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When Called, Just Come

I was recovering from a three-day flu. I had congestion and a nagging cough. Hurricane Elsa was on her way up the Gulf. It was raining pretty hard and steady outside as the institution was pretty much shut down for the day. Any movement outside for inmates was going to be rare and escorted. I was looking forward to watching the trees sway in the wind through the window at the foot of my bunk. It wouldn’t be a great view. The glass on the window is a little murky and there is a security grate I would have to squint through, but I’d see them. I had just gotten up for the day and was ready to see what was going on outside my window when there came a call over the intercom asking for a laundry man to report to the officer station. I was one of the three laundry men for the dorm. I knew what it was. They needed someone to take an empty laundry cart to Laundry to pick up our weekly supply of toilet paper and soap. The other laundry guys were in the TV room. When I got to the officer station, I was the only Mohican Obviously nobody else wanted to get wet. After confirming what it was I grabbed a cart and headed out. I was soaked in no time. Halfway anatomy journey I had to stop and with with five other laundry guys and a few officers for the laundry guy from C Dorm to show up. Rain, rain, rain......

When the guy finally showed, after twenty minutes, we trucked on the the rest of the way to laundry. We were all soaked and I was coughing very fifty steps or so, but the guys I was with were jovial and the officers were cordial and professional. Hell from above, Heaven on earth..... Soon enough, we arrived and spent abut ten minutes or so loading supplies into our carts. the laundry officer gave us nifty covers made of elasticated umbrella fabric to protect the supplies from getting wet. He wrote down our names and told us that he wanted the covers back. He said he would meet us at the Chow Hall when we were called to eat and that he’d collect them from us there. Then we were off again in the rain, back to our dorms with the supplies. Of course, I wasn’t getting wet because I was already wet. Cough! At this point I was ready to get dry, crawl into y bunk and email my wife on my tablet. When I got to my dorm I banged on the locked door. Apparently my need to get out of the rain would have to wait. So while I waited I looked down at the small field of grass by my dorm. The rain quenched the thirst of the green sea of a billion plump blades of grass. Th field was in its element receiving its fill. I was just soaked. Cough! After a while I get into the dorm, hang the nifty cart cover to dry, and grab my towel to dry my head. Intercom: “Bring the covers back now.” I grab the wet cover and step back out into the rain. Halfway there - stop and wait.. Two stragglers not shown up yet.. Someone asked an officer, “What happened to us bringing the covers to the Chow Hall?” “Oh they’re not feeding at the Chow Hall. Bag lunches will be delivered to the dorms.” I didn’t mind that one bit. It would be one less trip in the rain and since it was a bagged mean, there was a chance there might be an orange or an apple with it. Rain, rain, rain.....Ten minutes pass and we’re on our way again. I noticed that the conversations among my fellow laundry guys were much less jovial this trip. Hell from above, Hell on earth. When we get to laundry we lay the covers on the long folding tables to dry and the officers tell us to make ourselves comfortable because we were going to have to wait a few minutes. So I grab a chair, face it towed the big open bay door and watch the trees sway in the wind and rain. It was beautiful and serene. Heaven from above, Heaven on earth. Soon we were off again back to our dorms, rain from above and puddles below, soaked head to toe. Finally, I get back to the dorm. This time I get in with no wait. The journey is over. Now to get dry, relax, and wait for the bagged meal. I peel off my soaked uniform shirt; I slough off my wet pants. Next went the sloppy T-shirt and then I’m toweling off. It felt good to be dry. Intercom: “line up to go to the Chow Hall.” Cough! Cough! I put my “wetsuit” back on and left to eat. Thankfully the rain had stopped. The food was good and the walk back was without rain still. With all of that said, dear Reader, I got to see the trees swaying in the wind through a big bay door and with no murky glass or security grate to squint through. I got to move with the wind and receive the rain. Life is suffering, unless you don’t take it all too seriously. Cough!

With bows, Jiryu


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