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Solitary Confinement

Lakiesha Smith

Solitary Confinement

If it ain’t already enough being in prison, they have the audacity to have a place called the hole. It’s for people who act out or just don’t work well with others I guess lol. So everyday at 6am is mail call. You have to actually get up and wait to see if your name is called. If it isn’t called oh well but if it’s called and you’re not there you got to wait until the next day. 

              So I woke up late one day and everybody was telling me my name was called at the mail line that morning. I was pissed because I had been waiting for a letter for days. I immediately got up, took a shower and went to ask the CO on duty did I have any mail. When I walked up to his desk he asked me what did I want. I swear these workers were so rude. They spoke to us like we wasn’t even human beings. I cleared my voice and asked did I have mail. He said it don’t matter if you do or don’t because I put it all up till tomorrow. Like I said I had been waiting for mail all week so I can admit I got a little heated. I asked could I please please please get it and he told me to get my black ass outta his face. He was black too but whatever. I turned around and said something under my breath like stupid-ass bitch. I guess it wasn’t as under my breath as I thought cause he screamed and said what did you just say. I just kept walking. He yelled my name again and told me to go pack my shit up I was going to the hole. I’m like huh? I didn’t even say anything. Yeah I had said something but yoooo I didn’t wanna go to the hole tho. I had heard stories about it and didn’t wanna see for myself. He told the guard sitting down to put the handcuffs on me. I was so lost, like, are you taking this a little far? He said your smart mouth just landed you a trip to the hole and they drug me away. 

              The hole was in another building all the way in back of the prison. It looked like it was made out of old tin cans. I kept explaining to the guard that I didn’t say anything but he didn’t wanna hear it. I was scared because everyone use to tell me stories about the hole. They took me into the building and there was another guard waiting to check me in. They took all of my belongings and told me to change into this mumu that looked like a potato sack. I changed my clothes and they led me down a dark-ass hall then opened up the door to a cell. This cell was much smaller than the other ones. It had a small bunk bed inside and a little bitty window with bars over it. They slammed the door behind me and that was it. They told me for talking back to the CO I had to do 15 days in the hole. I sat on the bed and instantly started crying. I didn’t know how much more I could take. I felt that I was definitely at my lowest point in life. 

              It was day 1 of 15 days in the hole and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I stood up and looked out the window and all I could see was grass and barbed wire fences. The view was so shitty but I had nothing else to do with myself. I knocked on the door and asked the CO could he bring me a pen and paper but he said he couldn’t help me. I sat back down on my little hard-ass bed and just stared in the air. Eventually I rocked myself to sleep. 

              I was woke up the next day to the CO sliding my food under my door. The food was cold and like why would y’all slide my food to me on the floor. Like gross. Honestly I didn’t even have an appetite. What the hell was I gone do for 14 more days. Once again I looked out the window and yeah it was the same view but this day it seemed a little calmer. I stared out the window for about an hour. I wasn’t really looking at the view I was looking at the peace the view gave me. For the next 13 days I started doing anything to help my time go past. I started doing sit ups and jumping jacks and on day 8 the CO even gave me a book. Slid it under the door like a special delivery from Amazon. It was some old white romance novel that looked like it was a million years old but I took that baby and read it twice. One time I even read a few chapters while gazing out of the window. They said the hole was so bad but actually I liked the peace and quiet. It’s like I had a one-bedroom condo in prison. Yeah it was dirty, yeah it sorta has a stinky smell to it, but being away from all those other women was peaceful. I sat there for the next few days just reflecting. I came to the conclusion that for one I gotta watch what I said up in there and for two to make the best of any situation.

Painting by Gwynne Duncan 

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