“Carcass Merit”

Spring 2015 – Vol. 4
by Cooper Mittelhauser


Mon. Feb. 25, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Another problem with inmate #56, Bryan Freeman, today. Was working 2nd shift and distributing lunch. Rounds normal, inmates #50 through #55 (inc. #51, 52, 53, 54) calm, respectful. All accept lunch w/ no hassle.

When approaching #56 cell, hear sound of dripping. Push nutrition cart past foodbox and retrieve nutrition tray. Sound inside cell reminds of time in childhood, when entered abandoned structure and ignored graffiti warning of danger in basement. In basement: old equipment, control panels, boilers, also, terrifying crawlspace. Anyway, sound reminds of water dripping into puddle in middle of room with black mold on ceiling. Wet and discarded.

While prepping nutrition tray in wavulizer, ponder source of sound. Sound is organic. Nutrition tray has exactly 0:26 seconds remaining so examine cell through view port. Inside inmate #56 hunched over standard metal excretion collector. Dripping sound sustained. Approx. 0:12 seconds elapsed so return to wavulizer to ensure nutrition tray enrichment is sustained. In 0:14 seconds remove nutrition tray. Peel UltraPreserv cover and insert standard fork #2. Open inmate mealslot and insert nutrition tray. Organic dripping sound along with light coughing heard. Access view port and enable microphone. Inquire if inmate has obtained nutrition tray. No answer after 0:05 seconds.

Examine standard nuclear-time watch display, wait standard 0:25 seconds. Concern growing. No answer from inmate #56. Hear dripping/light coughing through open mealslot. Inform inmate #56 that I, CO #4391, will need to enter defective person’s rehabilitation chamber immediately if occupant does not respond within 0:30 seconds. Inform inmate #56 that aggressive electro-convincive techniques may be used per protocol.

Examine standard nuclear-time watch display and measure 0:30-second interval between issue of declaration and breach of due time limit. Inform inmate #56 of entry. Use issue-keycard to enter cell #256. Inmate #56 remains over metal excretion container. Dripping/coughing sound sustained. Thick miasma of stomach bile. Observe puddle around occupant: green/yellow common cold cough-ish color mixed with milky white, mild-translucent substance. Odor of ammonia and acid persists. Experience feeling of distress: anxiety, nausea, confusion. 

Consult mental-record of standard operations handbook. Inmate #56 matches prereq. of operation #37: approach w/ extralight taze and radio for medical extraction. Inmate #56 alone in cell due to prior break of Protocol #15 at previous rehabilitation facility: accosting inmate w/ use of bodily weapon (teeth in case of inmate #56).

Organic dripping/coughing sustained. Approach inmate #56. Worried extralight taze will exacerbate inmate’s medical issue but resolve to follow protocol. Brief jerk of inmate reminds of time in junior high when school bully Joe experienced grand mal seizure. Mixed feelings of worry and desire to laugh in face of prior aggressor. Laughed, guilt later when Joe out of school for 3 months.  

Press medical extraction button on comm. unit. Secure inmate while waiting. Observe inmate #56 thrash once like fish out of water, then lay still. Ensure that guard defense apparatus tuned to extralight taze: confirmed. Experience feelings of doubt/worry: hope inmate #56 is O.K. despite/due to prior protocol breach(es).

Medical extraction team arrives. Medic #2, Jules, emits sigh of frustration. Medic #1 deals w/ situation w/ silence. Wonder if medical extraction team tired of inmate #56. Interior thought: somewhat tired of inmate #56.

Inmate #56 extracted via medcart. Observe cell #256 for approx. 1 min. Experience feelings of exhaustion/weariness in face of difficulty of rehabilitation. Transport food cart to cell #257 and administer meal to inmate #57 with little difficulty. Rest of meal round (#58 through #120) passes without incident.

Sun. Mar. 3, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Further difficulties with inmate #56, Bryan Freeman, while returning inmate to cell #256. Begin day feeling tired via insufficient sleep previous night, imbibe EnerPak supplement while examining daily directives. First task: return inmate #56 to cell #256 after breach of Protocol #37: inmate health endangerment via self-harm (i.e., damaging phalanges in removal of bunk screws and harm to organs from ingesting said screws). CO #13, Gunther Lause, assigned to assist in cell re-habitation. Experience feelings of anxiety about assistance assignment due to prior reporting of Lause smuggling tobacco contraband into rehabilitation complex. Possible observance of CO #13 chewing gum with contempt while approaching medical center. Assure Lause that in everyone’s best interest to put prior incident behind selves. CO #13 reply, muttered: F—k off. Lause reminds of school bully Joe prior to seizure incident: hot headed and prone to excessive verbal aggression as well as breach of protocol (i.e., prior incident noted above).

Enter medical center, inmate #56 strapped to medcart w/ mask applied. Mask appears similar to one worn by victim-eating criminal in certain movie. Medic #2, Jules wishes us luck, Medic #1 silently directs for signature on bottom line of inmate release form. Note that inmate #56 stomach tender due to surgical removal of ingested item: metal screw from bunk bed. Cannot comprehend inmate #56’s decision to ingest indigestible item. Inmate #56 displays signs of agitation, thrashing against bonds and muffled groaning, at sight of CO #13. Sign release form while CO #13 moves to cart, overheard inquiry: happy to see me again? Feel uneasy at CO #13’s breach of protocol: officers are not to interact with inmates in provocative manner. Seems that comment aims to incite aggression from inmate, further reminded of bully Joe.

Leave medical center w/ CO #13 following behind, transporting inmate #56 on medcart. Follow transport procedure of opening door w/ keycard, then overtaking medcart before next door. Lause remains obtusely stoic and silent throughout duration. Feel urge to make “chit chat” but casual conversation in front of inmates prohibited, resign self to feeling uncomfortable. Annoyed at Lause for making it so hard to like him—just want to get along with co-workers.

Enter cellblock. On lift to row #200 inmates in other cells become agitated. Screamed through view/food port: freak, cannibal, metal-eater, etc. Again, reminded of serial-killer movie. Transport inmate #56 to cell #256. While unlocking door, hear electric sound of taze. Turn to CO #13, who has Electro-Convincive Tool drawn from holster. Observe orange light indicating heavy taze. Inquire as to reason for taze of inmate #56. Lause response: f—ker tried to head butt me. Inmate #56 thrashing in restraints. Observe directly eyes of inmate #56 post-thrashing: appear angry and lucid. Experience feelings of doubt/worry: inmate #56 chemical sedated and eyes similar to dog beaten for not being able to hold in excrement. Sure that Lause is being mean for sake of meanness. Lause’s record tarnished, dirty. Wonder to self why CO #13 still is allowed to work directly with inmates after incident in prior year, which resulted in emergency extraction of inmate #378 to medical center and subsequent transport to permanent underground internment slot.

Inform CO #13 that I will need to note aggressive use of E-C Tool on report. CO #13 repeats prior statement, frustrated: F—k off nancy. Ask Lause to refrain from inter-employee lambasting, remind of protocol against inter-employee conversation in presence of inmate. Ask Lause to aid in movement of inmate #56 to cell #256. When movement is completed and inmate restraints removed, shut door and ask inmate to remove facemask and place in food port. Inmate #56 removes mask promptly and follows directive. Experience feeling of significant surprise: inmate #56 known for prior record of insubordination. Feel hopeful that inmate #56 may be rehabilitated and mention to Lause. Response: scoff of indignation.

Tell inmate #56 that I will deliver food tray at standard time. Inform him that all cell fittings converted to ones of digestible neoplastic. Books have been provided instead of plastic see-through TV, which contained parts deemed too easily ingested for purposes of self-harm.  Further surprise at nod of head from inmate and inmate immediately moving to look at small stack of books. Resolve to access inmate #56’s rehabilitation record at future date. 

Tues. Mar. 5, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Inmate #56 showing signs of rehabilitation. Today and previous day inmate has exhibited positive change in behavior. Accepting and ingesting food readily, even observed reading book (!). Asked inmate for name of book but received no response. Closer examination reveals book to be about cinema. Ask inmate if he has seen Blade Runner, inmate responds with affirmative nod. Tell inmate of excitement at seeing Blade Runner with father when young. Think of teenage years in which father absent. Cease conversation with inmate. Smile and nod. Inmate #56 does not respond.

Feel tentatively hopeful for Bryan Freeman. All other inmates in round (#50-120) acting as usual. Before clocking out, input request for inmate #56’s rehabilitation record. 

Wed. Mar. 6, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Not assigned to food rounds today. Overseeing inmates #490, #31, and #347 at outer laundry facility along with Deputy CO in Training #90. Receive urgent page on radio: Lause requesting assistance at cell #256. Experience feelings of dread and foreboding: fear that Lause engaging in pre-gran-mal-Joe-like activity. Direct Deputy CO in Training #90 to watch laundry facility while absent.

Sprint approx. 1 km from outer laundry to cellblock #1. Find cell row in disarray: inmates yelling through food slot and signs of disturbance at cell #256. At cell, experience shock: CO #13 seated on inmate #56, thrusting weight up and down into Freeman’s stomach, inducing panicked gurgling, much like when Joe would sit on best friend at recess.

Ask Lause what is meaning of all this. Feelings of anger. Observe inmate #56’s eyes: frantic, searching.

Grunt from Lause: f—king c—ksucker wouldn’t take his f—king meal and ate something when I entered the cell.

Inmate #56 no longer thrashing. Eyes white as pupils retreat behind lids. Observe red spreading in pool of vomit underneath inmate #56. Inform CO #13 that he has injured inmate—remind Lause of inmate #56’s recent surgery. Expletives used. CO #13 dismounts inmate, appears shocked, f—k muttered.

Radio for medical team. Tell Lause to get out of cell. Expletives used. Remove inmate shirt. Suspicions confirmed: stomach stitches split, massive bleeding from abdominal cavity. In panic, wad jacket and press on wound. Experience feeling of panic. Experience feeling of intense anger at Lause as he approaches. Draw electro-convincive tool and direct CO #13 to step away from victim—not going to let Lause bully inmate.

Hear rattle of medcart on walkway. Check inmate #56 condition: eyes open, locked on mine. Tell Freeman that all will be fine, medical team on way. Inmate nods and closes eyes.

Allow medical team to work on inmate. Watch CO #13 intensely. CO #13 remark: that guy is crazy, should’ve gone to the ForeverSleep Chamber a long time ago.

Resolve not to communicate further with CO #13. Receive page to proceed to warden office w/ CO #13 for full incident report and debrief. Freeman wheeled away on cart by Medic #1 and #2, follow quickly behind. Keep CO #13 in sight.

Result of Incident Report #822-56 on Mar. 6, 2014
Inmate: #56
Involved COs: #13, #4391

CO #13 removed from cellblock duty for one week. Not allowed to interact with inmates without additional CO supervision for one month. Will not be allowed to carry electro-convincive tool for one month. Sent home for duration of day – unpaid. CO #13 expressed extreme displeasure with punishment and asserted guilt of inmate #56 in episode.

CO #4391 directed not to swear at fellow COs. Informed that if work jacket unnecessarily damaged again cost will come from paycheck. Warning issued. Directed to take off rest of day – paid.

Inmate #56 interned at medical center. Will be moved to padded observation cell upon recovery. Cell will be cleaned/inspected daily for items capable of use in self-harm. Estimated time until return to cell: 1.5 weeks. Inmate will require tranquilization and restraint for duration of stay in medical center. AbdominAccess Zipper will be installed by medteam to expedite treatment of future self-harmful ingestion. Inmate will require phalange restraint to reduce chance of self-harm and tampering with AbdominAccess Zipper.

CO #13 advocated for inmate #56 to be interned in ForeverSleep Chamber. CO #56 asserted guilt of CO #13 in incident. Inmate record states ineligibility for ForeverSleep Chamber due to confirmed extreme mental disturbance and lack of discernible sanity. CO #13 reprimanded for further use of expletives.

Resolution: CO #13 punished. CO #4391 warned. Inmate #56 slated for further rehabilitation measures.

Fri. Mar. 8, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Obtained copy of inmate #56 rehabilitation record from main office before leaving Wed. Read during mandatory afternoon of rest. Inmate #56 past extremely troubled. Mother: dead/eaten at hands/mouth of father. Brother, older, 15: slipped into unbreakable comatose state. Still under care of state mental facility. Father: experimental psychopharmaceutic drug abuse discovered, nature of crime warrants murder charge. Father sentenced to ForeverSleep Chamber.

Inmate #56, Bryan Freeman, age 8, discovered by police in crawlspace underneath final resting place of mother. Young Freeman material witness in trial, forced statement writ obtained by D.A. despite Young Freeman unresponsive. Feelings of horror at reading. Feeling intensified with further reading.

Young Freeman sent to live with grandmother. Sent to juvenile detention for several days at 15 for using excessive force in response to provocation. According to record of Freeman testimony, aggressor pushed Freeman and commented on death of mother at hands/mouth of insane father.

Reminded of experience with pre-seizure Joe. Joe mean, constantly making fun of lack of father in life. One day during outside break, Joe especially cantankerous; following me around playground, calling absent father worthless alcoholic. Tell Joe to leave, try not to cry to give more reason to make fun. Eventually Joe pushes, not enough to knock over but enough to push over emotion edge.

Turn and punch Joe—cause nosebleed. Joe stunned for moment, then reacts with multiple strikes. Teacher sees and breaks up exchange before more blows landed. Given week of detention for starting fight. Joe given week of detention for previous record. Remember sitting in detention room, boiling with anger at Joe sitting behind.

Break reverie, Freeman responded to provocation by breaking nose, biting neck. Freeman sent to juvenile detention for one week. Freeman’s record clear for remainder of youth.
Young adult Freeman attends technical college. Obtains employment at manufacturer of bullet casings.

Bryan’s record blank from age 19 to 33.

At 33 Bryan arrested for murder of grandmother. Bryan Freeman entered MacDurnald’s with hand of grandmother, requested hand to be prepared as burger. Cops called. Remainder of grandmother body found in fireplace. Bryan deemed mentally unstable and sent to special rehabilitation facility.

At this, broke from record to look up new article about incident. Co-workers at bullet factory confused in video interview: “Never, ever did I see this coming. Bryan was a little quiet, but not even school-shooter quiet. Maybe that’s not the best comparison. Point is, never saw this coming. Not even in the ‘didn’t see this coming’ sort of way. Bryan loved his grandmother—visited her every week.” 

Feelings of nausea at reading this. Can one instant make person violent, in need of rehabilitation? Think of self at young age, perhaps 12, playing with brother while mother reads on swing. Try to think of what like to be without any family due to inter-family homicide. Think of if had to visit own brother in mental facility—unable to have relationship with one who should be closest friend. Cannot comprehend. At first cannot fathom what would drive Bryan to murder, mutilate last part of family, then realize cannot comprehend circumstances of Freeman’s early life. Read last page of report.

Bryan Freeman moved to current location after extreme response to attempted violation during inmate shower. Aggressor inmate sent to medical center w/o penis. X-ray of restrained Freeman reveals penis in stomach. 

Do not read rest of report. Enough read.
Point is, approach work on Fri. Mar. 8 w/ feelings of turmoil. Unable to look CO #13 in eye at clock in—upset enough about inmate without thinking of inter-employee conflict. Spend food rounds in contemplative stupor. Inmate raised without father around, at least somewhat like self. Wonder at possibility of having become like Bryan. What would it take for me to murder Mee-Maw?  Inmates #50-120 (minus inmate #56) normal.

Wonder how it can be possible to rehabilitate inmate such as #56, Bryan Freeman. Wonder how world can be as is. Feel lucky to live life of modest dignity. Determined to grant inmate as much dignity as possible despite extremely poor situation and ignore negativity of previous experiences. Maybe best way to heal Bryan Freeman.

Mon. Mar. 18, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

First contact with inmate Bryan Freeman since incident. Also, first shared task with CO #13 since incident. Protest to warden about arrangement given CO #13’s prior record. Protest acknowledged and, given prior positive rehabilitation record with inmate #56, allowed to introduce inmate to new cell without assistance. CO #13 will assist with transport (i.e. opening doors ahead of medcart). Feel upset with arrangement, but lack of options in face of warden superior privilege stays tongue. Receive Freeman medical file from warden before leaving, ordered to read contents before interacting with inmate, directed to order CO #13 to do same.

On way to medical center, read file. Stomach turned at brief of AbdominAccess Zipper installation. Overcome with nausea at diagram and picture of AbdominAccess Zipper installation. Feelings of anger towards CO #13. Feelings of sadness for Freeman.

At medical center meet CO #13 and direct to read file while I sign release. Medic #1 silent per usual, Medic #2 unusually silent. Medic #1 informs that inmate is under a sedative and should be easily handled. Place medical release form on table with excessive force, producing loud metallic sound. Move to back of cart. Note that Freeman’s eye movement slow.

Ask CO #13 to open door. CO #13 facedown in file, almost sheepish. Resemblance to bully Joe uncanny, but this time reminded of post-seizure Joe that returned to school with foam helmet and shaved head. Feelings of anger somewhat lessened. Face appears green when he closes file and opens door. 

Transport prisoner in silence. CO #13 proves ability to complete simple task without unnecessary violence. At cellblock, direct CO #13 to stand at end of hall. CO #13 notes prior violence of inmate #56 and asks to assist for my safety—seems genuine in offer. Not completely convinced and assert that safety assured as long as CO #13 nowhere near inmate Freeman. Direct CO #13 to stand at end of hall, complies w/o further protest.

Wheel Bryan into cell and position medcart next to rest platform. Note angry red marks on arms and legs of Freeman underneath restraint straps. Despite directive to not release restraints until rest of move complete, unlatch inmate restraints. Note labored breathing through mask-like-that-of-serial-killer. Despite directive to make inmate remove own mask after exiting cell, remove mask from Freeman. Bryan’s eyes are open and stare straight ahead via sedation. W/ care, slide Freeman from medcart to rest platform.

Despite directive not to engage w/ inmates w/ record of prior dangerous infractions, ask Freeman if comfortable. No response. Look around cell: padded walls, padded door, hard rubber bedpan. Feel nauseous. Wonder how rehabilitation possible in environment that would seem to exacerbate anti-social behaviors.

CO #13 asks from hall if everything fine. Inform CO #13 that everything fine.

Tell Bryan bye, turn to leave. Hear scrambling behind. Feel strong, spider-like hand hard across mouth and bony arm tight across windpipe much like time in childhood when attempt to swim at deep end of pool failed. Experience feelings of panic, confusion. Realize inmate #56 is attempting to harm correctional officer. Throw elbows backwards, does not feel right when contacting w/ stomach.

Feel sharp teeth bite into neck, impossibly deep. Feelings of panic increase, similar to first gulp of water from bottom of pool. Feel warmth stream down neck. Lose cognizant control of hands, finger scrape pale skin of inmate. Wonder why fuck-up Lause not helping. Realize padded walls designed to dampen lunatic screams are dampening sounds of struggle. Hand still on mouth, arm still across throat, teeth getting deeper.

Vision tunnels. Open mouth and bite hand, emit scream.
Hear footsteps in hall. Teeth feel too deep in neck.

Lause enters, utters: fucking holy shit.

Fall to floor as Lause punches inmate #56 in face w/ meaty crunch sound. Feel too much blood pouring from neck. 

Wonder why life hard. Wonder why deserve this, after trying to make fucked up life of other person less fucked up. Want to feel angry, but too tired to muster. Luck of draw in life must make big difference. Freeman must have shit luck.

Through tunnel of vision, see Lause sitting on burst stomach of inmate.  Lause saying, grunt like: Glen you stupid fucking nancy, don’t die on me.

Tues. Mar. 18, 2014
CO #4391
CO Name: Glen Tomorrow

Come to in medical center. Lay in bed for indeterminate amount of time. Feel warm, loopy via painkiller. Medic #1 notices movement from desk and comes to bedside. Asks how I am feeling. Neck is stiff, touch bandage with IV-free arm.

Good, considering.

Medic #1 nods in usual reserved manner. Informs me of attack. Notes that no infection transmitted via bite. Copious blood loss but intervention from Lause just in time. Informed that inmate #56 sustained copious damage when nose and cheekbones broken by Lause punch. My elbow struck AbdominAccess Zipper, opening abdomen and making inmate intestines susceptible to damage. Told that once inmate is stable, will be sent to ForeverSleep Chamber. Chuckle at absurdity of healing person to kill person.

Medic #1 asks if comfortable and respond with affirmative. Informed that Lause expressed desire to visit with permission. Grant permission—saved life after all. Medic leaves to page Lause to medical center.

Lay in warmth of painkiller. Try to direct muddled mind to incident. Unsure of how respond. Feelings of betrayal at attack from inmate #56 and unsure of how to view rehabilitation efforts. Think of inmate record. Feel confused. Unable to draw conclusion and wonder if way to live life perpetually ambiguous.

Think of bully Joe and behavior after incident. Remember kids w/ glossy hair and polo shirts ridiculing Joe for helmet and exclusion from recess. Confusion as to how to treat Joe. Felt anger at Joe for previous transgressions but fresh-faced sympathy for Joe in face of bullying. Remember confusion as to how to proceed, dim awareness as to parallel between prior physical bullying of self by Joe and emotional bullying of Joe via preppy kids. 

Reverie broken by Lause entrance. Rare smile from Lause: good god the nancy’s alive.

Chuckle as Lause pulls chair to side and sits. Unsure of what to say, figure thanks for saving life is least I can offer.

Least I could do, didn’t want to see you bite the bullet at the hands of some cannibal bastard. You should have seen his eyes, man, they didn’t look right. Something was up with that fucker.

Ignore curses and chuckle. Feeling tired and having trouble keeping eyes open. Wonder at comment about eyes of inmate: was #56 himself? Too tired to think straight. W/ effort, reach hand towards Lause. Lause takes hand and shakes with surprising gentleness.

You look tired, Glen. I better let you get your rest.

Lause stands to go, mutter second thanks as he opens door. Second smile, perhaps not rare after all. Lause closes door w/ wave. Turn eyes to ceiling.

Inmate #56, Bryan Freeman, will be euthanized. Still unsure of what to think. Perhaps all can do is best. Perhaps in future do best w/o breaching safety protocol. Chuckle to self. Lots of chuckles via painkiller.

Remember pushing preppy kid down at playground after bouncing rock off Joe’s helmet. Polo shirt torn and hair disheveled. Think of how befriended Joe, playing video games at house and surprise to learn of lack of Joe’s mother in life.  Surprise at ways in which experience similar but also dissimilar. 

Not sure of what to think of inmate #56, but resolve to buy beer for Lause at future time. Fall into warm, heavy sleep.