Tough Monday – I was the victim of a burglary –the prison guards informed me that it was not a robbery because a gun was not involved. It happened at my studio - a quick trip to the bathroom, door unlocked, and some dickhead comes in and steals a bunch of stuff. Fortunately our paths didn’t cross. The dickhead wasted no time and within 10 minutes was using my credit cards at Ralph's, CVS and Home Depot. Ugh. I waited all day for the police to arrive but apparently they were having a tough Monday as well and my burglary was not top priority.
With a stiff upper lip I forged onto teaching the night class at the prison.
The deal at the prison is usually the guards are not so warm and fuzzy – I get the impression that they are not thrilled with our program of bringing the arts into prison – they are polite but never chatty. Monday was a different deal. At every check point I informed each guard that I was robbed! Rather burgled! And now I was in prison! The irony of it all! I had their full attention. They were sympathetic, supportive, eager to offer advice and engaged. For this I was thankful, because apparently for this job I signed a “non-negotiable” clause – I will sign anything, but damn, I would like to be negotiated for. Now at least the guards now know who I am and hopefully will keep an extra eye out for me.
When the class arrived and I told the students, the prisoners – who are robbers, murders, rapists - that I was the victim of a burglary. I told them how lucky I was not to have bumped into the dickhead because who knows what could have happened! They too were sympathetic, supportive, and eager to offer advice – go figure.
I then attempted to teach 3 point perspective, a tricky concept on the best of days, I was a bit distracted.
At the end of the cluster f@)*# of the dreaded 3 point perspective lesson, everyone was checking back in their pencils, erasers and rulers, when I noticed a pencil sharpener was missing. My ace supervisor Stephanie and I searched high and low and it was nowhere to be found. The guys searched – honestly – class is held in a barren gym - there are not a lot of places it would have gone. The guys were getting visibly upset and asking if we were going to report this and did we understand the consequences to them if we did report it – searches and lock down – a big deal. At this point the guards started to gather, first two and then word got out and there were 4.
I took center stage, “How could this be? Two burglaries in one day? Why am I still in prison?” The guards started sharing their stories while the students were trying not to have nervous breakdowns. Several guys came up to me with inside info as to who they suspected took the pencil sharpener. It was all out of my hands and I was too busy chatting.
Then, in the final minute, just before Lock Down was to be imposed, two students came busting back into the gym and slammed down the pencil sharpener. Before anyone could say anything they kept repeating, “We got it, we won’t snitch!”
My ace supervisor Stephanie looked wildly relieved; the paper work would have been in her court. Two guards inspected the pencil sharpener to make sure the blade was still intact, case closed.
Finally I was out of prison.
As I was getting in my car the police finally called regarding my burglary. I told them I was driving home from prison – don’t know if they got the humor. I wish someone would show up at my door with my stolen goods - I wouldn’t snitch on them.