Day 002: The edge that cuts deep

August 23, 2008 | Saturday

I HAVE NO IDEA what time of day it is. I have no watch, and for this reason will just say, generally, “morning,” “afternoon,” “evening,” and “late night.” Should work.

It’s morning. All of my privileges have been suspended for 120 days. It’s alleged that I had a cellphone, against prison policy. Such is life. I awoke to a breakfast of eggs, stone biscuits, oatmeal and sliced pears. Breakfast is served at 3 a.m. Unbelievable? It’s true. I’ve stayed up because I have several notes to write. I am on one (of two) of the sections reserved for Death Watch, but have several friends on the opposite side of the cellblock, men who are not in any immediate danger of being executed I want to let them know that I am here on Death Watch and ask if they can spare coffee and food. Hope maybe they can sneak a radio to me also, but that’s only wishful thinking. I miss listening to Rock ‘n Roll and and the football games. The Dallas Cowboys football games. 

There are 12 other men around me who also have execution dates. One man (Elkie Taylor) is scheduled for an execution on the same day that I am. That’s crazy. Can’t say that any of them are close friends, but I do know them all. To understand this, go to the Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and read “An American Chronicle.” Friendship in this place is a two-edged sword. On the one side, it is nice to have friends, but losing them is hard and that’s the edge that cuts deep.  

It’s morning, and the first round of those scheduled to get out to stretch (recreate?) will be out soon. William Murray (Scooter) is up first.  I will ask him to send my notes under the door and to their destination on the other side of the cellblock. I have a pole tied to a string that I use to reach the recreation cage. My turn to get out and stretch comes up later.

It’s afternoon. I have gone out to stretch and have showered. I was escorted into the next section over. That section is also reserved for Death Watch and consists of 14 cells. However, these cells are empty.  Since the Supreme Court decided to resume executions, those cells were emptied in anticipation of the arrival of the number of men who have lost their appeals and await executions. These sections have not always been Death Watch. I was once housed here among other men. It seemed strange, to pace around and not speak to them, or anyone. Everybody is gone. The cells are empty.

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One Response to “Day 002: The edge that cuts deep”

  1. Françoise Casanova Says:

    There is a strange feeling of irrealty and deep solitude coming out of your description of those empty cells.
    But you have your own inside life, Roy, rich of inner thoughts and friends supporting you.
    Cheer up!
    Françoise & Luigi

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