" THE NEW GREAT ESCAPE "
By: Guy Zappulla
The beams from the yards flood lights are still seperated by the bars on my cage, and my relic of a clock radio tells me it's almost 5am. I don't even remember where I got it from anymore, but it's exactly like the one my Mother had on her nightstand decades ago, you know the one, right next to the Lamp and Ashtray.
Plug in the already filled hot pot and slip the earbuds in as I turn on my outdated walkman. If a decent tune is on maybe my morning will start right, but I would rather listen to a commercial hawking rogaine instead of hearing that god forsaken count bell. It goes off every day at exactly 5:20am that same bell that signaled class was over rings for a full minute. I can't stand to listen to it anymore, but I know if my radio is at the right volume I won't have to.
Then of course some sadistic C.O. will hold his finger on the button just a bit longer to let me know I'm still in prison. Thank you for reminding me where I was, just in case I would'nt notice the steel toilet bowl and sink just inches from my head. Already dressed with my cup of no name instant coffee steaming next to me, I pull my typewriter close to me. My feet perched on the lid of the plastic storage bins, and my machine comes to life, now lets see if I can remove my mind from the institutional green walls that surround me. I'm not too fond of green walls, but I must admit between that and my darker state issued pants it brings out the color in my eyes nicely. I only know this as more than once I stared at the changing hues, I think I was looking deeper trying to find my soul which I never did see.
The night before I was cast into decades of organized limbo I sat quietly in my garage in, tightening a bolt and cleaned imaginary dust off a motorcycle I recently built. One of several but this one was special and only the very best money could buy was used in it's creation. Considering I sold far more sachels of cocaine than the circus sold those little light
up things kids twirled on a string it was under standable. The intricate paint job was designed with my at the time wife, holding ace's and eights, the "dead man's hand." Along it's corvette yellow sides was the crazy joker biting through the bars of a prison cell. I spent thousands on the art work alone, which she begged me to change. It's a jinx right from it's birth I clearly recall her saying.
In response to her physic ability, I promised to change it one day. Yet I went over this in my head far longer than I should have. As I watched this women predict evil in ways I still can't explain. In years prior she would have been burned at the stake for one of her predictions. Yet her visions was correct and only days later I went out and still never returned home. This after I was free from the grasp of over a decade of fighting to the middle of a heap of well dressed men pretending to be something they were'nt , testosterone fueled posturing and endless powered violence with a few valium vacations in between.
Now I reside in a world that revolves around a 5:20am bell. Becoming something I never thought I could be. I can no longer wield a knife on a piece of steak my comfortable wife supplied to me, as it feels wrong to hold the cold steel without feeling the anticipated rage before hearing the warning shot from a gun tower. I can't sleep unless it's on a hard piece of steel, with an inch thick piece of foam immitating a mattress, yet as hardened as I became I still need to put a pillow between my knees to not feel alone. 16 plus years after refusing to re-doe a paint job, which I concluded was the vehicle equivalent of walking under a ladder with a black cat perched on it. All I can do is turn up the volume on my headphones further and type faster. After I'm done I am always curious what the words on the paper will say but after being in a better place all day, it really doesn't matter.
Yet in the process I still have to be aware of where I am, never should I ever get so comfortable in my travels that I forget what surrounds me. Vermin that Lucifer himself could'nt imagine lurk at every turn and like the monsters they truly are try their hardest to hamper my journey.
One of them actually managed to claw across this very tale, almost hampering my escape. Now all I have to do is patiently wait till tomorrow at 5am to attempt it yet again...