I would serve the full sentence unless I got a reduction for good behavior or if I ever became eligible for parole.
Even though I was in this cell with Eddie, I was still feeling alone. Something was missing inside of me and I was looking for something to fill the void.
I started writing like crazy.
About fifteen to twenty letters a week.
The majority of them to a bunch of the kids from my youth group back in Germany. There were also letters to some of the people I hung around over the time I was AWOL.
The need to connect with people I was familiar with kept me writing.
The need for more paper, envelopes and stamps rapidly increased!
Some return letters started to trickle in.
Dee, my roommate from the Houston apartment, sent me a letter. She told me that Sid, my dealer, had finally been released from jail and was looking for a regular job.
I wondered how his time went in the Texas prison system.
Must have felt pretty nice to walk out of jail a free man.
It was about mid-February that I finally received the Bible my parents sent me.
I was pretty excited to get it and I started going through it. It had all kinds of extra stuff in it like the maps and reference material.
The best part to me was the study notes added in at the bottom of each page. This is where many biblical scholars (smarter people than me) grouped together to come up with an explanation of each verse or passage.
Like I said before, I was raised in the church. But, even with all the memorization and explanations I got from my parents, pastors and youth leaders, I still didn’t know what it all meant.
Or, I just didn’t ever care enough to take it seriously.
I was hoping that this Bible would answer some questions for me.
Because we could come and go into other cells Eddie and I had to deal with a particular civilian inmate named Mick Holt. He was 18 years old and just could not seem to stay out of trouble.
He was in jail for several charges of disturbing the peace, a DUI, and a charge of desecration of a grave. His goal seemed to be to get people upset by saying and doing stupid stuff.
Eddie was sleeping on his bunk when Mick came in and tapped him to wake him up. Eddie told him to leave and that he was trying to sleep. Mick did it again and Eddie’s tone changed to more annoyed when he repeated himself.
Yet again Mick shoved Eddie to get him up.
This time Eddie jumped up and said, “Leave me alone!” This set Mick off. He instantly rushed towards Eddie, and while grabbing him by the shirt, drug him down to the bunk and started punching him.
I immediately leaped onto Mick, and was able to grab him and pull him off of Eddie. Shoving him back towards the cell door, I shouted, “Get out of here!”
He looked like he was leaving so I turned around towards Eddie to check on him.
All of a sudden, I felt two blows to the back of my head. Mick had punched me. It stung but I did not go down.
With the anger building up inside of me, I turned around with clenched fists and locked eyes with Mick.
There must have been a possessed look on my face because Mick looked scared as he quickly turned around and left.
I felt something warm running down my neck and as I reached up to the back of my head I felt the spots where his fists landed. There were bumps forming and my hair my scalp was wet. I pulled my hand out of my hair to look at it and saw that it was covered in blood.
With the exception of a few minor sibling shoving matches with my brother Darren, I had never been in a fight before.
We never said anything to the guards, but Mick kept his distance for a while.
Mick grabbed a handful of magazines, tore out the pages one by one and shoved them into his toilet.
After he filled it up, he flushed it and kept shoving more into it. Eventually it clogged and started to overflow.
In a chain reaction, water started to come up through the drains in the middle of the floor throughout the entire jail.
With the water came unspeakable horrors and the smell was putrefying and unbearable.
We grabbed everything we had on the floor and quickly through it onto the metal slab bunks and then jumped on the bunks so as not to touch the sludge that was beginning to cover the entire floor.
The entire jail was in an uproar and the guards were at a loss.