Rumors and Miracles

One my first night at Bastrop FSC, I heard my first rumor. “Dude, you’ll be out by Christmas,” I was told.

I replied, “Yeah, Christmas 2020. I’m asking Santa for an iPhone 12”.

Undeterred, the inmate went on, “No man, you’ll be out this November. I heard it from my wife. Something big is happening in November.” His wife, by the way, is also in a Federal Prison Camp for women, both white-collar defendants.

Since then I’ve heard that every inmate over age 55 who has served 50% of his sentence is going home. I’ve also heard that the age is only 45. Either works for me. When 170-205 inmates are housed in a facility built for 90, a Petri dish is created for roaches and rumors. I may write about the roaches later if they don’t steal my legal pad.

I’ve wondered about why these rumors happen. I’m certainly not a psychologist, but I know a few and I’ve watched Oprah some. So I feel somewhat qualified to have an opinion, which is this…

The root of the rumors here is boredom. One of the challenges here is filling time. Some inmates have fallen into a routine of boredom as many of the jobs last only 1 to 2 hours per day and even these jobs are boring. They have not used their initiative to create activities to stimulate their mind or body. They have also neglected the spiritual aspects of their life. Many sleep or camp out in the TV room all day. This gradual atrophy leads to a feeling that nothing positive is going to occur without some external event, call it a miracle. I may be wrong, but chances are good that a miracle is not going to happen in the TV room, even if I put both hands on the screen.

Maybe the miracle is that I might be able to use this place to become a better person. Maybe the miracle happens a little bit every day. My hope is that writing this blog will help water the seeds of my own growth even though I have no idea where that growth will happen. Believe it or not, some of these posts require some thought and effort. Who knew?

That’s enough psychology for today. How cool will an iPhone 12 be? I can’t wait for Christmas.