my inside voice

unlocked: shoelaces

Written April 25th, 2015 from the California Institute for Women


It’s been one of those days.  You know, the sort where the shoelace holding your bedroll together snaps, and you have to choose between jumping into the excess clothing bin for a dirty one, or using the spare you painstakingly dyed with kool-aid last week.

Your bunk is a mess, so you decide to start cleaning it– only to realize that someone replaced the disinfectant with water again and you’re all out of the sanitary napkins you’d need to wipe down the torn metal surfacing.  You step out of the room to ask an officer or porter to restock your supply, but someone 500 feet away starts a fight.  Yard goes down, and you end up sitting on the cold tile of your hallway, waiting for permission to move.

You’re right in front of another girl’s room and you can see that she made a token-shelf out of toilet rolls.  That’s a good idea, you think, wishing you had seen it before you threw away all your empty rolls.

When programming finally returns to normal, work release is announced, so you leave your room as-is, closing the door tightly on your shoelace shambles, hoping that today is not that day that your cell is searched  That would be embarrassing.

Either way, there’s nothing to be done right now.
Hopefully, you’ll find someone who can find you a brand new sheet in exchange for a noodle, and then maybe you can fix it all when you’re locked in for the night.

There’s no point in getting too worked up.
It’s just one of those days.


When I wrote this, I had the idea that this could be a sort of prompt.  “#1OfThose”, where people write about the days they have– that seem so normal, but are full of details that probably only a handful of people could truly understand.  Written in a style without any real explanation, just– “here’s how it went”.

By the time it was sealed in an envelope and sent to Dave, it was too late, and I am only opening those letters now.

Have you ever cleaned a floor with a pad? It works magically, I promise.


  1. I think that would be a great prompt actually. I fear writing out a day would reveal far too much about me…. ponders… whether that is good or bad… maybe both. Anyway… it’s a great prompt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dani. In the letters I received, from you, and others– I noticed the things you all considered normal would be very unusual for me. I wish those letters were all published so everyone could peek into the lives of the people I got a chance to really get to know by going away.<3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not cleaned with a pad before but your recommendation makes me think I need to go buy some to do just that. What a great prompt. Yes, I think that everyone’s lives would be far more interesting than mine and a published book of those would be amazing. Go for it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never cleaned a floor with one but I watched an eye surgery on a horse where they were stuck on upside-down over and under it’s eye to soak up the blood during surgery.

    I like this prompt idea- I think I might have to try it, perhaps in November…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time you post about your time in CIW, we are given a small glimpse into that unjust portion of your life, we are reminded of your daily courage and are blessed to be friends with the little dinosaur who roars ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, lovely Lyn. I don’t know if it was daily courage so much as… well, just daily “doing”. I just woke up and did my time… something I’m trying to do since coming home, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And I’m glad to be in yours, Noelle. 🙂 And yep, the things we come up with when we have no other options makes me love people even more. We’re kinda awesome.



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