June 16, 2002
Another thing I should acknowledge. There's only one daily entry per page. I know most everyone is putting multiple days on the main page, but I like it this way. Anyway, I'm not there yet. Though, I may be sooner than later.
There's a song on the Mitsubishi commercial that I really really like. I don't think these are the official lyrics, but close enough:
Days go by ~ Dirty Vegas (© Smith/Horn)
You | You | You are still a whisper on my lips | A feeling at my fingertips | That's pulling at my skin | You leave me when I'm at my worst | Feeling as if I've been cursed | Bitter cold within Days go by and still I think of you | Days when I couldn't live my life without you | Days go by and still I think of you | Days when I couldn't live my life without you | Without you | Without you
You are still a whisper on my lips | A feeling at my fingertips | That's pulling at my skin | You leave me when I'm at my worst | Feeling as if I've been cursed | Bitter cold within Days go by and still I think of you | Days when I couldn't live my life without you | Without you | Without you
Days go by and still I think of you | Days when I couldn't live my life without you | Days go by and still I think of you | Days when I couldn't live my life without you | Without you | Without you | Without you | Without you | Without you
That song describes almost exactly what I feel and what I've gone through. Endure. Enduring.
Today is Father's Day.
Fathers are one of those kinds of people that make lasting impressions. Impressions that last forever. Memories. Thoughts. Visions. Feelings. Good or bad or indifferent, those impressions last forever. Oftentimes, they don't realize what lasting impressions they leave.
Sometimes when they're gone, they leave their scent behind.
He had many scents. And if you knew what they were, you could sort them out. He was an automobile mechanic. Everyday when he'd come home for lunch, he brought with him the smell from the garage. Usually it was just motor oil. Sometimes it was brake fluid. Sometimes it was freon. And sometimes it was automatic transmission fluid. He wore Old Spice.
He's been gone for 26 years. Sometimes when I turn my head a certain way, or I find myself in a certain place, I get a whiff of his scent. It's comforting.
I wish I had a good Father's Day story to tell. But, since I can't think of anything, I'm going to take this opportunity tell a Mother's Day story I told in another place and at another time.
Man kills his wife, the mother of his children. Man gets sentenced to twenty years in prison. Man gets raped while in prison.
It's common knowledge that guys get raped in prison a lot. Prison life is a very rough life. Probably a lot rougher than living with a wife you want to kill. Sometimes there are witnesses. Sometimes there are no witnesses. Sometimes the witnesses are credible. Sometimes the witnesses are not so credible. The raped inmates can either report getting raped to the authorities, or not. Either way, they're fucked.
Apparently, the prison, and ultimately the state, in addition to providing room and board for the prisoners, is responsible for the inmates' health and well-being and safety while they're in residence at the prison.
If a prisoner is injured while in the care of the state, the state has to make it right. If a prisoner is injured due to the negligence and dereliction of the state while in the care of the state, then there can be punitive damages involved.
It's a rare occasion when the victim of a prison rape is able to make his case in a court of law. It's even rarer when the victim of a prison rape is compensated for his injuries.
In this one particular case, when the guy was raped, unbeknownst to both parties, the act was caught on video tape. A very righteous prison guard preserved that tape as evidence. The victim (victim -- for lack of a better word; although, does anyone really think we can consider a wife-killer to be a victim?) threatened to bring a civil suit against the state if the state didn't properly compensate him for his damages. The state, in its usual course of prisoner management, denied the charges and refused to pay. When the videotaped evidence was brought to the attention of the state, the state changed its mind. The state offered the man a very substantial sum of money to settle the case in lieu of a civil suit.
But it doesn't stop there. There's a loophole in the entire who pays for the prisoner's upkeep and essentials thing. Some states have a provision whereby if a prisoner is able to pay for his own room and board and essentials, then the state is entitled to reimbursement.
Such was the case with the victim in our story. In his case, the state claimed back everything that they proposed to pay to him under the terms of the settlement.
It gets better -- a loophole in the loophole. If the prisoner has a family, he's allowed so many exemptions per person per year to provide for the care of his family.
For example purposes only, if the prisoner has a wife and three children, he might be allowed $10,000.00 per year per person for a total of $40,000.00 per year. Continuing in the same example, if the prisoner has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, that's $800,000.00 that he would be allowed to retain. That is, provided he has $800,000.00.
In the case of our victim, upon the death of his wife, his children were removed from him by the state and placed in foster care with their grandparents. The children were subsequently adopted by their grandparents, thereby absolving him of financial responsibility. And, well, his wife is dead. So, our guy didn't have any exemptions.
But, wait! We're not done yet. During the pendency of the settlement proceedings, he contacted a divorced lady from the trailer park where he and his wife resided. He got her to agree to marry him. The lady and he got married, and she put the money from the settlement in a savings account for him for when it gets released. Thus, he was able to retain the full settlement proceeds he received from the state by claiming a marital exemption.
I really need to research this article a little better. For the most part, I think it's accurate. But it's mostly from memory as related to me by the friend of the woman who married the prisoner.
Since this case came to my attention, I've learned that there's a whole subculture of women who, for various reasons, marry men in prison.
Coming soon to a web page near you -- another prisoner gets married story.
© L.M. Carnes 2002.
All content herein owned by L.M. Carnes unless otherwise noted.