Christmas in Prison

After having made it through my first incarcerated Christmas… I can say without any equivocation that the hardest time an inmate will serve is that which gets notched during the holidays. The chips on our shoulders grow bolder.  The depressions in which we wade sink deeper. For obvious reasons.

There are those who don’t even try to hide their discomfort.  They hang their heads and mumble obscenities at the world for forgetting who they are.  Then there are some of us that try really hard to smile through it.  We attempt to make family-style feasts out of Top Ramen and tuna, and dessert trays out of melted candy bars and peanut butter.  We chain headphones together, listen to the radio, play cards and laugh.  Then we eat together, tell stories and laugh some more.   And just as a sense of camaraderie begins to overtake feelings of isolation…

…an ad on the radio tries to convince us that these special times with our families and those we love…

…might be more enjoyable in front of a brand new television.

It is at this moment that the punishment part of this sentence becomes crystal clear. It is at this moment that I realize* that I miss my son so much, a physical pain has developed in my chest and the hole this moment has drilled in my heart makes my breaths come short and shallow.  I wouldn’t wish this moment on my worst enemy.

Via The Blackmarket Arts, a blog of illustrations and thoughts from the inside.