[Note: This is the second of Paddy Mitchell’s seven final blog entries, written shortly before his death on January 14, 2007, and mailed to Ottawa to be posted on his blog. The series is being published posthumously between January 21 and January 25th.]
These places afford people (inmates) plenty of time to read. Dozens of periodicals come every day in the mail; newspapers come daily from all over the country, and the library is overflowing with books – dozens of inmates belong to book clubs and when they finish reading the books, they donate them to the library. I only have one subscription to a magazine and that’s G.Q. But I get to read Newsweek, Time, U.S. News, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair,…etc.
Right now, I’m 100 pages into a great book by Amy Sohn, titled “My Old Man”. It’s “Chick Lit” and is it funny. The author doesn’t pull any punches with her descriptions about her thoughts about sex. I don’t select books by their sexual content, like a lot of inmates do. Especially, most of the blacks. If someone doesn’t get laid by the third page…
Anyhow, I’ve been out of circulation for thirteen years, and I can’t believe the change in attitude and thinking. Not that there’s anything terrible going on, it’s just that people (especially women) are finally expressing their thoughts and feelings about sex. Wow! This book is an eye-opener for me. And I was concerned about two words in one of my previous letters.
I’m just heading out to the chow hall for lunch. They are having some kind of fried fish sandwich, but I’m just going to see what kind of vegetables they have that I can smuggle out and get back to my unit, in order to make a bowl of soup with them. I don’t like the fish, it’s deep-fried and has been dipped in bread crumbs or something, served on a hamburger bun. If my mission is successful, I’ll eat healthy, if not, I’ll try again at dinner time. The guards at the exit door at dinner time are more relaxed than the noon ones; the noon ones try to impress the bosses that abound during the day. But I’m quick and slick….
NOTE: I don’t know if all these things I’ve been writing about on this blog are interesting to others. I’m new at all this. But don’t give up on me, I’ll get better! I’m just getting my writing skills back after 6 or 8 months of not being able to hold pen in hand. I have some interesting things to write – I’m just feeling my way towards them.