East of the Mississippi is pretty damn cold right now. Even some parts of the north-mid-west are cold. But Phoenix is delightful. Warm and sunny in the afternoon, cool-ish in the evening but not in the least bit cold. Slight breeze most of the time. The desert is a bit brown, not as green as last time, but still not that burnt-to-a-crisp brown that I have seen before. This is nice. There is way more sun here than at our place OTG.
So, why am I feeling this way…..?
Simple: I am transferring my disappointment in my writing output to this, the local environment and society. The sunny bastards! I blame them!
We’re both struggling. Sal and I. What was fun and an easy-flow before has become constipated. We are blocked. It is not so much that there is nothing to write about – because there is tons to write about – it is rather that there is not so much FUN to write about. And we decided from the beginning to write mostly fun-stuff. We want to have fun.
Mind you, I have always had a hard time with forced fun. Scheduled fun. Bought fun. I find it all so desperate and depressing as a rule. I ‘get’ that one has to kinda set the scene for fun to then maybe it will happen – if it is gonna – but setting the scene is the only concrete thing one can really do on purpose to aid the effort. You can’t MAKE fun. Fun is spontaneous and comes naturally from some kind of social/personal/circumstantial chemistry. You can’t BUY or MAKE fun. Fun, like poop, ‘happens’. Or, if you are constipated, it does NOT.
We are in NOT.
So, to jump-start, I started to write down some fun OTG vignettes. You know, old-guy-slips-on-banana-peel-on-an-OTG-dock……hahahahaha…..???? Well, to be more accurate, old-ramp-slips-off-old-dock-in-a-storm when old guests are arriving….hahahahaha….?
It’s not working.
This is a struggle.
AND, in an effort to struggle and fight the blockage, I suggested to Sal (after the above was written), “Let’s go to Florence to actually SEE the giant corporate prison that we featured in ACCIDENTAL FUGITIVES.” And so we did.
Florence is about 30 or so miles South of us and, in theory anyway, an historic town. Interestingly it has a large canal running through it and the area is irrigated by that. They grow cotton and pecans around there.
But our goal was the prison. We were not disappointed. In an area about half a mile long, maybe a bit longer, and a quarter of a mile wide, sits the Florence prison complex. It appeared to be made up of several prisons; the local jail (about the size of a high school with large gymnasium) and the state prison (which appeared like army barracks for many rows) and then the giant, private-run prison that was a series of bright-white structures in maybe twelve or so rows and each a few stories high. Each of these prisons was surrounded by barbed and razored wire maybe three or four layers deep and twelve feet high. There were prison buses, administration buildings, maintenance sheds and large parking lots amongst other things. The area was full.
We drove to the entry gate of the white,’private’, for-profit prison and began to take a few pictures. We made no secret of it. AND, within seconds, we were followed by a police vehicle and the stern-faced ‘heavy’ behind the wheel waved at us to not take pictures. We pulled over. We spoke. He ‘kinda knew’ from our BC plates that we were more looky-loos than people casing the joint to ‘spring’ their boss. But he still warned us off, made veiled threats and maintained the ‘be-a-heavy’ personna. It made me smile. AND he said that ‘When I file my report and we run your plates, they may want to look at your camera so I suggest you delete any pictures!“
Directed to leave instead of being arrested, we turned and left. He followed us out and suggested that we could lawfully take photos from the highway. Instead, we went into historic Florence and had a burrito for lunch.
“Oh, God! We practically got arrested!”
“No, we didn’t. We got asked to leave private property. No biggy.”
“Why? He was kinda funny, really. And what are they gonna do? Roust us..? For what? Being tourists? And, anyway, we have the book in the back. Our story checks out. We’re fine. He was fine.”
“What if he runs our plate?”
“Then S will have some ‘splaining to do. It’s his car.”
“Oh, God! You gonna tell him?”
“Hmmmmmm…might be more fun if he doesn’t know…..hehehehehe”