Drug War Prisoners


The following letter got lost under the mail tray and has only just surfaced. It is posted here with apologies to Walter Dash for the delay. The letter is posted for the insight it gives into the conditions a POW is liable to face, and the grace with which one POW endures the ordeal of incarceration. The writer was hit with a 20 year sentence for LSD, in his view a substance responsible for his humorous and sane outlook.

13 July, 2000, Thursday

Dear Web Site,

Man! What a week! It's been up in the high 90's for the last couple of weeks and then last Thursday we lost our water. We just got it back on last night. And I think that I can assert with a marked degree of certainty that the English language lacks the words to describe the evolution and graduations of sensory trauma that I have experienced over the past 7 days. It is said that the Aleut language includes 56 separate and distinct words describing the various forms and conditions of the frozen and semifrozen water with which they live and contend in their Arctic environment. Perhaps there is a regional Bengali or Hindustani dialect native to the blights of Calcutta that contains sufficient descriptors to properly portray the effluvious miasma of close packed, unwashed bodies on hot and humid days. But not English. Not to mention what was attempting to escape from the unflushed toilet! So yesterday the water finally came back on. Before I describe what ensued, however, I must first explain that the plumbing system is this relatively new facility is much more intelligent than the staff who turn the keys. The toilets are operated by a push button that is normally shut off after about 10 seconds by the back pressure of the water supply. When the supply to the building was interrupted every cell of course pushed the button on their toilet to verify that it wasn't working. This means that when the water supply was reestablished a week later all 100+ toilets were flushing simultaneously, so that the pressure could not build to a sufficient level to shut off the valves. I tried to explain to the ex-rocket scientists who work here that they needed to shut off all the toilets individually and then turn them back on one at a time. However, since I was unable to put that information into the form of a differential equation, they were not able to comprehend. Over 100 toilets therefore simultaneously flushed their bowls clogged with a week's worth of hazardous waste. Needless to say, we were soon ass deep in Baby Ruths! As this noxious log jam floated across my cell floor and out under my cell door, that famous ditonal sound effect from the attack scenes of Jaws repeated itself in my mind. No sooner had we finally gotten the last of this pungent effluvia cleaned up today, when one somewhat distressed individual decided that we had not had had enough. So he snagged the fire extinguisher nozzle at the ceiling of his cell with a sheet or blanket and pulled it loose, causing about 5000 gallons of black water to flood the entire floor once again. Although we have managed to dry out our cell, the floor outside looks as if the Nile has overflowed its back and washed Cairo into the delta. I don't recall if I sent you a copy of this most recent photo of myself, so here it is. Drop me a line and let me know how you're doing.

In Love and Light,

G. Walter Dash

U.S.P Atlanta

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