I got up very early today to get my khakis, which is the official uniform, since I only had a temporary clothing since intake. My “cellie” lent me a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants because the transitional uniform was very uncomfortable. The laundry department issues clothing and they gave me a coat, 4 shirts and slacks, cap, boxers and undershirts, and a very uncomfortable pair of steel-toed boots. I have plantar fasciitis so I can’t wear the hard boots that are the normal issue. I went to medical to request a soft shoe pass so that I can trade the leather boots for shoes that look like black tennis shoes. Thank God I had the orthopedic inserts I brought with me! I had a doctor’s letter stating that I needed them so these inserts are considered medical equipment. Also, the doctor’s letter will short cut the soft shoe pass approval. But, they took my temp shoes away so I have to wear the boots until I get soft shoes.
After lunch, I went to pick up my commissary order. It was a big order. You must buy a stereo radio and headphones to watch any TV or get music. A pair of tennis shoes are an absolute necessity to do any athletics or walk the track at all. I got a small amount of food, a watch, a razor and some other toiletries. There were other things that I cannot remember right now. I went over-board on my first order but I understand that most new inmates do. The prison gives a new inmate very little so the commissary is the natural place to get the things to make prison life comfortable.
As I mentioned in the last post, the food is not good. This is a sampling of the food they are giving us: Tuesday dinner: sub and small salad; Wednesday meals: breakfast – 2 pancakes and bad bran cereal (I ordered some raisin bran from the commissary for this reason); lunch – hamburger (dried and overcooked) and fries (not too bad); dinner – Spaghetti with meat sauce; Thursday lunch: baked chicken and mashed potatoes. I have been drinking water at each meal because the only alternative is sweet drinks.
Sleeping has been a major issue. The guy in the next cell snores all night long. Most of the inmates near me are young and like to stay up late. Most don’t care about keeping regular hours. I try to hit the sack around 10 pm and wake up at 6 am. Inevitably, there is no time where it is completely dark or quiet. Everyone says I will get used to it. Seems hard to believe. I have a cloth to put over my eyes to block out the light.