.
The new inmate turned slowly, catching a glance from his cellmate who quickly turned away and was breathing rapidly while nervously smoothing the non-existent wrinkles from his pant leg. He tried to form words but nothing came out of his mouth.
“I was carrying Costco items in it…” the new inmate continued, each word spoken slowly and deliberately.
The cellmate nervously stood then walked in clipped steps to the front of the cell, placing his large hands around the rungs, squeezing them until his knuckles were white. He took a few deep breaths and closed his eyes before screaming out—
“Guards! Guards!” he shouted while looking back over his shoulder; the new inmate lowered his head without breaking eye contact..
“It was pretty heavy….” the new inmate added, and could see the dark stain of urine spreading out along the seat of his cellmate’s pants.
“Guards! Guards!… guar–” the cellmate shouted, his voice choked back by a sobbing cry. “Help me… please God help me he said, his head hung low beneath the sliding grip of the bars as he sank to the floor, his forehead resting against the cold steel.
“That’s when my mail carrier, Angie, spotted me…. I had almost made it to the garage…” the new inmate said getting up to approach his cellmate before lowering himself then his voice to a whisper, the last of his words pounding in his cellmate’s ear like nails in a coffin as his hands came up and clasped on the pate of his bald head, feeling inches away from his extinguishing life.
“What’s going on here?” the guard asked unconcerned, his arm crossing casually over his belt to rest both hands on the baton at his side.
“Nothing,” the new inmate said… “Just getting to know each other,” he added with a smile then patting his cellmate on the shoulder as he stood and walked back to his cot.
“Well… get up and clean yourself off. You better figure out how to get along, because the new guy’s in for another three years.”
During our recent trip out west and then continuing with a NE loop, we had our mail held. When I got back, they handed me this US mail bin, which has made for some uneasy night’s sleeping until I know it has been returned. I was more concerned with this than I was with Dorian.