Journal from a federal prison – Day One

Tuesday — August 1st

Nothing but scare tactics for my first day. They said they just wanted to talk but they spent the whole time yelling. Special Agent Malone said he didn’t buy the story. Of course he didn’t. A year ago I wouldn’t have believed it either. Not in my wildest fantasies. But it happened. I thought they’re mostly worried about Muslims and Russians but here I am, wearing orange and being interrogated by some prick from D.C. with the imagination of  potato.

It could be worse though. I think.

That was my first interrogation. I was completely honest and Malone still threw a fit like a kid begging his mom for ice cream. Yes, I’m Jason Powers. I’m also Mike Scott, Dwight “Shrewd” Farmer, and occasionally I’m James Halpert and Pamela B. Easley. I’ve been several other people too but Malone doesn’t need to know about them. If he can’t handle the cast of The Office he certainly shouldn’t open Pandora’s box. He’s not ready.

Hopefully they don’t take away my journal. I’m allowed to have it. I think. Just in case I write at night and keep my papers under my sheet during the day. They psychologists here think I’m more of a flight risk than a suicide risk so they let me keep my sheets. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make big differences.

I try to think on the positive side. When I get out I’ll have the gnarliest journal ever. How often can the same story work as a capstone project for both Creative Writing and Journalism majors? I might not be the first to try but I’ll certainly be the best. They’ll see.



Previous Entries

Monday — July 31st

There’s no such thing as a “bad” job.

Vacuuming floors and cleaning bathrooms after hours at a law firm wasn’t sexy but was better than the alternative: Not eating. In fact, until last week I was working several jobs to put myself through college– Pastor at Pennsylvania’s Church of the Holy Mackerel, Financial Disbursement Officer at a rehabilitation clinic called Fresh Start Florida, cashier at a taco shop called Picante in Arizona, and Community Outreach Liaison for Dignity First, a homeless advocacy group in London. One of those jobs paid me enough to scrape by in a shared apartment; the others existed only on the internet.

I got the job at Picante after my friend quit. They needed someone willing to work nights and weekends, which nobody else at the University of Arizona wanted to do. I got my others through a series of mistakes, errors, blunders and gaffes. While I still have the fake jobs I invented, Picante fired me after the Department of Homeland Security kicked my door in. Picante’s publicity strategy was more centered on advertising at basketball games than on having employees dragged out of their house by swat teams on CNN. I don’t blame them.

My arrest warrant said Jason Powers, me legal name, but the SWAT team laughed and call me Mike Scott. The gig was up.


  1. I already love reading this. How do you put yourself in a position to think like a person who has been in federal prison? This is very interesting to me.


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