Sometimes I'll run into a guard that I haven't seen in awhile. They'll ask "How much longer you got?" No one expects my answer-over a year. Their smile fades, their eyes drop. They know the damage this place can do. Dehumanization, disillusionment, insanity. They have seen the process, they know and they are not immune. This environment is made to break spirits. And break spirit it does...the guards have it easier than we do, they can go home after 8 hours but over a span of years it breaks their spirit too.
The secret is keeping parts of yourself hidden. You cannot let the walls take who you are.
You will not see me dead-eyed-broken at the end of this. I have survived worse and remain unbroken. I live in the state that is trying to kill Mumia. I am captive to a county that used to host Klan rallies on the steps of their court house...not 50 years ago, 10 years ago. My outlook is grim in the short term, but bright in the long term.
Someday my body will be dust. Just like this building, just like all my fellow captives...just like anyone who was ever "just following orders", But when I am dust, won't I be remembered fondly for some good? This Building will be remembered, if at all, for it's useless, archaic cruelty.