by Jen

I don't get the idiots who blah blah about how bad their lunch is. Warm, it's not so bad. It's only really bad when someone waits for the food to get cold. Just eat the damn food.

"Just eat your damn food Hoyt."

Been spending too much time with this shit-for-brains. I hope it doesn't rub off on me.

What made Vern go all holy? Musta been all the pressure. Dead kid, missing kid, grandkid on the way, his prags fighting and fucking loud enough for the whole prison to know.

I guess all religion isn't bad, you know, the white kind. But I've seen those people who devote their entire lives to "the Word". Dum de dumb dumb. Bilked outta their money, dull, and so fucking arrogant. They know this little secret the rest of the world can't even guess at. And you can join, but only under the terms of some gibberish written a long time ago.

I thought Vern was already religious. Pummel the Negroes, spics, pervs and Jews in the name of Jesus, show 'em not to fuck with the Bible. But this is some new, fuzzy religion. Sitting on your ass and reading doesn't make anybody feel afraid. Just makes you soft.

Prison isn't the place to go soft. Vern used to know that. He'd smile *that* smile and I'd know, without a word, it was time for action. He's bounced back before, I don't get what changed him this time.

When Bitcher chomped on my dick, Vern was the only one who didn't crack jokes. That punk...whatever his name was, I took his place when he died in the cave-in. I was the guy with the fists. I wasn't just a half-dick moron. I was a soldier.

I don't talk much. Vern did all the talking. Sure, I kind of glazed over when he'd yap too long, but his voice was so soothing. Yet, it had....balls. People feared him. Even if they weren't listening to him, they still knew he'd rip them a new asshole.

I'm thinking about him like he's already dead. He's gonna be dead, as soon as people realize that he's pac...paci...stopped giving a fuck about bashing heads. Reputation can't last forever. Maybe I should let him kick it. But he taught me what loyalty was.

My half-swallowed applesauce punches me in the gut when this Cloutier touches Vern's shoulder. Why is he always so touchy-feely? He's a fag, has to be. And what kind of name is Cloutier? Like a whore in the French Quarter. He kinda looks like Jesus. Fucking Christ wannabe. Maybe Vern'll rejoin the right team if I grow a mustache, make a swastika armband, and go goosestepping around gen pop.

I didn't mind that weird obession Vern had with screwing Beecher and Keller over, cause I was a part of those plans. I didn't tell him to shut the fuck up when he grieved for Andy, or worried about Hank. I knew I had to mean something if he let me see so deep inside.

When Vern laughed or spoke with that booming voice, I almost forgot he was a human being. He was a god. Then he'd get that look, thinking about his mistakes, and I felt sorry for him. I know I helped him, without turning him into a big pussy.

Now Vern tells that Bible beater how he feels. I'm worthless, some nothing cellmate. I guess that isn't the problem, not like I haven't been called worthless before. The problem is that he can't trust Cloutier. He can only trust me. Doesn't he see that?

The Brotherhood sure as shit needs him. I'm not a leader. I don't have the juice. I'm fine with being a follower. But I got no one to follow. I wish I could go hump a cross and forget where I am, but it's not that easy. Vern's gonna learn that. At least if I teach him, instead of some nigger or enemy, Vern won't get hurt.

I'm staring so hard my eyes hurt, but Vern's ignoring me. I swear Cloutier is smirking at me every coupla minutes, when Vern can't see.

The other thing Vern taught me was to never forget who your property was. Never stop teaching people their place. He's gone from busting Beecher's nuts to sitting in a room and talking with Beecher. It doesn't make sense. Will a light chat bring Vern's son back, give Vern good vision again? Hell no.

I think maybe one of those pod people took over his body one night. They got those old age pills in Oz now, anything's possible.

Whatever. I *did* know my place. I could whack Vern and inherit his pair. But I won't. I'm gonna do what he would. Get rid of the Jesus wannabe, bring Vern back into the Brotherhood. Show him his place. I wanna see him smile and play pool and laugh with me, like he's supposed to.

He'll thank me. I know it. Cause I'm not Beecher, or Keller, or his bratty kids, or Cloutier.

I'm Robson. I'm loyal.