Consider This and That
by Deborah Nicholls


They say what doesn’t kill you,makes you stronger. I am living
proof of that. I get stronger each
day I am blessed with. I am
also walking proof prayer works.
There is no reason for me to
be about functioning at all, and
I stand tall for the wrongly
convicted. I currently have
three life sentences. But that is not
what this is about.
I thought I’d share a survival
tool I use while being incarcerated,
that allows me some power to make
it through to the next 24 hours. You’ve
probably heard it before. “One good
belly laugh a day.” This works
for me, and insures me to make it
to the next day. So once a day, I
make sure I find something to
laugh about-hard, and believe
me, if you pay attention their
is plenty of comedy material in
prison. Which brings me to this
particular situation. 

Consider this,

I was having a bad day. I
missed my kids, my family.
I missed everything, it hurt, and
everything I tried to do that
day was confronted with excess
difficulty. So when I got back
to my unit, my head was hung
low. But I looked up, I
noticed this other inmate
across the day room. She weighed
closed to 400 lbs, she had on
these ole’ raggedy sweat pants,
that hadn’t seen grey in a while,
with stains all over, a way too
small t-shirt with holes, and
rips with the tag hangin’ off.
Sportin’ a third boob, poppin’
out the middle. Her three teeth
hung out of her mouth like fangs,
and she had a habit of licking
her lips real fast, like her dentures
were fallin’ out. Her hair was rubbed
bald in certain spots, where it had
been pulled out, or braided off? She
had food on her face and clothes,
as she shuffled across the floor, in
her holey socks and shower shoes.
Carrying her bowl and soup
towards the microwave. I
notice she’s got one bright
blue curler attached to her
bang. Which is all of 4 hairs.
And I thought to myself, she
took the time to roll up those
few hairs, like that was going
to make the difference. I started
laughing so hard, tears streaming
down my face, trying not to
pee my pants, as I climbed the
stairs. No one else was around, so
no one else saw her, but my
goodness, did it ever make my day.
I sometimes wonder if she knows
how much a difference that curler
made. Maybe not for her, but for
me, and how much I appreciated
her that day. What effort!