It all started out with me waking up angry.
I was in Sac County Jail 6 west cell 102 and I was furious for not having received emails for a few days. As soon as I woke up, I heard my celly jokingly say, “Master Dragon Master Dragon, it’s chow time!” I meant to say “Where’s the ***king emails?” but my tongue slipped and I ended up blurting out “Where’s the ***king enemies? I’m hella mad!” Now as I write this, it is hopelessly funny to me, but at the time of anger I found nothing funny about it. My celly on the other hand, almost died laughing. He laughed for over five minutes straight, and instead of laughing along, inwardly I began to burn and become furious. I woke up angry and now someone was laughing at me nonstop. And then our cell door popped to get dinner.
I walked out to my friend Tommy who served dinner, and asked, “Did they (police) pass out emails yet?” He looked at me in annoyance and said, “I don’t think so.” And as I walked off, he said, “Why don’t you ever ask the cops?” I got angry but simply said, “I was asleep!” And he said, “But what about before? You asked me once right after a cop walked by!”
Fuming, I went to my cell to drop my food off, and prepared to go back out to confront Tommy. I was going to say, “What’s up man? You got a problem with me asking you questions? What’s up man?” In jail these are fighting words and I was ready for a fight. Yet I told my celly what I was going to say as I walked out, and he stopped me, telling me to calm down.
I fumed a bit, and took his advice. After reflecting on it, I became glad I said nothing. There would have been a fight for nothing.
But as we were eating dinner, a man came by our cell to buy a christmas card. As he was deciding on which one to buy, another man walked by and said, “Don’t buy that, that looks stupid.”
Now it was my cellies turn to be angry.
Now he was thinking of fighting. He asked me, “Should I say some shit to him? Should I give him some shit?” I said, “Nah man, it’s not worth it. You saved me from fighting with Tommy, I’m gonna save you from fighting with [that guy].”
Meanwhile, I was still angry and depressed at not having received an email. Then emails came and I got nothing, but my celly learned he is now a grandpa. I was happy for him obviously, but I was still depressed at my own lack of an email. I laid on my bed under my covers in a dark cloud. I prayed to God but was feeling a wave of hatred of being in jail, at not having been written and at life in general, it all came hitting me at once.
However, I felt the need to apologize to Tommy in case I had an attitude when first confronting him about emails. Tommy later came by just to see what’s up. I chose that as the opportunity to apologize saying, “Hey bro, I don’t know if I got at you wrong way earlier.” He said, “Nah nah I was just joking.” But I told him anyways, ‘I woke up on the wrong side of the bed man, just thought I’d let you know.” And it was good.
But I didn’t trust myself to speak further at that point and again went to being a depressed hermit. My celly, feeling the tension in the air said, “We need to read the bible man.”
With that said, he took my bible, sat by the door and flipped to a page at random, and began reading the first verse he saw.”
Low and behold, he flipped to Lamentations 5:10-18, which happened to be a verse I was looking for, for an entire year because it spoke of the rape of women in Zion, which bothered me for a long time. I stopped my celly from reading and asked him what book in the bible he was reading from. He was unfamiliar with the bible and took a while to tell me the location. As soon as he told me, I grabbed my other bible (I had 3, 2 sent from parents) and found the spot.
The book of Lamentations was deep poetry of the depression and crisis of Jerusalem at that time, and the words were shocking me since I was in a depressed mood. But my current situation looked so weak compared to the tears I felt leaking from those pages. The sorrow at Jeremiah made me feel like I was walking in a park.
Suddenly, as we read, we hear a great commotion outside.
A great argument was going on between two people, which happened to be Tommy and someone in their cell.
Had the doors not separated them there could have been blows.
My celly looked at me in wonder and said, “See? Isn’t that amazing how anger spreads like that? It bounced from you to me and then to Tommy!”
Anger is like a bad spirit that when kicked from one vessel, latches onto another.
My celly began to call Tommy over, and he had to call over eight times to get him to listen. Tommy came, too furious to listen to words, he went towards us furiously, but all my celly kept telling him was, “Tommy! You are a man of God. Tommy! Look, in my eyes you are a man of God!” And Tommy’s anger began to simmer.
This experience just shows me how important the church, God’s body, and brothers and sisters of Christ can be. Together with God’s spirit we conquered the hate and evil spirit together, and had we not had each other, my situation today could be very different.
I hope we all learn that a brief second to reflect on our situation can prevent 100 days of sorrow, and that alone we can all fall but together, holding each other up we can remain standing. May I never forget this experience for the rest of my life.
P.S. I don’t know if this is at all relevant, but over a month ago (11-14-14) my dad sent me seven christian books called “Life study of Genesis books 1-7” but I received a note by the jail saying the books were rejected and sent back since they surpassed five books, which is the max we can receive at one time. As soon as my celly and I were back to a cheerful state, about the exact same moment that we finished discussing the nights event, a guard suddenly opened our doors with his keys, shocking us, and gave me the seven christian books. THe day this happened is 12-16-2014, coincidence? I may never know.