A photo showing a rusted prison window.
A rusted prison window. Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net / Linnaea Mallette

When we were last with Gerald in his hometown of New Orleans, he was trying to keep track of his crew, including his best friend, Greg, as they got by in prison... 

Greg was on A2. Our jail go by alphabetical — A2, B2, B3. 

A2 was a dangerous floor.    

It’s crazy, the system, how it be ran. I don’t care who you are, how you built — somebody gonna come at you. 

They ain’t gonna come at you like “Blam!” They gonna play games with you. 

Some of them might feed you. Some of them might tell you, “Sit down…” 

You don’t ever want to sit on no other man’s bed. Now, you my man? We cool, we don’t look at it. But you can’t just go in that penitentiary and sit on nobody’s bed.  

They got some funny jokers play mind games with you in there. The s*** is not a joke, but when I look back at the time of being into this life… It’s why I love the hustle of the game. 

Bum was locked up too. Bum was fighting an armed robbery charge. I heard him and Greg was beefing. Which mean they was going at each other.  

GregMazio Davis — they all in the same penitentiary, but they not hooked together. The penitentiary is 25,000 acres. So you can be in the prison, it don’t mean I’m gonna see you. That’s how big the prison was. 

But I can see you at the saw mill. It ain’t like we gonna bump up in the hospital. But I know you there. There’s ten of us there, but we don’t see each other. Nobody. Might catch one of ‘em. Except the rat… You gonna make sure you separate the rat. He gonna have problems in the penitentiary. Because the news don’t lie. 

____ 

To be continued. Gerald’s first book, “Still Standing: how an ex-con found salvation in the floodwaters of Katrina” is available on Amazon.com.