By Tony Casson & Steve Marshall
Nah, I’m not talking about “going straight,” as in “no more criminal activity for me,” although Lord knows, that’s the truth because I am never coming back here again. But I am talking about… well, let me just tell you:
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to the first bathroom I see that doesn’t have bunk beds or other people in it and I’m going to close the door without hanging a towel over the window. I’m going to sit there without fear of a man with a big keychain flinging the door open to see if I am actually doing my business or am I having sex with another inmate, smoking dope, masturbating or killing myself. I would just like to sit there, relax, read the paper and use the toilet.
When I get out of prison, I am going straight to the nearest refrigerator and stand with the door wide open, bathed in the light and the coolness and think back to the days when my mother’s voice would interrupt my reverie with “Anthony Edward, close that door!”
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to the nearest mall and walk… just walk. I’m going to stop and look in the windows of the stores that interest me with no one yelling at me to “Move along!” and no one calling me to one side and running their hands over my body to see what I may or may not be carrying.
And speaking of walking… when I get out of prison, I’m going straight to a place where I can walk for miles and miles, walking aimlessly, taking in the sights and smells and sounds. No more left-hand turn walks around a distorted circle that made me feel like a NASCAR driver with no car; and when I call my sister and tell her I walked four miles and she asks, “Really? Where did you go?” I will tell her of my adventures instead of reminding her that I was in prison and walked around in a circle.
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to the supermarket and I am going to walk right past the Ramen noodles and the rice and beans and I am going to head right to the meat department where I will pick up packages of steaks and thick pork chops and whole chickens and hold them close to me and kiss them – although probably just those I am buying, and I will try to make sure no one is around. And when I get home with my purchases, I am going to cook a big pile of meat and then I am going straight to the utensil drawer to get a real knife and fork with which to eat my big pile of meat. Metal ones. A sharp knife. Whoa… givin’ me chills here!
When I get out of prison, I am going straight to a big, soft comfortable bed that doesn’t sit four feet away from a toilet, doesn’t make my bones ache and doesn’t require me to climb up on a chair, then a table to access it. It also won’t have an overweight old(er) man snoring with a disturbing wetness in the bunk below me because there will be no bunk below me and if there is another person around, it will definitely not be another male. (“Not that there is anything wrong with that!” J. Seinfeld)
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to the closet, where I will hang my clothes and then to the kitchen, where I will put away my food. My clothes and my food will miss each other, but that is too bad. They will get reacquainted with their own kind and will never share the same space again.
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to the refrigerator – again! I just love the refrigerator. I will open the drawer with the vegetables and gaze lovingly upon the tomatoes and cucumbers; the zucchini and the mushrooms; the onions and fresh corn; I will pass on the carrots and cabbage for quite some time, however.
When I get out of prison, I’m going straight to my front window and gaze outside, watching the passing parade of people, pets and automobiles. And when I feel the time is right, I will open the front door and step outside myself without having to wait for the aforementioned gentleman with the keys to show up and decide when he would like to let me out.
When I get out of prison, I am going straight to the television and I am going to turn it on – and turn it off – turn it on and off again. I may even just stand there with the remote, changing channels and I will do it without someone beating me for touching it in the first place. And when I do find something I want to watch, I will do so without ear buds in my ears and a radio tuned to the proper frequency.
Yes, let me tell you, when I get out of prison, I am going straight!
I’m also going to stay out of trouble.