Views from the Yard

Every prison has a yard, and mine is no exception.  The yard here is in the back of the apartment building.  It is the only area, outside of the confines of my apartment, that I have permission to go to and from freely, without first calling my probation officer to tell her that there’s a felon on the move.

I guess that the enormous GPS device locked to my ankle doesn’t give a fair indication of my whereabouts.  In truth, it doesn’t.  The thing has proven to be quite finicky.  A few weeks ago, it gave a GPS record of me having apparently wandered out of my apartment and down the street for a few hours during an afternoon when I was supposed to be locked in doors- which is exactly where I was.  I’m not about to risk going back to the Big House for an afternoon stroll to the gas station.

I used to get really freaked out and nervous when my probation officer would tell me that she had received an “alert” saying that I am out-of-bounds.  Since I’ve realized that the device isn’t always accurate, and I won’t be held accountable for something I haven’t done, I don’t worry.  I’m more than a third of the way through my year-long sentence, and I think that has been long enough to indicate to probation that I’m not trying to get sneaky.

I took a cup of coffee with me to sit outside in the yard today.  Good to have a change of scenery and soak up the sliver of sunshine that falls on the backyard in the morning.  I have my three hours of weekly earned leave tonight, but I’ll be cooped up until then.  One of my best friends is visiting me from Washington this week.  After we had coffee, she set out on her own today to do some vintage shopping.  I would have liked to join her, as I have when she’s visited me in the past.

With the merciful exception of earned leave tonight, my “outing” for the day is pretty much the yard.  It does, in ways, remind me of the yard in prison.  There is even barbed wire on one side of it.  Oh, home.  It doesn’t have the huge guard towers, though.  I don’t have to worry about some unseen officer looking down at me from above, drinking coffee and loading his gun.  I suppose that I could worry about some unseen hoodlum eyeing me from a floor or two up- also possibly loading a gun.  I am, after all, a stone throw away from Crenshaw Blvd.  Gangland.

Well, at least I’m not down a mine.

238 days to go.