I wake up to another roll call. This time I’m moving to a cell. I can’t remember where in the jail I moved. I know it wasn’t Charlie or Abel row; those are restricted as the Blood and Crip tiers. I was told I was being moved to a four-man cell. I roll up and follow the guards to my new home; the four-man cell has four guys in it already. Once in the cell, I’m told that the new guy sleeps under one of the bunks. Great. After chow, I laid out my bedding and started to nod off under the first bunk. An hour or so after lights out, I wake up to a small mouse sitting on my chest staring at me.
While in this cell I received two visits. The first visit was from my brother and my mother. Neither of them was ecstatic or proud.
The next visit was from my buddy Lance and a friend of his named Todd (I would call him Grape Ape, so I wouldn’t confuse him with the other Todd). A little bit better of a visit. Not that I didn’t want to see family, but the look on their faces reminded me of what a tremendous mistake I made. Lance brought his son’s mother along, but she was wearing shorts, so they denied her visitation privileges.
Just like the other four places, I was sleeping in; 3:00 a.m. wake up call. Get in line to catch the chain to Pitchess Detention Center. I don’t remember much about this bus ride. I slept through most of it. I woke up when we were passing Magic Mountain, and thought to myself, “If I escape from this place I’m going to scale the fence and ride the Colossus.”
The whole bus unloads, we strip, spread ‘em, lift the sack, the feet, then one of the inmates screamed, as we are bent over, “Cough.” Everybody starts coughing, the sheriffs lose it “Stop it, stop it now you faggots.” At this early hour of the morning, it was hard to figure out who shouted “Cough,” I thought it was one of the sheriffs.
We turn in our dark blue scrubs from L.A. County and put on a pair of baby blue scrubs. From there we marched down to the lower yard at Wayside. The sheriffs refer to this yard as Beirut. By the time I got to Beirut, I had been locked up at County for two weeks. Once I get to my assigned barrack, I am told to gather around, the “head of the wood car” looks like a human skull, with a blond stripe running from his bottom lip to his Adam’s apple. He was tattooed all over with various white power slogans and the two lightning bolts. Again, we got the speech: “No eating with the toads, no using the shower if there are toads in there. And if shit jumps off, the Southsiders got our backs.” Some of us nod; a few of the others love this. Within three days we were all marched to the main office, stripped of the baby blue scrubs and moved into bright orange scrubs. Once fitted with the new gear we were then marched into the second barrack from the mess hall – the fire barrack. Now the fire barrack is the worst place to be. Out in Castaic Lake during the summers there are tons of brush fires and the local fire department can only do so much, so Wayside volunteers its less favorable inmates to join in and fight fires. And when there are no fires they run through the hills doing training exercises, wearing fire gear and carrying hoses. Like the previous times, all the “new” woods are called together, and all the rules are gone over again. The head of the white car in this barrack is borderline retarded, something is just off, and the second in command is a kid who looks fourteen, but says he’s “Almost nineteen.” As if the Alka-Seltzer story wasn’t bad enough — the head wood says “If you stay in the fire barrack you’ll be given one of these great firefighter belt buckles,” he then lifts up his shirt and the head of his penis is sticking out of his pants. All at once everybody lets out a big “Dude, what the fuck?” I head over to the front of the barrack to try and find something to read.