I wake up to metal. Aluminum trays crashing against aluminum tables downstairs. The cops have to be doing that on purpose, don't they? Crash, Crash, Crash! I'm up. Shirtless, I stumble to my sink. More aluminum. I splash cold water on my face and take a sloppy sip from the faucet... tastes metallic, but it's soothing as it hydrates tubes that nearly dried up during sleep.
My muscles ache. Steel toe boots upstairs and soon a key pulls open my tray port and I'm served breakfast. I choose not to say thank you this morning. I eat the breakfast, wait for the sound of boots, return my tray and tuck myself in for a few hours more of vacation.
The few hours more pass in what feels like ten minutes. I want to stay and sleep, but the symphony of crashing has started again and I know within seconds lunch will be served. I say thank you this time and the guard's stupid looks and silence remind me why I usually don't.
I wrap my bread in toilet paper to save along with peanut butter and jelly packets. I eat the cookies, chips, macaroni and fruit. Not bad. I lay back down and wait for my steel-toed butlers to come for their precious tray. The queue has sounded and the quiet is a thing of a few minutes ago. I hear Muslims praising Allah, Mexicans giving each other morning salutations in Spanish and combs sliding across the floors like mice to pick up packages of coffee, envelopes or notes.
I walk to my door and look out the window at the tier. Behold, my town, my community of voices. I hear my name. "Yea!" I yell. It's the Sicilian, my neighbor two cells down. "Get your line ready. I got somethin' for you!" he shouts. The rooster has crowed. "Alright," I say and pull the spool of string out of my sock. "Give me a minute."