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Multnomah County Corrections

Beaverton, OR

September 25th, 2021

There had been no judge that could see him on Friday despite the fact that he’d been hauled in during midday, so that meant he wouldn’t get to see a judge until Monday when he would be arraigned and released. He knew the drill, they could hold him for a short while on a misdemeanor but given the current state of overcrowding in the jails in these parts it was necessary to weed out the truly bad eggs and keep them on lockdown while those that were brought in for minor offenses, such as his, weren’t really worth the taxpayers’ time or resources. It was nice though to have a place to rest his head for a couple of days that wasn’t bare stone or dirt.

Sitting up in his bunk he’d been reading one of the few paperbacks that he’d found lying on the single table bolted to the far wall. After asking his cellmate if they were his the other man had grunted a negative, meaning that he could go ahead and do what he wanted with them. Between a Tom Clancy novel, a Christian romance, and some weird fantasy novel about a woman dressed all in green and hovering in midair on the cover he’d opted for Clancy. Normally when he read he preferred horror or fiction thrillers, but Clancy wasn’t too bad to be honest. He was little heavy on pointing out just who did what and for how long and yada yada yada, but that was obviously his writing style.

So far he’d managed to make his way through about a third of the book since picking it up, as going out into the common area didn’t hold a lot of appeal for him. It had nothing to do with his former profession, he simply didn’t feel like going anywhere at this particular moment. Of course when the buzzer for mealtime sounded he put the book down, careful to mark his place, and was sliding off of his bunk as his cellmate was already through the door.

Breakfast that morning had consisted of puffed rice cereal, a cold hardboiled egg, a carton of milk and a small packet of sugar. He’d gladly given his cereal to someone else without thinking to ask for anything. This was what inmates did, they bartered with each other for just about anything they could while offering what they had decided they could live without. It was what was done on the inside as he’d seen it, and for the most part some of them just wanted a little extra here and there since their meals were fairly sparse and came three times a day and no more.

Lunch was a single hot dog in what looked like watered-down chili, a handful of corn chips in the upper right corner of the lunch tray, and a carton of milk. Oh and of course there were two slices of white bread to go with everything. Bread was a common staple in a lot of jails as he’d seen, though he couldn’t figure out why. Some jails went through enough bread to feed a third-world country, but at least the inmates ate everything that was on their plate. Some of them, as he’d seen, tried to use the extra bread to make their own version of alcohol, a concoction called Pruno. The smell of the stuff was awful, and he’d confiscated more than one cup of it in his time spent as a guard.

Inmates did just about anything to pass the time, as there wasn’t a lot else they could do.

(to be continued)

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