Prison Radio
Joadanus Olivas

“Excuse me, I’ve just ran 10 laps.”

For over a decade while incarcerated, exercising has been my thing. So where I’m at currently is on top of my cardio game. I ran ten laps today. I usually just glide through the laps, watching the prison yard in slow motion. I feel like I smoked a joint when I workout—especially when I run, I get a good high.

By lap two today, I was on cloud nine. In this moment, I was enlightened. I understood the keys to the universe, you see. I ran by the CO ladies with my shirt off—I mean, I have a six pack, why not—unning past the hardest thugs. I ran past the prison hustlers. I ran past the warden. I had my eyes on heaven the whole time running. Yeah, at any minute there could be a riot. The officers are allowed to shoot their rifles if they see danger.

But guess what? All of this vanishes when I run. By my fifth lap, hell was all lost. And then the prison yard turned into Africa. I was on the Nile River. My sweat transformed into holy water. My feet glided on the clouds, like a stork. I knew who truly built the Great Pyramid in Giza. And I found a cure for all diseases. I ran past prison nurses. I keep my face smiling and keep showing, camouflaging any pain and anguish. Five laps is about a mile on this track. Maybe more. But sometimes I stopped counting. And I just run. I’m going nowhere, but I get so far away. When I run, no one could come around me.

All of the knuckleheads walk the running track, but to be honest, they just remain in the same place. They remain stagnant. I can’t understand why but through running these laps, my breath is so refined. I’m probably breathing once every forty-five seconds, or am I even breathing at all? I usually forget once I’m in the zone. It’s been fourteen years of confinement. I’m thirty now, but I’m still on the move. And by the way, I just ran ten laps.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.