Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 18

Thursday – September 7, 2006: Our new ‘Cellie’ - I believe his name was Glenn - did not make it till lights out. He hit the button screaming “nervous breakdown!” semi-hysterically even by the tough asylum grading. Gangster did not try to yell over him. I could feel the bunk shaking from his laughter below me. I am certain I was not as happy on the streets as Gangster now appeared, his heroin hangover over. His mood was also buoyed by the wad of illicit contraband he pulled from his rectum, which he used to perform his of version of the loaves and fishes, resulting in a stockpile of edible garbage. He probably did not operate as efficiently on the streets as here. It’s hard to pull something out of your ass and produce enough food for a month on the outside.

The same crew as the night before arrived to pick a nervous and stuttering Glenn up from where he sat on the toilet. He walked into the cell Wednesday morning with his chest cartoonishly puffed out. The pose was so strenuous to hold, he could not breathe and got dizzy. He did not have both feet inside number 24 yet when Gangster greeted him.

“What the fuck are you supposed to be, huh?” I assumed it was a rhetorical question or I would have buzzed in, that’s how ridiculously obvious he looked. “A fuckin orange peacock?” Our new cellie was off to a bad start, and the look on his face had no comeback in it. In one minute, Gangster literally and figuratively deflated him. Then he went about picking him apart the way I have seen lawyers pick apart witnesses in the movies, except with a much cruder and vulgar vocabulary and maybe an indication or two of psychopathic behavior. The bottom line was, with all the groceries Gangster accumulated, there wasn’t enough room in there for another guy; 300 Top Ramen soups, while nutritionally empty, still covers a lot of cubic square feet.

Glenn’s stutter amused Gangster in an interesting way to me: he wanted to take credit for it. After Glenn left, or rather, was escorted out sobbing with a blanket over his head, Gangster got up and stood facing me. “Did you hear the blubbering and stuttering coming out of the Peacock’s mouth? He had snot all over his shirt and pants. That’s not so easy to produce Gilly! He turned into a crying, stuttering, little bitch after I let the air out of him, huh!” Glenn – if that was in fact his name – was not a small guy, nor was he old. On the streets, without knowing either of them, one would have thought it a fair fight. I did not get an opportunity, nor did I seek one, to speak to Glenn directly. He seemed confused, of course Gangster’s rapid fire style of questioning in order to defeather the Peacock might have had something to do with it. But anyone stupid enough to walk into a County jail, with, pound for pound, some of the sickest people in the world, believing yourself capable of being a one man ‘Shock and Awe’ repellant force simply underscores his fuzzy relationship with reality. Still, Gangster was taking mental illness where I never saw it go before.

“That stutter wasn’t there when he came strutting in. You see how he was walking Gilly? Wonder what song he had playing in his head for the soundtrack to go with that puffy-walk. I hope that stutter he had by the end of the day, stays as bad as it was when he left. Fuck him,” he said as he gave the back of the cell door the finger.