Do you ever daydream about being in prison? I do. I would not want to hurt anyone or steal anything to get there so in my imagination I am wrongfully accused or maybe I am protecting a source that I refuse to give up.

Now I know there are lots of terrible things about prison. I visited a few with a church group in my early 20’s and they were awful places and the theme seemed to be racism. There was hate on every side and tattoos to show which side you were on, kind of like a uniform you can’t take off. I saw more swastikas in one prison than a year of watching the history channel.

What confused me the most; the prisoners that stayed out of trouble lived in “population”. As far as I could tell this meant they were able to live and sleep around others. Perhaps I am naive but I would not want to live with others. I would like my own cell please. Imagine all the thinking and reading you could accomplish in just a week in a cell by yourself. Your mail, food and books delivered to you. You would not have to update your phone or keep up with the latest tv show. “Did you watch the Walking Dead this week?” My daughter, Rachel, might ask at visitation. I would frown slightly and say “No, the warden will not allow such violent content. If I ever get out of here maybe I will catch up,” suppressing a laugh.

I am always hearing about prisons with cable tv. I’m sure this exists somewhere but not in the places I have seen. What is the point of being in prison if you have to watch tv? This is your opportunity to be willfully ignorant of the outside world. In my day to day life I feel the pressure to be an informed citizen by reading the paper, watching the news and forming opinions about places and things that I will never see, or go to. It is a chance to really get lost in your own thoughts.

I think I could really develop a case of OCD in prison. Everyone jokes about having OCD, but I am sure it horrible and debilitating. I simply do not have time to wash my hands 400 times a day or check the stove over and over, but I suppose you make time for what is important to you. If I were in a prison cell 23 hours a day I bet I would get very particular about where my shoes were or how I squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube.

Speaking of that one hour a day set aside for exercise; that would be a good time I think. I’ve been wanting to join a softball team, but who has the time for practice not to mention full blown games? An hour of practice a day and I bet I would be a pretty good shortstop. I did play handball with prisoners during my visits and I rather enjoyed it, though they had gloves and I did not. I lost. I blame my lack of gloves and an hour a day to practice. Maybe someday.