John Purugganan

Visiting John, A Life Without Parole

You wait outside the prison in your car; after 7:30 you’re given a numbered form and allowed into the parking lot; after 8:30 you’re allowed into the waiting room to wait for your name to be called (sometimes in numerical order); you take off your belt, shoes, turn out your pockets; you carry nothing inside but a Ziploc bag with dollar bills for the vending machines, your ID, and half the form; an outside area between the two fences and the guard tower; then inside and a walk to the cell block to wait, have another guard take down all the information, surrender your ID, and make ultraviolet sure that your wrist has been stamped with the stamp of the day. Then the key turns, the visiting room door is opened, and you and everyone else visiting that day are passed through, then locked inside.

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