Saturday, July 26, 2014


Day 23

Tuesday – September 12, 2006: When Tom woke up Tuesday morning he was not as funny or entertaining as he was when he went to bed Monday night. Tom suffered from snoring which might qualify as sleep apnea. Up on top the bunk it was vibrating with each sudden and violent reverberation. He was really making a racket, but I was willing to overlook it, being as I had some stress induced gas worse than anything I ever dealt with. Gangster did not have to request twice for me to climb down and get on the Boeing next time. He told me if I do it again without climbing down he would have to assume I don’t respect him. I answered him, “Oh, let’s not even say that, ok?”

“It’s as simple as that, just so you know.”

I laughed nervously, instinctively stalling for time and trying to think of ‘Valium Words’ since he was indicating a punch in the face might be on the agenda. “I’m an up-and-down-getting motherfucker. I would have done it the first time but I didn’t want to shake the bunk and disturb anyone’s slumber. I’m stinky considerate. My lawyer’s not going to negotiate any time off for me, but he got me nominated for most considerate ‘Cellie’ and most considerate newcomer for August. Two new deals he has working for me.” There was silence.

“Just get the fuck up and on the toilet. That was the worst thing I ever smelled. If you do it again, I’m gonna punch you in the face before I throw up.” Great. The toilet did work. If I sat on it and flushed, it vacuumed the air in its wind stream and removed the stench. Everything in the place reeked of 19th century thinking, except the toilet which was from the future. I am not sure if there was a message in that or not. I was looking for messages and reading between the lines everywhere. My mind was having cramps.

An hour or so later I’m climbing down to sit on the toilet. Perched on the Boeing, the relatively pristine silence was shaken by a jolt of sound and energy erupting from the bottom bunk. I braced, anticipating a second, third, and on into infinity. But it could have just been the one, an aberration; maybe he swallowed his tongue. No, a second roaring nasal belch two feet from Gangster’s head sounded. I was already wondering what snoring’s effect would register on the respect meter. The third hacking sinus struggle stirred Gangster, and before one or two more fleshy skids erupt, I hear “Are you fucking kidding me!” This was no joke. He smacks the bottom of my bunk above him and shouts; “Gilly, you hear this?”

I answered from where I sat on the Boeing being vacuumed. “I’m trying to time the flush of the toilet for between outbursts. If they both go off at the same time, I'm afraid I’ll be torn in half.” He rolled onto his right side and reached down, grabbing Tom and shaking him back to consciousness. Before Tom knew he was awake, Gangster had the floor. “Fuckhead! Did you know how loud you snore?”

Semi-consciously, Tom responded. “Yeah, I snore.”

“You should have said something. Listen, your not allowed to go back to sleep until you make sure me and Gilly are both sound asleep.” If I hear you snoring before I get back to sleep, then I’m gonna wake you up and knock you out, got it?”

“Yeah yeah yeah,” Tom was catching a stutter I thought.

It was quiet for awhile and twice I saw Tom get up to see if I was sleeping. He went over and stood at the door, looking out the window. He would have to move out, by faking an injury or illness; or fight Gangster. To remain in a cell like this or a dorm which might have 90 societal failures in one big room, you would have to be very popular and well liked not to get moved.