02 November 2009

An excerpt from Day One of Snakebit

For your enjoyment: An excerpt from Day One of NaNoWriMo. In this passage, protagonist Charles Nelson Riley Sturgis is reminiscing in his cell at the Chocolocco County (MS) Detention Center:

I've got a cell to myself, with bunk beds against one wall, a toilet and sink against the opposite wall, and a small chair and desk against the back wall. Above the desk, near the top of the wall, is a small window that lets in light, but nothing else. If I stand on the chair, I can look out the window and see the lights of the Mississippi Tech football stadium a few miles away.

I'm at the desk now, writing all this because I need something to do to pass the time. There's not a whole lot to do in jail, especially if you're trying to go straight, and I am. There's even less to do if you are a near-cripple with one eye who can't go on work detail or even go out to exercise. So, instead of doing anything with my broken body, I'm trying to exercise my mind. Maybe writing all this down will help me figure out why I'm here, or maybe give me some of that "closure" the state psychiatrist has told me about. I could just lie on my bunk, and I often do, but time passes really slowly when you're looking at the metal frame of the bunk bed above you. I think writing down my story will help me pass the time.

I said I was a near-cripple, and I am. The state has determined that I am officially disabled, thanks to two screws in my thighbone that were put in from a surgery I had in high school as well as from complications related to a broken back I suffered three years ago. This means that most of the time, while I'm awake, I hurt like a sumbitch. Today, for example, the screws in my leg are burning deep inside my thigh, my empty eye socket is itching like hell, and my back is so stiff that I can barely do anything besides sit at this desk -- it just hurts too bad to even stand up. I had to take my morning piss today sitting on the crapper like a woman. I'm glad I don't have a cellmate, because if I had one I'm pretty sure he would have laughed at me about that, and I wouldn't have been able to do a damn thing about it.

More to come!

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