Groundhog Day

My day today started at 4:45am with the arrival of Kyzer, a German Shepherd I’m currently training. It’s foggy outside, real foggy. I now understand why they call this London, Ohio. It looks like I won’t be able to get any training outside this morning, as this place will count us over and over again until the fog vanishes, and even then they sometimes keep counting. The whole morning is shot.

I just remembered that today is a holiday. It’s no surprise, really, that I’d forget such a thing, as everyday here is like the previous one. Groundhog Day to the extreme. I’m not complaining, mind you; routine is a good thing in This World. Most of the time I pay no attention to the holidays, as I’ve long since stopped paying attention to time. But for what it’s worth, two of my favorite holidays are New Year’s and the Fourth of July. New Year’s because it’s a holiday of renewal and optimism, and partly because all kinds of crazy stuff usually happens here; the Fourth of July, because I grew up in a very patriotic family, and love of country was instilled in us kids at an early age. The 4th was always a special event. I miss the cookouts with family and the fun times…I wonder what the Fourth of July meal will be today?

I just got back from lunch; bland macaroni (no cheese), cold shredded cabbage with vinegar, an orange, and a processed chicken patty. I’m pretty sure the patty is all butts, innards, feet, and beaks. I once watched a special on how no part of a chicken is wasted, and how these parts become processed “patties”, or find their way into dog food…. Whatever happened to hotdogs and burgers?

The fog finally rolled away, and we were allowed movement. I tried training Kyzer, but he wasn’t having any of it. He lasted all of 10 minutes in the 92F heat. Damn the fog; a day wasted. I feel annoyed now.

I’m back on my bunk sweating my ass off. My clock reads 95F. Kyzer has gone for the day. I’m sitting in front of my 8″ fan, praying for relief. I think I’m gonna lay here for the rest of the afternoon and sweat. If I weren’t so hot I’d get up and go take a cold shower, but that involves standing in a long line in a hot and steamy bathroom. I’m gonna make a go at a cat nap first. Someone just told me that the guard is calling for me for some reason. What could he possibly want?

Wow. Someone just dropped off their dog for two weeks of boarding and left no instructions, other than to say they’ll be on vacation, the dog’s name is Jax, here’s some food, dog treats, and two weeks of prepaid boarding tickets (it’s how I get paid). When I asked the guard who dropped the dog off, he simply said, “I don’t know.” Well bud, do ya think you could find out? After some calling around, NO ONE seems to know whose dog this is. Someone must be dead serious about that vacation.

So, today is the Fourth of July. When I was a boy, my dad always took us kids to Washington, D.C. to the clock tower overlooking the Potomac and the mall to watch the fireworks. We lived in northern Virginia, and D.C. was just 20 minutes away. From our perch on the hill, we were close to the fireworks-VERY close, and you felt each explosion reverberate through your entire body. Each burst flash-lit the dark landscape. It was amazing, fun, and awe inspiring. When I grew older, I still went to see the fireworks, except now it was with friends and coworkers. I always staked out the same spots where Dad took us as kids. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to see the fireworks in D.C. again.

Earlier I was in the dayroom watching the world news. Two Muslim inmates were having an animated discussion amongst themselves, about how shameful it is to have a military parade today in our nation’s capital. What? I think it’s shameful that they take for granted that they can say it’s shameful to put on a parade. One of them, coincidentally, was a former cell mate of mine 17 years ago. Unbeknownst to him I had a brother in the Army pulling his first tour in Iraq, when one night after watching the news he turned to me and said, “American troops are terrorists and must die.” Needless to say, I instantly had a hands on understanding with him.

I’m looking out of my window and I can see fireworks. They’re part of the show that the city of London is putting on. Every year they put on a show, and this year is their best one yet. Man, they spent some money this time around. The economy must be good out there.

The show is over now, and it lifted my spirit. It made me remember how much I used to like this day. I hope I can sleep tonight in this heat, because tomorrow comes quickly. I need to be up at 4:30am to receive Kyzer again. Just another Groundhog Day, but I’m not complaining.

*If you enjoyed this post, please like and share with your friends. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing for you! Also, if you know of other blogs written by inmates, please let me know because I enjoy reading what other guys write. Frankly, it helps keep me sane.

—Christopher