My Bed in Prison was Different than at Home

Someone asked me if sitting on my bed in prison was different than sitting on my bed at home. I pondered to myself, what an unusual question.

When I was a little girl my mother detested us to sit on our beds. We could sit anywhere, the floor, a chair, our heads, but we were not permitted to sit on our beds.

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In cube 44, I had a few places in which to sit.  I could sit on the metal chair; I could sit on the metal stool which was attached to the wall which was actually bolted under the desk or I could sit on my bed! (Good thing my mother never saw that!) And the dusty concrete floors were always available, but I thought that was slightly disgusting.

A tightly made bed became my designer sofa, it was also my pull up bar, kitchen, library, laundry room, a place of solitude and it easily converted into my windowless living room.

When I longed for privacy my bed became my sanctuary.  I could position myself on my side and gaze at the Pepto-Bismol colored cinderblock walls, it was my ocean view. Simply viewing my unknown future filled with hopes, dreams and new ideas. The walls created an environment to expand my imagination.  Today, I have TV.

Peanut butter and graham crackers never tasted so good.  I preserved just enough until the next time I could shop again.  Springing onto my cozy lumpy bed, I would revel in each taste while cautiously  catching my crumbs, so I wouldn’t have to sleep with them.   Sitting up against the wall, using my winter coat for a added comfort, one slow bite at a time, it was gourmet a la prison!  Today, the crumbs are less important.

Using my bed as a library was a bit challenging for me.   I have a hard time concentrating on what I’m reading when there is noise. I would hear ladies chewing on their potato chips, smacking their lips, laughing, singing, hearing people whisper made me cuckoo.  Using my bed as my library taught me how to tune out distractions that kept me from enjoying my books.  My bed and I became a fortress.  I would imagine I was at home lounging on my cozy oversized chair, quietly sitting by the sunny window with my scented candle and lapdog.  Yes, my bed was a noisy library, however I remember reading some of the most fascinating books, and had I not gone to prison I would’ve missed such meaningful reads.  Today, I have Facebook.

Being on the lower bunk, my bed easily functioned as a surface to fold my clothes, it was my laundry table.  I found myself enjoying my folding session.  One time a week, I saw my bed as a highly functional apparatus.  It was the perfect height so I could sit on a chair and fold clothes.  Today I stand in front of the washer and dryer and fold clothes, its so boring!

People watching, from my bed was similar to people watching at the airport.  I could see everyone that passed by my door opening.  I call it a door opening, but there was no door.  (I guess you had to be there).  But from my bed, I observed different walking styles.  Some women shuffle, meaning they do not take their feet off the ground.  Some women speed, meaning they use the hallway as a means to burn calories, but stay just under a sprint.  I could see the guards looking in at me, I never really liked that, so I started waiving at them, it was entertaining.  It wasn’t like they were going to put me in prison for that, right? Today, I don’t get to waive to anyone.

Sitting on my bed in prison, is different than at home.  Living in Birkdale Village, sleeping on my king size cloud-like mattress while slumbering on Egyptian sheets, I feel free.  When I lay down on my bed I still see an abundance of opportunity.

In prison, I saw the gray metal bottom of the upper bunk.  It was a vison of a life to come, desires, fantasy’s, wishful do-overs, love, family, past-times with girlfriends in South Charlotte, laughter, ocean breezes, juicy steak dinners at the Capital Grille in downtown Charlotte, slow dancing, kissing grandchildren I haven’t yet had, vacations I might never travel and words I promise to say,  but it’s not too bad enjoying my bed in Birkdale Village either! LOL.

Today another lady sleeps on the same cozy lumpy bed I did.  The bed is full of mystery, untold stories, but if history repeats itself, the lady in cube 44 will find her magic, the way I did, too!

Sweet Dreams, Holly

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