March 19th, 2013, 14:25, KCJD, Delta Hall

Today, the doors are salmon.  Well, all days the doors are salmon—what I should say is that today we are in Delta Hall (instead of Echo Hall or King Hall or Lima Hall or), which is the same as all the other halls in every aspect except for the fact that the cell doors are salmon.  This lone stroke of individuality and color, this solo suggestion that monochrome and uniform is not necessarily the tyrant it seems, has always struck me as odd.  What was the bureaucratic process like that ushered in the decision to brightly paint the cell doors of juvenile detention?  To enforce a rigid standardization that is straight up disorienting—even after five years of Tuesdays in here, I still walk the wrong direction down the hallway half the time—but to allow (or did someone insist?)—upon a blaze of primary color for the cell doors, a shocking slate of liveliness to host the stenciled black numeral 1 – 10.  It is a small triumph but I can only say that, perhaps, as a visitor.  Maybe if I were a resident I would see it as a taunt, or a jibe.  The carnivaling of the enclosure.  The truth is that these colored cell doors frame rectangular portions of kids’ faces when they press against the plexiglass window in curiosity, desperation, fear, expectation of release.  Maybe seeing dozens of pairs of kids’ eyes framed in that little window became too heavy for the (after all) heart-bearing guards swiveling at their control posts.  Maybe someone fought the fight to make sure the sets of eyes were properly framed by fresh color.  Maybe these doors are nothing more than rose-colored glasses, a way of fooling oneself into seeing cheer instead of devastation.

 

Still, I like the salmon, and the canary yellow, though I am unsure about the hue of blue down in Lima.

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