By: Alan Berger
I had the top bunk in jail.
It wasn’t lonely at the top, or at the bottom in any of the bunks in dorm A.
One of the most emotional sightings I had was in the first ten days.
A guy. A few rows down, kept on reading the same letter, from the same soon be ex-wife, over and and over, again and again, but every solitary single time, it came out the same.
I was so glad to have a wife waiting for me until I got my “Love letter”, from my legal paramour a week later.
In dorm A, like in any jail, a guy gets a cold, sooner or later, we all do.
Only the names were changed to protect the guilty.
A few thousand guys, most doing the last few laps of their twenty – year sentences at a minimum fed prison as a reward for not killing anyone while in jail, and about ten percent white collar white guys like me. Cheats, con-men ins fraud doctors, lawyers, what have you. Certainly not killers like our bunk mates.
Even some Mormens. The good news was, nobody wanted any trouble.
The white – collar guys, most of whom have never been in a fight in their lives including yours un-truly, and the guys who were all ganged up. All just wanted to be nice and after thirty years, go home, if there ever was one or one you had hoped stayed the same.
The bad new was, this was jail, and anything could happen.
Nobody wants, “The motherfuckin climbing up and down monkey ass top motherfuckin bunk”
But you see, I’m a monkey anyways, so it was a fit.
I also had no choice which is sometimes, just the way I like it.
You would think with so many guys a suicide would be common. No convict ever did himself in while I was there. I think if a black woman or a Hispanic, women wrote a letter wanting a divorce her future would be eliminated, terminated, and asked to resign their ganghood.
Once in a while a white ex-exec type of guy had to be put on suicide watch after his childhood sweetheart sent him a picture of her blowing the pool boy. The one receiving the photo was always white.
I’m white. I am not a racist, but I know where it’s at.
You to take the worst of it and make the best of it.
My personal best of it was I would write a screenplay about it all and make a lot of fucking money without being incarcerated, again, my fantasy was that Clint Eastwood reads it and want to make a deal and were are having lunch and it’s all happening and I turn to him and say, “What’s this I hear hear you want to not only buy this piece, but to direct it too’’?
Anyway I was a casting director for a bit with a film background and the warden knew this and asked if I would be interested in teaching a writing class. I thought it would be great telling convicts how to tell stories.
It turned out to be a course in how to write letters home that were not all about them and how to let them know you’re are thinking of them and what they are going thru. It worked. I liked it.
Then it was time to go home for me.
But right before I left a, guard shot himself in the parking lot.
The same parking lot that he used to have a nice side business brining Dominos’ Pizza in for the inmates.
The warden stopped it. His wife had to become a whore like she use to be and the rest is jailhouse history.