hard time on the cul-de-sac
So, God forgive me, I Tivo'd Paris Hilton's interview on Larry King (hereafter to be known as the worst interviewer since my best friend in freshman journalism) last night. I don't typically feed into the frenzy that are these "celebrities by virtue of being born" things, but I was curious to hear her speak passionately about how jail time had transformed her into a caring, mature humanitarian. Ten minutes into the interview, I realized my face was twisted into a look that prompted my son to ask "Wha? Do you smell something bad?" when he passed through the room.
Another ten minutes and I began to see some pretty striking similarities between Paris' life in the clink and my own:
Paris' jail life:
- Hours of stagnating isolation, the likes of which gave her panic attacks
- Boring lunches of cold sandwiches and juice day after grueling day
- Barely warm dinners consisting of what was described as "prison slop"
- Visits limited to once weekly 30 minutes sessions
- Interaction with those incarcerated with her carried out in passing
- One hour of free time daily to shower, make telephone calls and shop the prison commissary
My suburban life:
- A willingness to fake a panic attack if it might provide me a bit of isolation. Paris endured 21 days (but refers to it as "three and a half weeks" because that sounds much more intense and worthy of a prison tattoo) with no one around. Give me 16 days (or two and a third weeks, homes) and I could finish a book, enjoy a pleasant nap, avoid getting shanked while in the shower, and conquer the world
- Lunch time, Marla! What'll it be today? Peanut butter? Peanut butter? Say, do you have any peanut butter?
- Dinner? Sounds about the same. And those juvies in lock-up on the second level sure do bitch about it, so I think we're on the same track as Paris.
- I tend to avoid "outsiders," to be honest. Some I encounter really would benefit from having a glass barrier between us.
- Here in Cell Block 6, we also have this "communication in passing" thing down pretty well. But bonus! There's prison sex every once in awhile.
- An hour a day to yourself?! Cripes, I'm lucky to get 25 minutes! I've actually made telephone calls WHILE IN the shower. Book me a 12 X 8 cell, pronto!
The interview came to a crashing conclusion after a Taoist reading of Paris' jailhouse diaries (no doubt we'll be selling these masterpieces in about six months), and after The Worst Interviewer Since My Best Friend in Freshman Journalism actually asked "Is it as gross as we think it is?" when hoping to find out if Paris had been strip searched upon booking.
"Yeah, it's pretty gross having to stand in a room and take your clothes off in front of someone you don't know," Paris replied, apparently oblivious to thought that the woman conducting the strip search is probably as acutely aware of what Paris looks like naked as most of the free world also is.
That part of the interview was probably my favorite because it didn't make me throw up a little bit in my mouth the way the parts where she talked about how she "grew from this experience" and wants to be a good role model for all the girls she heard from during this troubling time did. My second favorite was when she seemed to panic (and it's hard to catch, because truly, her zombie expression rarely changes) when asked her favorite passage from the Bible she said she read daily while behind bars.
Tonight she's probably at bars.
As an end note, should I ever have an opportunity to serve in a women's prison, I am gonna kick ass, Wendy O. Williams "Reform School Girls" style. And I want Nanette to serve in the cell next to me because I've got a raging crush on her and we can be each other's bitches. What'cha say, my friend? Life on the lam? Or should we get caught and then make up our list for approved conjugal visits?