Trying To Be Quiet As I Age Is Getting Harder    by Ruth Utnage

Living with another person is hard on its own, let alone in prison. We have to consider someone else’s habits whether we like them or not. Me, I’m a morning person. I don’t mind being woken up and I love going to sleep because it means I get to get up again, love my mornings. But my cellie, not so much.

Every morning I get up, make a cup of coffee, watch the news, catch up on letters, read a few pages, and get ready for my day. I value that time of pseudo-solitude. But I do things quietly so as to respect my cellmates choice of not liking the mornings as much as I. Like a ninja I crabwalk across my bunk to the ladder that his head sleeps one foot away from under me so I don’t make shuffling noises. Ever so carefully I put one foot on the middle of the ladder and expertly descend, quietly. Then…

My knee cracks as I touch the ground with a thunderous “CRACK” then my ankle “SNAP” then my hip ticks into place with my first step, then my elbow pops as I reach for the sink handle. Then my cellie stirs and turns.

I may be a ninja, but I’m a ninja with aging joints…shit.

With Love

Ruth Utnage

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