My name is Eli Munson

Munson, Eli F.



My name is Eli Munson according to our government. My true name is E. Portraits and I am so much more than a name or a number. I am a true all around artist. I am currently being housed in the special housing unit otherwise known as the S.H.U. or the hole. If you can imagine prison as being hard mentaly then the hole is 3 times as bad. Being locked up and trying to do anything outside of prison is like being handicapped its like having no hands and you have to rely on the good graces of others to help you do anything positive. That is if your lucky to have anyone to help you. If you don't there are places you can pay to be your hands but the average pay on the big yard is 20.00 a month here. I am not on the big yard, I'm in the S.H.U. I can't get a job right now and I have no hands metaphorically. The most depressed I have ever been. I believe however that if 1st you don't suceed then well find the next best option! The S.H.U. where I am housed is two floors of long hallways. I look out my cell window and I see nothing because it's frosted glass. I look out the little window in in my door and I see a wall and a couple other doors with windows. I can have 5 one hour recreation periods a week but it's basically a dog kennel. If I have funds I can make one phone call a month. Who to call though? The same person I've been begging to just help me do positive things? Man it's been two years and I've been in the S.H.U. 4 months. So I'm trying other options of success until that person comes around and decides to lend me some hands. One or two things about the hole. 1st it's a mental mind f__k, it has a higher rate of suicide than any other form of incarceration. Two, if you wanna move forward with any quality of life you have to get creative. I already told you bout the windows. The cell itself is basically 1 1/2 cargo van space of bathroom. What I mean by that is theres a toilet and sink in here with us. I am indeed lucky enough to have a cellmate but two grown men living in a bathroom? Oh and the air conditioning vents are so cold and spew so much dust and other messed up particles that we plug them up. When one of uses the bathroom we use Pantene shampoo as a deodorizer by squeezing the hell of out of the bottle lol! We are allowed a radio and in the evenings I like to listen to "Ground Zero" and Coast to Coast A.M. But 1st and foremost I am an artist with a dream of getting my work to the masses. I have no children and no significant other. I want my mark on the world to be my art. We only get pens and lined paper in the S.H.U. Drawing in pen alone is very hard so I paid an inmate slave worker (cause you don't get paid to work in the S.H.U.) four stamps to get/steal me a pencil and erasure. Then to overcome the paper issue I use the inside of book covers or the couple blank pages of books for art paper. I've been amassing artwork and poems for a couple of years and I wanted to find some hands to help me to get my work out there so I saved two books of stamps and sent them off for a 6 month subscription to prison legal news where I knew there would be ads for prisoner based services. I was looking for pen pal services and prisoner resource books to find businesses to help me get my art out there. Thats how I came upon an ad for me to pen you some of my story. Loneliness and feeling there's no hope are our worse enemies in here followed by a low income and people in the outside world just leaving me/us for dead. I can't tell you how many people I helped out there with any and everything. I once sold drugs and I had money and I believe "Blood makes relatives," "Loyalty makes family" I still believe that. But, bout all my family I learned were really fakes. So I'ma keep looking for an option or the next best option and do my art and be as positive as I can. I may stumble but I won't fall. Sincerely, Eli Munson OR

Author: Munson, Eli F.

Author Location: Oregon

Date: February 2, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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