The Prisoner, Slick (8) By Edna Merle
I met slick after I’d been moved into a 4 person room across the hall from her two person room. I’d just been sent back from Washington prison in Davisboro, Georgia where I’d almost decided to have sex with an officer. I’m thankful to God for changing my mind. It turned out that the officer had already been doing that with some girls on mental health and some who were known to have HIV. He was discovered and fired. I was transferred back to Atlanta. But, I believed him when he told me I’d have been the first; a small preview of my gullibility. I was so new to prison, in shock and didn’t understand the legal lines between an officer/ free world person and the prisoner. I was learning to trust God.
Slick noticed I was kind of walking crooked and my shoulders were stressed, hunched upward into my neck. I was stressed and in pain. She came over and said she could give me an adjustment. My first thought was, “Oh no, she’s gay and wants me”. I quickly told her I would love an adjustment but I am not a homosexual. She laughed so hard, I was embarrassed. Then she told me not to worry she wasn’t either. “Lie down on your bed, arms to your side and try to relax”. I did. She fixed my crooked shoulders and gave me an adjustment once a week thereafter, for years.
Slick’s former roommate had been transferred to another prison and Slick needed a roommate. She requested me, even though she prayed to God for a nonsmoker. I smoked 4 cigarettes an hour on the streets. But in prison, the smokers were playthings for the officers. They’d take you to a smoke break, watch you light your cigarette and take a drag, but before you could take the next drag, they’d scream “Put it out, don’t take another drag or you’ll go to lockdown!” So, I started smoking at the vent, in our room, on Slick’s advice. There I wasn’t harassed for my “short”, or toyed with by the guards. I could enjoy my own smoke. Right.
First, I must tell a little about Slick’s former roommate. Probably the worst case I knew personally. You know, not just by reading it, but I knew the person. Anyway, this person was married. Her husband preferred the baby’s attention over the mother’s and the mother got jealous. So the mother cooked the baby and fed it to her husband, the child’s father. .. The father asked, “Where’s the baby?”, and the mother just smiled and nodded towards the emptied dinner plate. The father became extremely violently ill and threw up and called the police. Mother was taken in and sentenced to: Not life? What’s up with that? But that’s the story and it’s horrible beyond belief, I know. So let’s just move on.
There were also people there that I believe were not guilty of the crime(s) for which they’ve been sentenced. One of those people actually became a good friend of mine, for a while. Here’s her story:
The Dancer with Handcuffs
She was an exotic dancer and had handcuffs as part of her routine. Her husband and father of her children drank a lot. One day he drove the children home while drunk. He was found by my friend passed out in the front seat of the car. She was livid with rage and handcuffed him to the steering wheel, thinking to teach him a lesson upon waking. They had a man staying in the home. Basically a stranger the father had picked up hitchhiking. The stranger ended up living with them all. Well the stranger happened upon the car with the handcuffed passed out man in the front seat and proceeded to tape up his whole head with rock and roll tape. The father then suffocated to death, and the hitchhiker went inside to ask for the keys to the handcuffs. The hitchhiker needed her to come outside, “NOW!” She went with him and approached the car and saw to her horror what the hitchhiker had done. Now the hitchhiker said, “If you don’t help me get rid of him I’ll kill you and your family.” So, she did. Then she became a party to a crime, for which she was given Life. Out of fear she did nothing but what the hitchhiker told her to do. She said later, “If only I’d called the police as soon as I had the chance”. Her kids were little when she went to prison, now they’ve since graduated from college. The hitchhiker also went to prison, but got out shortly after. He didn’t get life…
Anyway, I lived with Slick for 8 years in a two person room. She was my spiritual mentor and really lived her Christian beliefs. She taught me how to handle confrontation without running away in fear. And she taught me about reflexology and how to stay healthy in prison. Our room was a sanctuary of peace. Others would come to our room just to step inside and feel the peace of God. Truly it was a place where the Holy Spirit lived too.
Slick killed a man in cold blood for money because the man was molesting his adopted young daughter. Slick had been molested by her own grandfather when she was very small. So when the girl’s mother asked Slick to do it, she didn’t have to think too hard to justify it. She went to a lake and drank some beer with the man, then said she was going to get more beer. She came back and shot him. She freaked out and saw her grandfather in her mind and she just kept on shooting. She froze and emptied the gun. She got away for 3 years. But when the mastermind wouldn’t pay up, Slick went to collect and the mastermind called the police and said Slick was trying to extort money from her. So, Slick said, “I have a story to tell you.” And she did. Slick got life and the mastermind got 3 years. Slick is now in her 18th year of prison and regrets every day the taking of a life. She tells anyone who asks about her crime, that she was wrong and deserves prison. That was why she had to tell the truth. Being free then, wasn’t freedom at all. It was torture. Slick was the best roommate I had during my whole incarceration.