The sun has finally set and has evaporated somewhere beyond the menacing razor wire. it couldn't have been longer than 25 minutes ago that the meek guard had silently tiptoed off the tier. 6:30 count. We sit in our cells and wait. The sally-port door opens, an attentive who resides in a cell just a few doors down from mine calls out in a distant voice: "Mail-Call!" All those who hear and who care come to their doors in arcane anticipation, hoping that the guard will stop and slide a letter underneath their doors; to see if someone on the outs has taken the delicate time to show their love and concern, letting us know that although we're gone, we haven't been forgotten...
Some prisoners wait all day for this event. Mail has become their only livelihood in this volatile existence. After dinner, it's the only meaningful thing we have to look forward to. Those who are fortunate enough to receive mail sit down on their bunks and read the letters that have been afforded to them with an abundance of joy and excitement, sharing select pieces of information and news with their friends and associates who linger in the adjoining cells around them. Those who are less fortunate sullenly turn off their lights, crawl under their flimsy covers, hoping that tomorrow will be better, as they drift off into a light sleep.
Receiving mail from the outside world definitely plays an intimate role in the aid of a prisoner being able to keep his or her sanity and focus while under these profane living conditions. it's a productive way to stay connected to the world outside of these suffocating walls, and also a healthy way to combat the loneliness that harshly grips us as we languish in these contemptible cells.
With this time that I've had to endure while under lock and key, mail-call has been the most important event of my day, every day. Just to be able to receive publications of various sorts has not only kept me abreast of current affairs; it has also kept me afloat in these turbid waters of agony and despair.
It has been through these various publications that I've been able to keep my ear to the radical streets, while passing these on to other prisoners so that they too can become enlivened and aware... I've come to learn about things that I never knew could even exist; things such as zine distro's, squats, autonomous zones, as well as different groups and organizations such as the IWW and the ARA. With this new understanding of life and radical events that transpire beyond this torpid state of existence; the veneer of capitalism has become removed with greater ease, the hold that these cold, stone walls have on me, now become tenuous, my eyes are unveiled and a strong, vibrant sense of joy and passion for life and freedom starts to well up inside of me! Now I know that a better, more beautiful world lies beyond these wretched walls, waiting for me to come and join...
To the prisoners that keep the torch of freedom burning strongly in their hearts, I encourage you to continuously and adamantly reach out to people on the outs, friends, family, prison advocacy groups, newsletters and newspapers, and various organizations, and keep the connection with the outside world alive and as fervent as ever. Do what you can to connect the people on the outs to our struggles in here, and to find ways to join in and contribute in their struggles out there. Don't let these walls close in on you, even if you have life sentences; please don't let this terrible world of darkness and misery consume you. Stay connected to the outside world, and always stand for freedom.
Anarchist Black Cross
Nevada Prison Chapter