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  • We are instructed to
    visit those in prison.
    Over the years, I have.
    When I was young,
    I was quite naive.
    I saw the best in everyone.

    I would visit Troy
    in the visiting room.
    There was a vending machine
    where you could buy coffee
    for a dollar.

    It was really lousy.

    I would buy Troy coffee.
    He hated that.
    Because he was the "man."

    One day he sent me a letter,
    with a dollar bill in it.
    I wondered how he did that;
    and where the dollar had been,
    ...if you know what I mean.

    As I said, I was naive
    so I sent him back a
    very nice letter explaining,
    I couldn't accept it,
    and included the dollar bill.

    This is called contraband.

    Then I heard from
    the volunteer coordinator.
    I had broken a federal law,
    would lose my volunteer standing,
    and ....

    Then, ...I heard from the Warden.
    I was to go in and see him.
    And I did.

    (That's when I understood the meaning of Daniel in the lion's den. Because I was protected.)

    The Warden and his assistant taunted me -
    like a cat who plays with his prey before killing it.

    (They, of course, had read my letter and understood my intent.)

    They said I had
    sent in a $100 bill.
    I protested. I squirmed. I turned red. My stomach ached. I felt like vomiting.

    They smiled. They laughed.
    They played the game longer.

    I suffered, I endured....

    I kept my volunteer status.

    I wasn't arrested.

    I kept going into the prison,
    but I stopped visiting Troy.
    I figured his "Ego" could visit him, and buy him coffee,
    with his one dollar bill.

    I was no longer naive.
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