Hey all, Noah here.
So when I first got to Milan, I lived in an open dorm setting that was built by cubes. In that cube, I had my bunk bed and desk with two lockers, and then my cube. And from my cube to the next man’s cube, it was divided by a 5′ high cement wall, so if you were taller than that, you could look into the next man’s cube while standing.
It didn’t provide much privacy to the blind eye, but since one of the unwritten rules was mind your own business, you would be surprised how much privacy it actually provided.
So this 30-40 square foot cube was where you could go to get away from most of the noise. But the one person that could always possibly be there is your bunkie because that is where he can go to get away too.
So, this is why it’s important to pick a good one.
When you first get somewhere, such as when I first got to Milan, you can’t pick one.
At least I couldn’t, but maybe there are places where you arrive, and they say, “go find a bed,” but I doubt it. So the first one is pure luck, and I got fairly lucky, and I got along great with the first bunkmate. He was an old army vet who had been through a lot, and been in the system plenty and was willing to tell me all about it.
One thing I noticed about him was he didn’t leave, ever, and some bunkies won’t, and if that bothers you, then this isn’t the one for you. To pick the right bunkie, you have to know what kind of bunkie you are and what works well with your routine and personality.
So, what kind of bunkie am I, you might ask? Well, I am the kind that is obnoxious when I’m in the cube, and I will bring jokes and humor, but luckily I am not in the cube very often because I run all day from sun up to sundown.
By run I don’t mean physically, I mean if I am not at work, I am working out, and if not there I am on the yard or walking the track, or finding something else to do in the unit, play cards, watch TV, or shooting some pool. So by run, I mean running around trying to stay busy, so I don’t think about the fact that I am in prison.
I am in the cube for count, occasional naps, shower times throughout the day (more so in the summer because I sweat a lot), even more occasional reading (book IV of The Dark Tower has taken me ten months now), and multiple times to grab various things out of my locker (because I am too scatterbrained to get them all in one shot).
Also, I fart in my sleep if I eat too late, but I won’t do it in the cube. I am a very deep sleeper, and I don’t snore that I know of, but I will talk to you in my sleep, and I will also occasionally throw a pillow at the wall or door and go back to sleep (a story for another time). I have no consideration of personal space (3-6 inches). I will eat out of your locker if you let me, but you can also have anything out of mine (I am the youngest kid in my family if you don’t already know), and that goes for eating off your plate in the chow hall as well if you ever dine with me. I talk too much, and I think I am very entertaining, so you may find me annoying at times. But I will listen to your problems and give you the shirt off my back. Lastly, I like the room cold in the winter and summer.
So, knowing myself what do I look for in a roommate?
Well, first off, I don’t want someone who complains all day about anything and everything.
I prefer a deep sleeper with hearing problems over a light sleeper who will wake up to any shift in the bed throughout the night and tell me about it in the morning.
You better not smell a fart in the night or hear one and thinks that gives you the right to wake everyone else up and tell them it stinks.
I would rather clean up after a pig, then have a clean freak who nags about others’ messes. I don’t like a roommate that doesn’t want to use an A/C unit in the summer when it’s available because they don’t want to put more layers on if they are cold. I did my first five years with no A/C, and I don’t want to sweat if I don’t have to.
As you move through different units and different facilities, you will find different living arrangements as I now live in a 12 man room with college dorm-type rooms, so I not only have to pick a good bunkie but also good roommates that I won’t clash with.
As people are getting ready to leave, I like to find others to replace them, instead of taking a gamble with whoever the staff feels like plugging into those spots.
I am a pretty easy going bunkie or roommate, and I live by the golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated.”
I give respect where I think respect is due, and I have had pretty good luck so far with my time in the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) in regards to roommates and bunkies.
So if you’re headed to prison, choosing a bunkie is a big deal. So first know yourself and the style of people you think you can live with.
Thanks for listening!