the facility is new and fancy and federal…and a four-hour drive from dc..

it reminds me of an eerily quiet high school…

im greeted at the front desk by a pretty girl that looks like Raven Symone… with fake eyelashes and perfect MAC makeup… a generic black windbreaker & black pants…she smiles when she takes my id…there are no other people in the lobby… a pizza delivery guy shows up with two pies…. & raven  excuses herself…i read the signs about the dress code while she tries to round-up cash for the pizza guy..

no medical scrubs, no tank tops, no khakis, no grey t-shirts (hmm thats what im wearing) no shorts (oops again) no see thru clothing.. no vulgar words etc

then raven symone is back and  asks me to pose for a picture…to sign the log book…she asks if i need a locker but all i have are two rolls of quarters… and she smiles and holds them for me as i walk thru the metal detectors… she stamps my hand with an infrared number 7…..  there is a suggestion box hanging on the wall…and a picture of President Obama… i don’t recognize the other official portraits …

she motions for me to wait…while she pushes the two pizzas thru a thing that looks like a late night gas station pass thru…. only heavier… and big enough for a few pizzas…  and then a large metal door opens…on the other side i hold my hand under a black light machine and a man smiles…”lucky no. 7” he says….and i dont know if hes talking to me or to himself… so i just shrug …and follow raven symone farther down the hall…

she opens the door to a large sunny room…filled with uncomfortable plastic chairs … there is a wall of vending machines and there is a group of kids sprawled on the floor playing monopoly and  strangely enough there is a photo backdrop of a garden against a far wall with a family posing for pics…with the “official” photographer… a microwave beeps and the room smells of popcorn…

i find some chairs at the far end of the room…and try to get comfortable…

mercy…forgiveness… 2nd chances…

anyone that knows me will tell you im not big on judgement…

…what i am big on is friendship… friendship for me is pretty sacred …its more than brunchs barbqs and happy hours…sometimes its…  a visiting room… with twenty dollars worth of quarters for a vending machine smorgasbord ….in a bra with no underwire…

xoxo


Eli: It’s a flower of light in a field of darkness and it’s givinn’ me the strength to carry on

Solara: is that from the book?

Eli: No, thats johnny cash …live at folsom prison

~Book of Eli

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